In a computer era, where ones hand reaches to the keypad before pen and paper, Green Man Festival encompasses all we need to reintroduce ourselves to simpler times. The Green Man symbol is a good signifier for the atmosphere of the festival. Embodying the spirit of the forest, the Green Man symbol is pictured lost in vegetation and represents seduction, mischief and mysticism. I’m hoping to ‘feed on tameless pleasures’ as their website states.
This festival is for like-minded people. Green Man’s festival organiser, Fiona Stewart, told FM in a recent interview that she aims to create a ‘happy, carefree space’, where a ‘sixty year old and a twenty year old’ can be found ‘talking about an artist that’s on the stage’. This festival is about ‘finding that which is fresh and exciting’ and then making it ‘engage with people’. Green Man intends to cater to everybody’s needs. It’s an all round experience, including: comedy, poetry, art and science. With a capacity of 20,000 and a million things to do I can imagine freaking out and getting into a frenzy. Actually, this festival is renowned for it’s laid back atmosphere, so I’d recommend going with the flow and see where your feet take you. After all, they do have a 24hour festival license!
My plan is to start off the festival in the Einstein’s Garden area where I want to learn about realistic ways of making green lifestyle choices. There looks like some fun and interactive ways to absorb all of the info they have to offer. This also looks like a great place to hear some of the lesser-known bands across three sustainably powered stages. I also have my eyes on the ‘Noisy Toys’ workshop in the Somewhere area. I am going to thoroughly enjoy playing with the interactive sound installations and new fangled instruments. After playing in Einstein’s Garden and Somewhere I am pretty sure I’ll need to wet my whistle at the Speak Easy bar in the Babbling Tongues area. It would make sense to write a joke about Speaking Easy, Babbling Tongues, alcohol…but I’m already cringing at what’s going through my head. In the Babbling Tongues area I intend on getting an injection of culture with the poetry and then some light relief with some of the stand up comedy. For the majority of the festival I will be exploring (stumbling to and fro) the many stages to witness the amazing line-ups. I’m also really excited about the massive Green Man effigy statue that gets burnt at the end of the festival. You can even attach your own message to if before it goes up in flames. Has anyone seen the original film of The Wicker Man? That’s what I’m imagining! At the end of the festival I am planning to head to Nature Nurture area where I can get me some natural healing – so I can head home without a hangover and hopefully feeling cleansed from the stresses of modern day to day life.
Watch The Energy Factory, Einstein’s Garden 2012
Musically, this festival is pretty eclectic; if I were to try and describe it in one word I’d say Bohemian. I can spot folk (in it’s many forms), jazz, electro, punk, rock, hip-hop and world music. It’s like a radio 6 best bits selection. Most bands these days cross genres and are pretty hard to encapsulate…here’s how I’d describe the bands that I’m going to be blistering my feet to. Ellen and The Escapades with her husky, slightly dirty-yet-light sounding voice. Public Service Broadcasting who utilise film archives to create vocals interwoven with their instruments…succumbing to the need for vintage in modern society and updating it. Finger plucking good Ben Howard. This Is The Kit who are mesmerising and send me into a banjo induced hypnotic state. Peggy Sue who edgily brings angst to folk. Punk legend Patti Smith. Ethereal indies Local Natives. Theatrical and cheeky Gypsy Hill, who combine traditional gypsy music with ska. Johnny Flynn with his beautiful jaw line. Melodic and slow burning electro-indie-folksters Kings of Convenience. And the ever-progressing raw industrial sounds of the punk rockers Swans. If any of those don’t tickle your fancy, then there are loooaaads more acts. Green man is sponsor free with the acts being hand picked (without the underlying purpose of promoting a sponsors product) by the organizers. With the Black Mountains as the backdrop for the main stage and many other exciting stages I am hoping to float around and discover some new acts.
As for Children…they’re in for just as much of a party as the adults. There are many things for them to get involved in and let loose. I may even sneak into the ‘adult free zone’ (with my baby face) and get involved in the beatbox, music and film making workshops!
Food and drink is abundant within the festival, with many veggie and carnivorous options that you know will taste amazing, as they all boast fresh, local and organic produce. I am pretty fired up thinking about ‘The Hurly Burly’ food company who deliver food with a side order of theatre. Yes, I’d love an impromptu dance to some gypsy jazz with my honey-glazed carrots, thank you. Not to mention the stage and kitchen is powered by solar panels that cover the festival bus. There are also 8 Bars that are flowing with local beer and cider as well as ‘Green Man Growler’ Ale which I can’t resist trying. Will it taste like vegetation? Will it taste like a festival? Will it taste like an angry man snarling?
If the Green Man festival website (eyegasms!) is anything to go by then I can’t wait to see what visual treats are in store at the festival. Definitely worth the pilgrimage to Wales!
For more information and tickets click here.