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Festivals: Green Man 2016 Preview
There are only a few days to go before the sensational Green Man Festival returns! With another glorious lineup, impressive expansions to the site and even more activities, bars and events taking place, we are itching with excitement to make that journey through the Welsh Black Mountains to the beautiful valley in the Brecon Beacons.
Now in its 14th season, the Green Man has allowed its followers to be in his presence for four days of music this year, with a Thursday night lineup being added to the bill. The evening is set to be headlined by the exceptional Wild Beasts, hot off the back of releasing their brand new record Boy King – a must see set and a powerful way to kick off this year’s festival.
The Friday welcomes even more belters, with Julianna Barwick, Connan Mockasin, Jason Isbell, Suuns, Kiran Leonard and headliner James Blake bringing some stunning sets to the valley. The stand out show of the day however, is likely to come from jazz genius Kamasi Washington, whose three-volume jazz album The Epic was one of the finest records of 2015. The evening is then brought to a close with what will simply be a bonkers, yet incredibly entertaining, early morning dance sesh with Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon in the Walled Garden. Be prepared to sing along with Church as she bangs out some glorious covers, with her faultless backing band – it sounds mad, but we promise you, this could be the best few hours of your entire weekend!
Once you’ve recovered from dancing the night away with Charlotte Church (that sounds so very strange!), Green Man is set to bring you a Saturday full of musical greatness, including afternoon sets from Yorkston Thorne Khan, Ryley Walker and The Unthanks – and that’s just on the main stage! Elsewhere, you’ll find Fews, The Weather Station and BC Camplight doing what they do best. As the evening sets in, Cate Le Bon is set to bring you a brilliant show on the Mountain Stage, followed by Tindersticks, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and what will be a stunning headline set from the one and only Laura Marling – absolute bliss. Oh, and don’t forget The Fat White Family’s late-night performance on the After Dark Stage, before you hit the incredible DJ sets from Awesome Tapes From Africa – the exciting dance project of Brian Shimkovitz.
And then it’s the final day! But what a closing day it will be, thanks to Haiku Salut, Gengahr, Slow Club and Black Peaches, who will take to the stages on the Sunday afternoon. Songhoy Blues will then get you back on your feet after the Saturday night-hangover has numbed down, following their sensational set in the Far Out Tent last year – one of our stand-out sets of 2015! You’ve then got a bit of a quandary as you choose between the likes of Julia Holter, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ezra Furman, Malcolm Middleton, Warpaint, Grandaddy and Belle & Sebastian! We suggest a bit of mixing and matching throughout the evening, and no matter what you choose, you’re in for a helluva evening of live music in the valley of the Black Mountains.
Now that the music’s covered…time to look at all the other brilliant stuff going on! One of the most exciting additions to this year’s festival, is the enchanting Back Of Beyond performing arts area, which will welcome brilliant circus and dance performances, including a festival exclusive from The National Dance Company Wales. Make sure you catch their piece Animatorium, which sees the troupe of dances brought to life, animated and controlled by a charming yet sinister Master character – certainly not one to be missed! In addition, the Canal And River Trust are set to bring you three days of great events based around the waterways and waterfronts; and don’t forget to visit Einstein’s Garden, which is back, bigger and better, with more science and environmental fun for kids of all ages (when you’re not hanging out with the kids in the jungle-themed Little Folk area, or grabbing some relaxing moments in the saunas of the Nature Nuture forest).
And finally, let’s not forget food and booze! You’re going to need a bit of sustenance to get through the weekend, even when you’ve found a seat in the Cinedrome to catch a screening of Purple Rain, or one of several Bowie specials! To get your tastebuds tingling, how about some caviar and laverbread from British Street Food Award winners, Cafe Mor? Or hit up Ghandi’s Flip-Flop for some spicy feasts, Happy Maki from some delectable sushi and The Goan Seafood Company for their incredible mackerel masala dhal! There’s also the festival regulars, including Annie Mae’s Mac & Cheese, The Welsh Venison Centre and Barnaby Sykes Pie Maker – a firm favourite for TFFT’s Sunday lunch.
Then there’s the drinks…and let’s face it, catching some world-famous comics such as Rhod Gilbert, Alex Horne, Mark Olver and Ivo Graham in the Babbling Tongues tent can only be made one better with a refreshing tipple from one of the many, many bars on site. Rum, tequila and gin all have their own dedicated bars, and then there’s the famous Green Man Beer Festival, featuring ninety-nine ales, ciders and perries sourced from over twenty Welsh breweries. We dare you to be thirsty after all of that.
So there we go! One of the finest, funnest and friendliest festivals is about to open its gates, and we can’t be more excited. Look out for our Green Man playlist on Wednesday, ready for you to stream on the drive down, and we’ll see you in the valley over the weekend!