Here are my highlights from my week away…
Every time I go, the view takes my breath away. Green Man Festival is located in a valley lined by The Brecon Beacons, and its a real gem in the Welsh countryside. One of my favourite moments this year was waking up on the first day and opening my tent door to the mountains and forests overlooking me.
This year I was surprised to find even more vegetarian and vegan options at the festival. A few years ago I remember going for plain mac & cheese, or nachos, but this year there was a vegetarian option at almost every stall. My highlights were the Tea Stop double-decker selling breakfast delights all day long, and the Vegan Sushi place that made the best vegan hoisin “duck” maki rolls that were as large as burritos.
As I was lucky enough to be given my ticket for my birthday, it was the first year of attending Green Man without knowing the bulk majority of the acts in the lineup (I get kinda geeky normally and look everyone up…) This time round I was able to mix up the acts I do know with new discoveries.
On Friday we sat in the on-and-off-again sunshine to Fionn Regan and later, Johnny Flynn, but I was surprised by British Sea Power‘s awesome performance, blown away by Angel Olsen‘s coolness, and finally danced my heart out to Future Islands, especially when frontman Samuel T. Herring was stomping around beating his chest on stage (worth a watch).
On Saturday, we got up to see Pictish Trail who never fail to raise a smile (pictured in the first photo, which I’m titling On Saturdays we wear pink) and then followed them with Aldous Harding, This is the Kit, and Big Thief (all of whom you should check out). In the evening I melted away during Michael Kiwanuka‘s set, possibly my favourite of the whole festival, combining good vibrations with the sunset and abrupt appearance of thousands of bubbles from a child army that had even the band smiling. The night was then smashed to bits by the two drummers in Thee Oh Sees, who I dove right in with and head-banged as best I could.
Finally, Sunday came and was a hazy, bad camping-bed sleep and neck-ache blur. I saw Sunflower Bean in the afternoon who were far too cool, caught a little bit of Conor Oberst (who seemed to be trying to be cool) and then hung out by the Mountain Stage for The Shins and the awe-inducing PJ Harvey.
The final part of the festival was the Green Man ceremony. With a parade straight after PJ Harvey’s set, we were led to the top field where this year’s curvaceous Green Man (and Welsh Dragon) were set alight and burned alongside fireworks and cheery Welsh singing. Despite being cold, tired, and really quite haggard, it wouldn’t have missed it for the world.