Visiting Green Man for the first time in 2014, I was blown away by its picturesque setting, high standard of music and more than friendly atmosphere. I loved it so much, that despite the dark hole that is my overdraft, I knew I had to return, so I signed up to work as a steward the following year.
To truly appreciate the wonder of Green Man, you must first forget everything you thought you knew about the British festival scene and embrace the magical ambience that sits at the foot of the Black Mountains of The Brecon Beacons.
Every year, a slightly different Green Man stands tall, overlooking the stages in his field, welcoming those of all ages to explore his hollowed body and add to the thousands of wishes and aspirations hanging from all his various parts. On the final night you can watch his frame go up in flames, while fireworks light up the night sky as part of the closing ceremony.
Green Man Rising
Set next to a pond, snuggled between a wall of trees and flowers, this platform allows unsigned artists to perform to a small crowd of festival-goers, creating a beautifully intimate environment to sit back, relax, and possibly catch a future star…
Green Man also holds the ‘Rising Competition’ for unsigned artists prior to the festival, giving the winner the opportunity to open the prestigious Mountain Stage in front of 10,000 people.
If at any point you find yourself stepping through a mysterious hole in the wall not quite knowing where you are, you’ve found The Walled Garden. Surrounded by a flint stone wall, this grassy courtyard makes for another intimate experience where you can kick back in your camp chair, grab a cold beer, and enjoy the music. If you ever find yourself lost in the Walled Garden late at night, fear not…the enclosure hosts a string of Dj’s spinning tracks until the early hours
This dim-lit tent howls Indie Rock, with some of the loudest characters performing high-energy sets long into the night. I first experienced Far Out in 2015; witnessing the nude insanity of Fat White Family as well as Mac DeMarco surfing the crowd, before climbing the central scaffolding and plummeting off it backwards. This being said, the best set of 2014/15 goes to Kurt Vile and the Violators (in my opinion). So, If you fancy a break from the otherwise chilled vibes, make sure to venture ‘Far Out’.
Known for being the largest independent music venue touring the UK festival circuit, this tent allows you to become engrossed in the alternative and underground music scene
The Mountain Stage
Set under the idyllic backdrop of the Black Mountain Range, this grassy amphitheatre is without a doubt the most beautiful stage I have visited at any festival. Whether you’re soaking up the picturesque setting by day, or admiring the thousands of twinkling lights at night, The Mountain Stage will take your breath away. Over the past two years I have caught some incredible acts on this stage, ranging from Brit nominee and folk star Father John Misty, to synthpop indietronica group Hot Chip.
Other than the music…
Spoken word performances can be heard from 12-6pm every day in this tent, as authors, poets and comedians perform their own material and engage in stimulating debates.
Presented in the style of a gothic stable block, The Courtyard sits slap bang in the centre of the festival, offering over 100 locally brewed Welsh beers and ciders.
If camping in the fresh Welsh countryside is not quite relaxing enough for you, why not make your way down to the safe haven of Green Man. Open from 7:30am – 11:30pm every day, treat yourself to an oil massage from a fully qualified therapist, or relax with a yoga class. If this doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, you can’t say no to a dip in one of the luxurious hot tubs.
Whether it’s a modern animation or a cult classic, the colossal Cinedrome is always open for wandering festival-goers to throw down a rug and watch a flic.
This year’s line up includes Scottish Indie Pop group, Belle and Sebastian, English electronic soul artist James Blake and American psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra.