I’m standing in the middle of a sunny field. My head is bowed down in a crowd. A heavy bass-line thumps in time to my quickening heart beat. I scrabble around for a balloon filled of dry paint. Every time I think I see one, a burst of colour obliterates my vision. Yellow, orange, blue; by the time I raise my head to the sunshine I am a Pollock-esque masterpiece. I’ve just experienced the paint fight at Hogsozzle – an Indian Festival of Colours in a field near Stevenage.
For those of you cursing your lack of ticket for 2013’s festival season, never fear – it’s time to start planning for 2014! And that’s where Hogsozzle (23-25 May 2014) needs to enter your consciousness; it is the perfect pre-Glastonbury warm-up.
Picture an intimate festival full of like-minded people, great unsigned music and comedy, a stones-throw from London and roast hog and apple sauce thrown in with your ticket. Literally, what more could you want!? Oh yes, and it’s really reasonably priced at around £45 for the weekend too.
An eclectic mix of music will keep you dancing for three days; ska and reggae bands bring out the sunshine, DJs keep the crowds dancing till the wee hours in a rain-beating barn and comedy/music duo Jon and Ollie bring a gorgeous blend of talent and hilarity with their set (which I’m assured will be on 2014’s bill too). It is rare to find a festival where you can just sit back and enjoy the music without the pressure of ticking off all the headliners, but Hogsozzle fills that space.
Booze can be brought into the camping areas and a large, constructed wooden bar sells good value alcohol til late. A well-chosen selection of food vendors, including Pandemania, the best wood-fired pizza I have ever tried, provide all the deliciousness you need. But let’s not forget the hog. Spit-roasted over a fire pit for two days, it’s tender and juicy and comes with sides of red cabbage, apple sauce and potatoes – I’m salivating just telling you about.
If the hog and the paint and the music don’t quite do it for you, just watch this video from Hogsozzle 2012; I watched it and booked my ticket the same day and I’m so glad I did.