The rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons taper down to one particular valley, in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain, where musical newcomers gather, forerunners and legends perform. This can only be Green Man Festival, now in its 10th year at the glorious Glanusk Estate.
This petite festival prides itself on being ahead of the game: musically, artistically and environmentally. The walkabout stalls and workshops are unparalleled – where else could you trade a ‘cotch’ for a sparkly wooden mushroom, or be chased by a man dressed as a Venus flytrap?
Notoriously ‘hippy’, this phenomenal festival caters for anyone and everyone. By day, the mellow tones of Rozi Plain, Villagers, Marika Hackman and the like, form an ideal soundtrack whilst little ones chase bubbles, or older ones chase the bubbles of their cider; the courtyard bar has over 100 ales and ciders to choose from, but settling for a Guzzler or a Growler is an equally genius decision. By night, the Green Man tips his cap to the funk, disco, jungle, dub, reggae and electronic pioneers of the moment such as Sun Ra Arkestra, Atomic Bomb! and Jamie XX. The outstanding Chai Wallah tent is always the last one open, playing relentless jungle, dub and drum and bass into the early hours.
Definite highlights of this year were Charles Bradley, Atomic Bomb and Hot Chip, who dabbled with some of Onyeabor’s vocals and then scurried over as the 2 Bears and ‘Hot Chip’ DJs after their headline slot.
With only 3 main stages and rare clashes, you’ll catch all you want to see and more. Everyone you meet has either been before, is planning to return or is local – raw humans at their most vulnerable and beautiful, brought together by a common interest in music. Green Man is wonderful in its simplicity. As the well over 10 feet tall Green Man statue burns, symbolizing the end of another fantastic year, a patriotic and humble feeling takes over the festival goers gathered, with one pure thought echoing its way through the crowd: long live the Green Man festival.