Portmeirion prepares for Festival No. 6

Portmeirion prepares for Festival No. 6

The sleepy picturesque Welsh tourist village of Portmeirion, on Snowdonia’s coast, is best known for its neo-classical architecture and as the backdrop to the cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner. But the tranquillity of this Mediterranean-styled utopia looks set to be ruffled when later this year it hosts its very first music festival.

One wonders if the town’s visionary designer, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, had in mind the likes of Primal Scream, New Order and Spiritualized when he dreamt up the village’s hotel and cottages as an homage to towns he had seen on the Italian coastline.

Today the village is a tourist attraction in itself (payment is required to enter), and one of the most successful in Wales. But in September, the important collection of rhododendrons and other exotic plants held within its grounds will be ruffled by the sound of rock music.

The Portmeirion Festival, or ‘Festival No. 6’ to give it its proper title, promises to be ‘a brand new premium festival concept’. The title comes from the mysterious identity of ‘No. 6’ in The Prisoner TV show. Bands, DJs, musicians and string ensembles will be performing across the entire site, from the historic town hall to the Colonnade gardens to the picturesque Bay Stage and the promenade along the estuary of the River Dwyryd.

The diverse bill ranges from rock and roll to Balearic, funk to folk, sea shanties to Welsh male voice choirs. Also planned are cinema screenings, street theatre, prose and poetry readings, midnight masquerades, cliff-top comedy stages, secret parties, wild swimming, zorbing, clay pigeon shooting and archery.

Festival Director Gareth Cooper said: “In a market saturated with festivals and with the Olympics looming it would take an idiot or something pretty special to warrant starting a new one. We’ve found what we hope will become one of the most outstanding and defining boutique festival sites in the world.”

Ticket for the festival go on sale today, 24 April, and are priced at ?99. For tickets and more information visit www.festivalnumber6.com

Portmeirion: A perfect place to stay

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