Festivals: Green Man Festival 2021 Preview

The pandemic has affected us all in many ways, and it has been an uncertain time for most. For those in arts & culture, the sector has been through a torrid time, waiting with bated breath as one of the final parts of the UK to finally open up again. In the world of festivals, an extension to the lockdown in June was the final nail in an already nail-ridden coffin, with many organisers and bands having to pull the plug on what we were all hoping to be some much-needed, highly-anticipated weekends of freedom and fun.

For the organisers of Green Man Festival, an event that sits slightly later in the festival season at the back end of August, there was still a glimmer of hope. On May 4th, they announced that communication was ongoing with the Welsh government but there was a way to go before a decision was made. On May 6th, final tickets were released and sold out in minutes, as we all clung on to a small sign of possibility. At the end of June, there was still uncertainty expressed in another Green Man update, whilst Fay Jones – MP for Brecon and Radnorshire – even asked Boris Johnson at the July 14th issue of PMQ’s, to give the Green Man festival his full support, and encourage the Welsh Government to get behind the festival. Then, on July 16th, after two years of uneasiness and worry, the news was in – GREEN MAN IS BACK!

The hard work that the organisers have put in has been extraordinary, and clearly they’ve been beavering away behind the scenes to ensure that the lineup is as wonderful as always. There will always be a touch of concern as staff, ticketholders and performers conduct much needed LFT tests, ensure they’re fully-jabbed and have successfully made it through any required quarantine, but we’re adamant that this weekend is going to be one of the finest few days of the past two years! And with the Green Man settlement opening it’s doors this very morning, it’s time we take a little dive into the many exciting things that we’re set to experience, nestled in the safety of the Black Mountains…

Above you will find the most up to date lineup across the musical stages. The list is fit-to-bursting with glorious bands and artists, ready and waiting with much anticipation to put on some of the first live shows since the beginning of the pandemic. The Thursday night lineup boasts some fantastic acts, headed by the sensational Tirzah in the Far Out Tent, with Working Men’s Club, Jockstrap and the brilliant WetLeg joining them to kick everything off – a beautiful start to the weekend.

The next morning, we recommend working off that hangover with early sets from Green Man Rising 2020 winner Nuha Ruby Ra Jerry, H. Hawkline and the wonderful Fenne Lily. As the day continues we’ll be treated to the eagerly-anticipated return of Stephen Fretwell in the Walled Garden, Nadine Shah takes to the Mountain Stage and Georgia plays the Far Out Tent. Then it’s the inevitable run-around, as we jump from stage to stage taking in Django Django, Shame, Ibibio Sound Machine and the wonderful Caribou. Wherever you end up, you’re in for a good night, and make sure you’ve saved some energy for one of our favourite moments of past Green Man’s – Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon of-bloody-course!

Once you’ve recovered from dancing the night away CC, you can look forward to early sets from Peaness, Peggy Sue and Deliluh. Later in the afternoon, you’ll find the sensational Richard Dawson on the Mountain Stage, BC Camplight at the Far Out Tent and then one of the biggest head-scratcher’s of the weekend, as Laura Marling’s superb LUMP potentially clashes with the beautiful This Is The Kit – enjoying making that decision!

As the afternoon rolls into evening, Welsh legend Gruff Rhys is sure to set the precedent for the night with what will be a fantastic set, whilst Liz Lawrence takes to the beautiful Walled Garden stage. And once you’re refuelled, get ready for glorious evening performances by Jose Gonzales in the Far Out Tent and the return of the mighty Mogwai – exciting stuff!

If you’re planning on joining us 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 Green Man Rising 2021 winner, Teddy Hunter, kicks the last day off in style. What’s more, there’s the chance to catch one of the finest voices around, as the sensational Billie Marten takes to the Mountain Stage.

Sunday afternoon presents the likes of King Hannah, Steam Down and Porridge Radio, before the evening kicks off with TFFT-favourites The Staves playing the Mountain Stage. The excellent Ghostpoet then plays the Far Out Tent, the extraordinary Thundercat takes to the main stage, and Self Esteem get ready to play what will likely be an absolute humdinger of a show. You’ll then have some of the best spots in the house secured if you’re a Teenage Fanclub fan, otherwise get your legs in gear to dart back over to the Mountain Stage for Sunday night headliners Fontaines D.C. Whichever you choose, it’ll be awe-inspiring!

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! If you’ve brought the kids along to this family-friendly weekend, get ready to hang out in the wonderful Little Folk area too. Little Folk is a fun space for little ‘uns ranging from babies to 12-year-olds, to get involved in creative workshops, activities and adventures of the imagination! This year’s theme is ‘Land Before Little Folk’, so get ready to travel back in time some 66 million years and meet life-like dinosaurs, with volcanic crafting, zip wires, zorbing and plenty more to get your prehistoric kicks.

And for the adults? Well lets kick things off in the Babbling Tongues tent with the Talking Shop, where we’ll be joined by the flippin’ Poet laureate! Simon Armitage is one of the country’s most celebrated writers, and this will be an amazing opportunity to observe his musings on music, poetry and podcasting. There will also be an interview with the brilliant Nadine Shah, Chilly Gonzales presenting Enya and Pete Brown once again matching beers to the weekend’s bands! 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 Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, Stuart Goldsmith, Jessica Fostekew, Mark Olver, Stuart Laws and Olga Koch – 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. Massages from top therapists using natural products, invigorating sunrise yoga, mindfulness sessions and much more are all on offer. 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, friendliest, fantastic festivals is back, 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 the real return of normality, and embrace the moment – reflecting on what has happened in the past 18 months, but also what is ahead of us. Be safe, do as much or as little as you feel happy to do, respect each other and most importantly, enjoy! See you in the valley, you wonderful, lucky people!