The Green Man festival is a relatively small festival in the Brecon Beacons. It's basically Latitude with less bullshit about being a quirky boutique festival (when it's run by the same people that run Reading and Leeds), less weekend warriors (although there are still some), and a much better lineup. I went down to this immensely picturesque part of Wales to catch some music, a few talks, some comedy, and see a huge green man be burned to the ground. WOO!
The festival opened with a secret show (how very internet) by the Stonehenge druids, who did a bit of chanting, a few prayers, and some incantations, while trying to get everyone to hold hands. The whole thing was crying out for some dancing midgets.
These guys were hanging around all festival, freaking me out like only a band of twisted morris dancers can. Apparently it's still OK to black up at vaguely pagan music festivals.
Even the hippies danced to Gang Gang Dance.
Animal Collective headlined and did their long, drawn-out climax thing. It was pretty good, although half the crowd had left by the end. Just because geeks shout louder than anyone else on the internet, it doesn't mean that what they like is going to be popular with everyone else.
This is Ryan from Strange Boys playing at the Far Our tent. When they started they had about 20 people watching and they looked pretty miserable, but by the end there was a crowd of about 200 and they were slightly happier. They were awesome.
This is Jarvis. He gave it his all. I got quite animated when I heard the Glass Candy sample at the start of the last song (his new single), as I hadn't heard it before. He had the second best stage banter of the festival. It was snooker player Steve Davis's birthday and Jarvis asked us to celebrate, especially since Steve's favorite band is Magma.
Afterwards our friend Jack got super drunk.
So much so, he and some other speccy indie boys got roped into yoga by hot young hippies. They actually got really into it. All this may be a result of the fact that Green Man has the UK's only 24-hour festival license.
Warren Ellis is a dude. He shouted "Hello Scotland!" many, many times and claimed that, "Sting's round the back, tied and gagged. Ten dollars a punch." His band, the Dirty Three, were great and blew Wilco (who were on after and looked super bored) off the stage. But maybe that's not so hard – it's bloody Wilco! I didn't take that photo BTW, this guy did.
We went to watch the green man burn at the end of the festival, expecting an old-fashioned bonfire type thing. We got fireworks and a flaming heart. It was both tasteful and incendiary.
I should mention that Green Man is an independent festival – no sponsors at all. This meant no shitty overpriced drinks, the food tents were actually nice, and there were less filler bands that agents put on the bill as part of the deal to get their huge act headlining.
Yep, Green Man is the best British festival I've been to all summer.