The weekend before last, we found ourselves wide-eyed and slack-jawed in an Italianate village tucked in somewhere off the North Wales coast. The village – Portmeirion – will be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched the Prisoner; the occasion was the inaugural Festival No 6. We hosted a stage over the three days of the festival with our friends from the Faber Social. When booking it, I’m not sure any of us really knew what to expect so we made some tentative phone calls and hoped for the best.
To say that the resultant festival ranks as one of the best any of us from Caught by the River have ever been to would be something of an understatement. Location wise, the place is truly unparalleled. There is genuinely nowhere like it on Earth. Built as a ‘home for fallen buildings’ by Clough Williams-Ellis, it’s a surrealist mixture of gorgeously renovated structures reclaimed from scrapheaps around the world. All around the place, there are trippy and unexpected Trompe-l’œils that reinforce the feeling that someone just slipped something in your drink. In front of our stage as a stretch of endless coastline. On that stage, a handpicked collection of bands and writers, thinkers and drinkers. In one day, the line-up veered from unsigned rock’n’rollers (the phenomenal Charlie Boyer) to octogenarian travel writers (Jan Morris), from a string ensemble playing meditative music based around the rivers of Wales (the Kane Ensemble) to that country’s premier surf rock band (Y Niwl).
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