On Friday D and myself packed up the [considerably-bigger-and-much-more-practical-than-my-own] hire car with tent, wellies and bananas – and took the M6 to Wales
To Portmeirion and Festival No. 6, more specifically
I’d last been to this unique village when I was very little and only have vague memories of it – but a few years ago I was reacquainted through watching cult 60s TV series The Prisoner…
The Prisoner: basic plot
- Secret agent resigns from his post
- He returns home where he is knocked out
- He wakes up in The Village (Portmeirion) and discovers he is now called No. 6
- He attempts to escape – and fails
- He meets No. 2 (but never No. 1)
- He attempts to escape again – and fails again
- The last 3 steps repeat as the series gets weirder and weirder
I’d recommend watching it – despite it being completely crazy
Portmeirion is an ideal setting for anything odd and unusual, because the place itself is just that
It was built by visionary architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in two stages, from 1925-39 and 1954-76
Williams-Ellis salvaged many building parts from demolition sites, added them to the village and painted them a rainbow of colours
There’s quirky features all over the place – including a boat built into the side of the estuary (to replace a real one which blew away one night – obviously)
His motto was “Cherish the Past, Adorn the Present, Construct for the Future.
You can find out more here
All in all, we had a fantastic weekend, so here’s just a few reasons it was so special…
- Going to the briefest of brief Q&A’s with Carl Barat, followed by an extended acoustic set of Libertines tunes
- Set of the weekend had to be Kindness – but also great performances from Primal Scream, Jessie Ware, Everything Everything
- Spotting my favourite frontman Guy Garvey just chilling out (look at the photo above, see if you can spot him Where’s Wally? style!
- Pulling some of my dodgy moves to Erol Alkan’s set (and not falling in the mud!)
- Walking through the extensive Portmeirion woodland and gardens, happening across mini raves, arty performances and even blanket making!
- Front row seats (away from the rain!) to several hours of great comedy, headlined by Marcus Bridgestock
- Wandering along the estuary beach – a new festival experience!
- Actually getting a semi-decent nights sleep in our cosy tent (which stood the test of rain and wind thanks to D’s putting-up skills!)
- Watching giant bubbles floating across The Village, as a Mini Moke beeps in the background, and several people wearing lampshades on their head glide by – wonderfully bizarre
- Plenty of nods to The Prisoner, including New Order’s choice of atire and watching this classic Prisoner scene re-enacted…
I could go on, and on, and on…. fully recommended!