The wonderful Green Man Festival returns this weekend, after being one of just a few festivals able to go ahead last year, due to a Covid-lockdown that went deep into mid-Summer. It was incredible to be free to roam the fields last year, though it’s fair to say everyone remained a little cautious, unsure of exactly how much fun they were able to have! But this year, the shackles are off and with perfect timing – as it’s Green Man’s 20th Anniversary!
Set as always in the beautiful Brecon Beacons in South Wales, our favourite festival of the season is back with a bang this August weekend, boasting another terrific musical lineup, exciting arts and comedy, delicious food and drink, activities for young and old, all with the most stunning landscapes available to awe at throughout!
Kicking off with a 2022 exclusive, the Thursday lineup will stretch onto the Mountain Stage for the first time ever, making this year a proper 4-dayer! The Thursday lineup boasts some fantastic acts, headed by the sensational Metronomy, whilst in the Far Out Tent, Pip Blom take the top-spot, with the likes of Penelope Isles and Wunderhorse getting everyone in the mood. Elsewhere, Adwaith headline the Walled Garden, giving us a beautiful start to the weekend!
The next morning, we recommend working off that hangover with a wake up drink from our go-to, the Green Man juice bar, before getting yourself set for a day of incredible artists. Early sets from John Francis Flynn, Melin Melyn and Katy J. Pearson are our highlights, before Buffalo Nichols and Bess Atwell bring in the late afternoon with what we predict to be two glorious performances in the Walled Garden. As the day continues, we’ll then be treated to the incredible Kae Tempest on the stunning Mountain Stage, before scratching our noggins over who to see out of late addition (and Low replacement) Public Service Broadcasting, Dry Cleaning or Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler, all on different stages!
It’s then time for the big guns, and once again, it’s a tough choice! The sensational Cate Le Bon leads the way of many superb Welsh talents at the festival this weekend, headlining the Far Out Tent on the Friday night. Alternatively, join the crowds at the Mountain Stage for what will be an insanely exciting performance as the one and only Kraftwerk bring an audio-visual spectacle befitting of Green Man’s 20th anniversary. Honestly, it’s going to be magnificent!
Once you’ve recovered from dancing the night away After Dark in the Far Out Tent, or with a cocktail or three at the Chai Wallah’s stage, or in the bouncing Round The Twist tent…it’ll be time to do it all again on Saturday! We’re looking forward to beautiful early sets from Sophie Jamieson and Ichiko Aoba, who will ease us into the day, followed by the sensational Charles Watson in the Walled Garden, and the fabulous Pictish Trail on the main stage. Then we’ll be taking a trip to the Far Out tent, as Mary Lattimore takes us into the early evening with her stunning harp compositions.
As day becomes night, Katy J Pearson is sure to set the precedent for the evening with what will be a beautiful set, whilst the storming Black Country, New Road head to the Far Out stage. And once you’re refuelled, get ready for glorious evening performances by Torres in the Walled Garden; Arab Strap in the Far Out tent, and Tune-Yards on the main stage, setting us up for almighty headline sets. It’s choice time once again, as BRIT-nominated Bicep bring their legendary live show to Far Out, whilst on the Mountain Stage it’s the return of dream-pop duo Beach House – exciting stuff!
If you’re planning on joining us in the Walled Garden for the Dutty Disco late on Saturday night, then like us, you might fancy a little lie-in on Sunday morning! But with so much going on during the final day, we suggest you don’t sleep in for too long, as the famous Pop Quiz returns for another year with hosts Bob Stanley and Pete Paphides! If the brain cogs aren’t up to scratch however, maybe wake from your slumber just in time to catch what will surely be a stunning performance from Carwyn Ellis and Rio 18 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
There’s no let-up as we head into Sunday afternoon, as The Long Blondes kick us into gear in the Far Out tent, followed by the almighty The Wedding Present, before the simply wonderful Valerie June takes to the Mountain Stage for what will surely be an incredible set. As Sunday evening rolls in, we’re particularly excited to see Ty Segall & Freedom Band, whilst hoping we also get to see a bit of James Yorkston in the Walled Garden, and Jenny Hval, who takes to the Mountain Stage for what should be an absolutely belting performance.
You’ll then have some of the best seats in the house secured, for what is sure to be an awe-inspiring closing night. First up, Ezra Furman takes to the stage for what should be a real highlight of the weekend. Then, get ready to make one helluva choice, between the utterly-brilliant Parquet Courts, and the legend that is Michael Kiwanuka, both of whom are sure to bring the final evening of the 20th Anniversary to an almighty and triumphant close! Whoever you choose, you’re in for a winner.
Now that the music’s covered…time to look at all the other brilliant stuff going on!
Don’t forget to visit Einstein’s Garden – the brilliantly curated area that allows you to launch your imagination into a new dimension, with over 100 jaw-dropping performances, stretching from live comedy, music and theatre, to walks, talks and interactive installations! A particular highlight will be the immersive climate change art installation, Weather the Weather, which simulates Welsh weather 100 years in the past and the future. If you’ve brought the kids along to this family-friendly weekend, get ready to hang out in the wonderful Little Folk area too, which sets young explorers the task of taking on epic quests and adventures. Suitable for little’uns up to the age of twelve, they will be showing off their craftwork (or should we say Kraftwerk!?) in the famous Little Folk parade on Sunday afternoon!
And for the adults? Well let’s kick things off in the Babbling Tongues tent with the Talking Shop. Labour MP Jess Phillips is in conversation with Caitlin Moran, which is sure to be a fascinating listen. Ezra Furman is the guest on a recording of Ash Kenazi’s The Pink Room Podcast, whilst Richard King is set to tell all in his chat with songwriter and electronic producer Gwenno. And don’t forget the annual treat of matching beers with bands, curated as always by Pete Brown! Then, as the evening draws in, the tent is filled with giggles as the Last Laugh comedy kicks-in! Treating us this year are the likes of Mark Steel, Shaparak Khorsandi, Lolly Adefope, Stephen Bailey and Kemah Bob – not bad eh. Finally, take a trip to the Cinedrome for something entirely different. There’s plenty for kids and adults alike, including screenings of ‘The Railway Children’, ‘The Red Turtle’, a UK premiere of Welsh-language horror ‘The Feast’, plus a live premiere of ‘Arcadia’, by Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory with a 9-piece band!
But after all is said and done, if you just fancy a laze-about as the afternoon sun (fingers crossed!) beats down on the crowds of happy festival-revellers, then don’t you fret. Green Man has you covered with his quiet corner of health and holistic rejuvenation. The Nature Nurture field, tucked away behind ancient oak trees, is a hidden haven for weary travellers, soothing the aches of existence via organic treatments and the gentle bubbling of hot tubs. Massages from top therapists using natural products, invigorating sunrise yoga, mindfulness sketching sessions and laughter workshops are all on offer too. There’s something here for all ages, allowing every Green Man guest to indulge in a little self-care while spending time in one of Wales’ most idyllic corners of natural beauty.
Finally, let’s not forget our good friends…food and booze! You’re going to need a bit of sustenance to get through the weekend, and as always, there is plenty to go around, including delicious local treats from some of the finest Welsh producers and providers around. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, this anniversary year the Green Man is offering a slap-up Black Mountain Banquet, courtesy of Powys-raised Chef Danny Jack and Celebrity Chef Tom Hunt – get your tickets though as they’re selling out fast! Then there’s the drinks…Rum, tequila and gin all have their own dedicated bars, the cider tent and Babbler’s Bar return, and then there’s the famous Green Man Beer Festival, featuring a huge selection of ales from over twenty Welsh breweries. We dare you to be thirsty after all of that!
So there we go. One of the finest festivals of the year is about to open its gates, and we can’t be more excited! As the midnight burning of the Green Man, the festival’s most intricate effigy to date, ignites into flames to bring the anniversary celebrations to a close, we’re sure you’ll look back on this party as one of the best weekends in history. But with it all still to come, below is our annual Green Man Festival playlist, ready for you to stream on the drive down, and get you giddy for what’s in store. See you in the valley…