Last month, Noisily Festival opened its beautiful field on the 5thof July, lost in the deep Coney Wood in Leicestershire. Since its debut in 2012, the Festival keeps growing through a combination of music and arts to inspire passion, self-expression, a sense of community and connection with nature.
For its seventh year, Noisily opened in the Soul, Mind and Body area with a small art gallery; a little tent to play with colours and drawing; a telescope to look at the stars; and a first taste of the amazing music set for the weekend.
The line-up for this year spanned techno, psy-trance and experimental bass, showing their intentions of offering a wider range of music to attract different people without losing the elements of originality and discovery. In the Noisily Stage, you could dance on the house-techno vibes of Solee, Louie Cut or James Monro, while the Liquid Stage dedicated its deconstructed geometrical shapes to psy-trance with the shows of 4D, Bad Tango or Symbolic. Almost hidden between the stands, the Leisure Centre was playing all kinds of music, from spoken word to dub, while the Three House Stage moved the dance floor with Ed Solo, Far Too Laud, The Chicken Brothers and Slug Wife.
The stages in the woods were spread around a central space in which everyone could enjoy artisan food, circus and fire performances, as well as simply talk about the night on the floor with someone you never met before. Or you could just get lost in the woods and follow the lights installation almost hidden in alternative paths between the stages, or discover paintings in progress, wooden constructions and hidden games, interacting not only with the festival but also with the peculiar atmosphere of the wood.
Two site-specific, interactive art installations were particular examples to see the proactive interaction between people and the external environment. Symbiosis is a dome-shaped installation that aims to combine technology and art in the peaceful environment of the wood. Created by the artist Kira Zhigalina, the sound designer Andrey Novikov and the engineer Adrian Godwin, the installation plays with sensors and LED lights, which move following the breath of the participants inside the intimate ‘igloo’, stimulating a deeper sense of connection with yourself, the others and the environment. The second installation Rebirth, by the artists collective Madin, is a giant egg made out of recycled pallet wood, which people could get in and feel intimately connected in this bubble that gave the illusion of floating in the wood.
These two installations are programmatic examples of the intention of offering a ground in which anyone is free to express him or her self, respecting the others and the environment outside the usual labels of our society. If, generally, festivals are seen as places in which to completely disconnect with reality and stop thinking about the contradictions of our time, in contrast Noisily proposes an alternative approach to the issues characterising our society. The program ‘looking after the wood’, for example, made people and traders think about how to avoid the overproduction of plastic and rubbish to respect the wood, while art and installation created alternative occasions for encounters with people outside your usual social circle.
In this sense, Rebirth and Symbiosis enclose this deep intention at the core of the Festival. Made out of recycled material, both installations proposed an alternative way to combine the importance of responding to the environmental issues with the necessity of stimulating an alternative understanding to connect to the diversity around us. Rather than playing with spectacular installations that can surprise for short time, the Noisily team is committed to leaving memories that you can bring with you to your everyday life.
That’s what makes this festival so unique. Noisily offers a peculiar example to think of the potential of festivals to suggest an individual sense of responsibility and critical reflection while having fun. The magic environment of the woods, in combination with music and art, stimulates this deep sense of connection, interaction and dialogue. It reflects the need to understand our complex and contradictory society through new schemes, rather than lazily relying on old mind structures. Wishing to see the festival on the edge of the mainstream dynamics again next year, we look forward to seeing how the decoration in the wood and the music will stimulate new connections and new approaches to proactively respond to our society, while having a lot of fun!