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The realm of Noisily opened its gates to us once again, inviting us to a special celebration for their 10th birthday on the 11th July. It was as time for Noisily to fly from its historical home of Coney Woods and land in pastures new. Barkestone Woods raised its hand to be the new point of party and welcomed us with open branches. A force of fantasy, Noisily stands by their promise of connection with the environment being hand in hand with the connection of humans.

The unchangeable Noisily atmosphere was carried through the new location, with its cherished community experience, fabled stage production and lionized art decor. Walking on site felt like coming back from a long holiday; if home were a trippy haven for sound seekers. At under 5000 attending, the intimate feel is expected and embraced. This offers a chance to create a kinship with other humans, and after 10 years of creating that open environment, it comes as no surprise that Noisily is renowned for being one of the most welcoming and safe spaces you can experience as a festival go-er.

Covering many sectors of music from Techno and Psytrance, to Slow Mo, hip-hop, Jungle and everything in between. In every corner of the festival is a sensory treat, from music to performances, art spaces and unique workshops, the Noisily family go above and beyond each year to provide its guests with a holistic habitat, a secure space to nourish the mind, body and soul. Whether you are dancing under their astounding laser shows, sitting around the crackling fire pit, or wondering about the immersive art trails, Noisily has a space for it all. ‘Dance. Create. Learn. Connect.’

Not just a stage for musicians, but also the intriguing talks, circus performers, panels, and workshops – all encouraging you to sit with voices from around the world and from all walks of life. We always make a point to attend a few, to take a minute to listen and be still within the rapid atmosphere of a festival. They courage attendees to play with this experience, move, meditate, and create. As said by one of the crew members whilst sitting around the fire “This is your opportunity to join a unique community adventure…”

Thursday night starts with the Noisily bus, which has light mapping that blows your mind and sets the bar high for art production. Notably, the details in the installations and stages were hallucinatory throughout the festival. The creative team’s particular attention to detail each year allows the woodland to be altered into a mystic kingdom – glowing mushrooms playing the natural sounds of the trees through angelic soundscapes, giant kaleidoscopes in the middle of the trees, illuminated mandalas glowing and twisting in the tree tops – every inch of the space is painted with a fine psychedelic brush.

As a Bristol resident, I was delighted to see Bristol’s original European LGBTQ+ techno and house brand Dolce Vista hosting from 4-8, Followed by Bambi, and Noisily residents Hamish and Audio Anonymous (the AA). With many lineups lacking diversity, Noisily never fails to show up here. High-five to the curators for doing it how it should be done.

After bopping around the beautiful late-night boutique shops, and trying some of the delicacy’s food stalls, we found a personal favourite spot – the notorious fire pit. Regulars greet each other over log benches, a space centred around a large fire bowl, with chai tea brewing and drums played, we are taken back to our roots. The firepit is the holy grail of Noisily, it’s the start and the end of most nights and hosts an after-party for the dawn dancers. You can find anyone here, from storytellers, musicians and dancers, to healers, DJs and people there just for a good knees up. Thursday night was wrapped up with cheers and smiles, you could taste the anticipation in the air for what Friday would bring.

Friday morning saluted us with beautiful sunshine, and we headed down to ‘For the Love of Tree’s’ a morning talk hosted by Richard Tenant-Eyles. With Noisily notoriously being held in woodlands, it felt imperative to attend the inspiring talk about the importance and appreciation of nature and trees around us. The towering nature above us offered some shade from the heat of the sun, we walked to the edge of the healing area and dipped our toes in the lit-up fountain, framed with shells; another example of the thought behind each installation. Some offer a visual experience, some a physical.

As the early evening started to arrive and the woods cooled down, we wouldn’t be able to miss the irresistible bouncy house and techno sounds of the acclaimed Henri Bergmann who took to the Noisily Stage. The summer sun and Bergmann’s tune selection made for a first-rate kick-off to a Friday evening.

Shosh delivered some of the finest over at the Treehouse stage where we were drawn in after wandering the woods from Bergmann’s set. Its winding paths lead you from stage to stage, each one hosting a different theme. As we continued to follow these natural streets, we came across a pizza shop which had a tent playing drum and bass, and seemed to be a real fan-favourite of the festival.

Techno titan Gregor Tresher took us into the night on the Noisily Stage. The power of the light show from the stage alone was enough to hit the top of the trees and filled the space above the crowd replacing the sky with pink and blue Hues. Joining Tresher on stage was ‘Andromeda’ – Kimatica Studio’s latest creation. An incredible laser dance show made up of ‘laser wearables’ which, along with the performance in them, have been inspired by space, light and otherworldly life. It was a feast for the eyes and we stuck there like glue.

Wanting to absorb every inch of the festival, we went on a side quest and found ourselves underneath the disco balls and dancing lights of the Parliament of Funk Stage, where Make A Dance was playing the familiar vocals of Anthem by N-Joi (a personal favourite).

“where underground music thrives and self-expression flourishes.”

Saturday offered a delicious menu of music, with more funky house for lunch, as we headed to Georgia, whose set served us nonstop good vibes with a side of spring for your step. We devoured her track selection and lapped up every minute of it.

Prancing around the grounds of the forest we took the route to the Liquid Stage, and to spritely tunes of Captain Hooks trancey set and stayed on there, moving from the little camp in the forest provided to relax in, and back to the dance floor – another demonstration of how well thought out the site is, giving people a chance to sit down out of the way of the crowd, but close enough to enjoy the music. Notable well thought out accessibility for those in wheelchairs here too.

Then…the clouds opened and down came the rain! Alas, nothing we were not used to so everyone into sheltered spaces, be it trees, tents or smaller stages as they had to stop the sets.

Like most of the festival’s punters, we found a spot with some warm drinks and music, and shortly after the spout of hydration for the earth, the party started back up again.

We knew where we wanted to head straight away, with a lineup like it had, between 10pm-3am we were solidly stuck at the Treehouse stage. Whilst skanking to the upbeat jungle beats of Phibes, and of the rain pouring down on us, rather than running for shelter, there were cheers of people and celebration, the crowd stayed dancing with the DJ. You could see the rain falling through the light projections and lasers, some of which were controlled by a light engineer via an electronic toy guitar which remotely controlled the lasers and lights – another veteran to Noisily and each time we witness this it’s as good as it was the first time!

If there’s any example of the connection between people and music and nature, it’s watching people dance in the rain. Emporer and Black Sun Empire rolled us into the early hours of the morning showcasing their signature styles and exposing us to all nooks and crannies of the genre; from Emporers’ darker drums to the ends of neuro from Black Sun Empire, the spectrum was far and wide, providing some sounds to step to for everyone.

Sunday’s lineup was full of some of our favourites and must-sees of the festival. Calessi & Sarah Kreis took to the Noisily stage on Sunday afternoon. Their Burning Man set was one of our favourites to listen back to, so I had high hopes for their performance and it went above and beyond expectations. Listening to their rich basslines and deep groovy melodies was ideal for Sunday’s hazy atmosphere.

Walking through the art installations, and down winding paths past the different stages, the ethereal, seductive and wild sounds of the tracks of Jemba (Love Missles) lured us in, her samples from all over the world created a unique soundscape, with the mimic of animalistic soundscapes bouncing off trees, sounds of ancient brass horns and animal cries – the end of this set embodied Noisily and was a firm favourite of ours.

The Mouse Outfit, was personally one of the most anticipated sets of the festival. From start to end it was a journey of a performance, they flowed through their tunes like a second language – even when there was a fake sacrifice takeover from some cavemen and cavewomen in the audience!

For the final night, we lapped up the trance over at the Liquid Stage. Nothing says Noisily like standing under the Geometric lights hanging over the audience, or the pillars of mandalas glowing and moving with the LED lights.

The décor went hand in hand with the track selection of Ace Ventura, who delivered us from the soggy weather and brought us into the safety of his trip-tastic set. The environment here couldn’t be more suited to the deep, psychedelic trance music which took over this stage for most of the weekend.

Closing the Noisily stage for 2023 was Joris Voorn, arguably one of the leading names in the underground European scene. His hard-hitting signature trance sound kept us moving in the mud, and there was nothing but smiles on every face in that crowd.

The big man OG himself, Goldie, closed shop up at the Treehouse Stage. As one of the electronic scene’s biggest household names, it was a pleasure to watch him delight the decks with his mastery. Whipping out the old and the new the drum and bass marvel showed off his mixing skills and production skills – and ended it all with ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, before the united song of Noisily, the sound that took over all stages at the end, was the one and only – Starship ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’. There seemed to be a theme to this festival – nothing can stop the people dancing, be it the weather or the current festival economic climate; the party will go on.

Altogether, Noisily once again sets precedence for a safe, mesmerising and extraordinary experience that couldn’t be re-created. With its ethos and themes grounded in nature, the team still manage to provide one of the most incomparable places to dance and be with humans. Thank you once again.

“we celebrate the individual and cultivate understanding in the collective.”


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