Following its 15th Anniversary show last year, the wonderful Green Man Festival returns this weekend, set once again in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, and with arguably the best lineup so far! And as always, we’re bringing you our extensive festival preview and playlist to get you right in the mood…
Our favourite festival of the season is back with a bang this 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 what is now a regular feature, the Thursday night lineup boasts some fantastic acts, headed by the sensational Public Service Broadcasting, who will no doubt be playing a heap of tracks from their latest record Every Valley – which depicts the history of the mining and coal industry in Wales. Expect a community feel for this one!
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 Green Man Rising-winner Park Motive, The Lovely Eggs, Juanita Stein, and the uplifting Amber Arcades are our highlights, before Eleanor Friedberger brings into the afternoon with what we predict to be a glorious performance. As the day continues we’ll then be treated to Wye Oak and Beak> over in the Far Out Tent, Joan As Police Woman on the stunning Mountain Stage, before scratching our noggins over who to see out of Snail Mail, Whyte Horses and The Lemon Twigs, all on different stages – with the set times yet to be released, here’s hoping we get to see all three!
It’s then time for the big guns, and once again, it’s a tough choice! Within the glorious surroundings of the Walled Garden, Susanne Sundfør and Alex Cameron will be headlining, whilst two of the most renowned names in electronic music take to the Far Out Stage – Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, followed by the sensational Mount Kimbie. Alternatively, join the crowds at the Mountain Stage for two belting performances – first up is the almighty and ever-alternating Dirty Projectors, followed by the magnificence of King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizzard. Wherever you end up, you’re in for a good night!
Once you’ve recovered from dancing the night away with the Diplomats Of Sound DJ’s, early-birds on Saturday morning can check out the beautiful ‘Paddington 2’ in the Cinedrome, or simply take in the glorious surroundings of the Black Mountains – which hopefully won’t be hiding behind rain clouds this year! But for those nursing their hangovers for a little while longer, you can look forward to beautiful afternoon sets from Green Man regular Sweet Baboo, folk-genius Seamus Fogarty, and the wonderful Jim Ghedi. Later in the afternoon, you’ll find the sensational Jade Bird, Goat Girl and Phoebe Bridgers in the Walled Garden, Bo Ningen and Kelly Lee Owens in the Far Out Tent and of course TFFT’s fave, Courtney Marie Andrews, bringing her soothing, country vibes to the main stage.
As the afternoon rolls into evening, Teleman and Teenage Fanclub are sure to get the rhythms and spirits pulsating, whilst local girl Cate Le Bon is set to bring you a brilliant show on the Mountain Stage. And once you’re refuelled, get ready for a glorious evening performance by John Grant, followed by those harmonising gods and your Saturday headline act, Fleet Foxes…we’re simply bursting with excitement!
If you’re planning on joining us at the Far Out tent for Simian Mobile 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 infamous 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 two of our favourite artists of recent-times, the sensational Stella Donnelly, followed by the incredible Haley Heynderickx. Oh, and then you’d might as well stick about for Charles Watson too! – who is taking some time out from being one half of Slow Club, to work on some brilliant, debut solo tracks.
It’s another tough choice on Sunday afternoon, but here’s our recommendation – take a walk up to the Far Out Tent for the almight Jane Weaver, followed by 2018 breakthrough act Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Then get a scamper on back down to the Mountain Stage, where you can nestle in for an early evening with the inspirational Anna Calvi. Of course, it’s entirely your choice, but we think this is a pretty good plan! What’s more, 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, Grizzly Bear take to the stage for what should be a real highlight of the weekend. Then, get ready for (in our humble opinion), one of the finest acts around, The War On Drugs. Following their majestic 2014 performance at Green Man, Adam Granduciel and co. have released two of the finest records in recent years, and are sure to bring the final evening to an almighty and triumphant close!
Now that the music’s covered…time to look at all the other brilliant stuff going on! The enchanting Back Of Beyond performing arts area returns this year, ready to welcome brilliant circus and dance performances, including a collaboration between Citrus Arts, Circomedia and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama for an original show of ‘The Devil & The Deep’, which draws inspiration from the nearby River Usk.…sounds intriguing! In addition, keep an eye out for some stunning visual arts across the site, which is looking even more ambitious this year, thanks to three large scale, commissioned pieces, including a crash landed UFO from Megan Broadmeadow’s ‘Seek-Pray-Advance. Episode 2’, which includes a performance with the work on Saturday at 7pm!
Don’t forget to visit Einstein’s Garden as well, as it celebrates its 10th birthday! This brilliantly curated area 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! If you’ve brought the kids along to this family-friendly weekend, get ready to hang out in the wonderful Little Folk area which this year will become The Lost City Of Atlantis! Set against the backdrop of the lush green mountains, the kids can go wild in their own aquatic adventure, before showing off their craftwork in the famous Little Folk parade on Sunday afternoon!
And for the adults? Well lets kick things off in the Babbling Tongues tent with the Talking Shop, nursing your hangovers with the delightful company of Annie Nightingale, who will discuss her role as the longest-serving presenter on BBC Radio 1, on Friday afternoon. There’s also King Gizzard And Lizard Wizard in conversation with Laura Barton, plus The Glass Aisle – an astonishing collaboration between two major talents in poetry and music: acclaimed songwriter and singer Brian Briggs, frontman of Stornoway and Welsh poet Paul Henry. On Saturday, the annual MOJO interview will, this year, be with the incredible John Grant, whilst on Sunday, singer and activist Peggy Seeger will be in conversation. And 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 Rob Deering, Tom Wrigglesworth, Holly Burn, Mark Olver, Mike Bubbins, Annie McGrath, George Egg and the wonderful Phil Wang – not bad eh!
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. 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, funnest and friendliest festivals is about to open its gates, and we can’t be more excited. As the burning of the Green Man brings Sunday to its ultimate 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 tomorrow, and get you giddy for what’s in store. See you in the valley…