Making a welcome return to Green Man this August are Villagers – with the Black Mountains as your backdrop, where better to take in Conor’s poetic and
wistful alternative folk?
Plus… Patrick Watson brings his energetic pop, rich orchestration, and spine-tingling lyrical musings to Green Man. Joining him are staggering, multi-layered Brooklyn three-piece The Antlers; the legendary Tom Robinson Band; festival favourites Teleman; trippy danceable falsetto melody makers All We Are and a massive bunch more.
We are also delighted to welcome Meic Stevens, the Welsh singer-songwriter often fondly referred to as the ‘Welsh Dylan’!
Our inimitable festival atmosphere has always left Green Man guests with hazy, happy memories, and this year will be no exception. Experienced vibe-setters Chai Wallahs are delivering the goods with a heady mix of live acts and DJs from around the globe – including afrofunk nine-piece Jungle By Night, Dizraeli & The Small Gods, Birth of Joy and psychedelic jazz quartet Syd Arthur.
Stay tuned for more acts coming very soon (including our yet to be revealed Thursday night headliner) and don’t forget to buy tickets to join us for what’s shaping up to be the party of the summer.
We're sure you agree Green Man just doesn't feel the same without SFA who join us as our Saturday night Mountain Stage headliners. We’ve been waiting for the Furries to reform for years and we can’t wait to welcome them to Wales’ own Green Man in what promises to be a truly amazing homecoming show.
We’re super excited to announce London-duo Public Service Broadcasting with their unique blend of electronica influenced music. Jamie XX brings the party to the Beacons, playing out tracks from what we hope might become his first solo record. And we welcome back Temples to Green Man where they made their first ever-festival appearance in 2012.
The valleys are alive… with the sound of music.
Thousands of like-minded music lovers made camp at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain this weekend to enjoy another inspiring Green Man Festival.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the greatest festival in the UK has to be Green Man. With beautiful music in equally beautiful surroundings, the atmosphere here is unlike any other.
Last year, my partner and I brought our 7-month-old to what would be our first festival as a family and our first Green Man. Initially worried about what to expect we soon became enchanted with its approach to live music, ethical values and it’s family friendly nature – we vowed to become regulars.
Unfortunately for us we would be begin our weekend on Friday which meant having to miss Thursday’s headliners, The Waterboys but from what I was told, the classic hits from their 80s album Fisherman’s Blues was the perfect end to the first night.
It must’ve been a good one because by the time we had rocked up, pitched the tent and headed into the festival for a pint we discovered the signature Growler Ale was already on the decline, not to worry though as the on-site beer and cider festival meant there was plenty on offer for ale and cider aficionados alike.
With the ground now nicely dried from the previous days down pour and with the sun blazing above the Black Mountains we settled ourselves in front of the Mountain Stage with a couple of cold ones.
The Augustines were just about to begin and the New York three-piece were the perfect way to kick start our weekend. Their crashing sound shook us out of the slump we were feeling after the journey down and when frontman Billy McCarthy announced it was his birthday the whole crowd erupted in an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday. That Green Man spirit and friendliness reminded me how happy I was to be there.
Photo courtesy of Green Man Festival
Our toddler had danced himself silly so we thought we’d take a walk to settle him to sleep before heading back to the Mountain Stage for Daughter and headliners, Beirut.
As a parent, other people’s judgment is a constant and irrational worry. In normal life, seeing a baby up after 9pm might invite all manner of tuts and side glances, the beauty of Green Man though is that the experience is as much for children as it is for adults. Wagons padded out and adorned with fairy lights are the transport of choice for tired little legs and are more abundant than drunk teenagers, thankfully. Hiring one of these won’t break the bank either and it ensures headliners don’t have to be missed. Everyone’s happy.
The effort to maintain the ground management to ensure it’s accessibility for wheelchair users, pram pushers and wagon pullers alike is also of noteworthy importance. The whole arena is relatively flat and is a pleasure to walk around, and as night falls, the trees light up and the place is framed with fairy lights, it truly is a magical place.
Back at the Mountain Stage, Daughter provided a stunning set playing tracks from their debut album If You Leave and EP, The Wild Youth. The ethereal voice of Elena Tonra was an early highlight. Perhaps one of the most anticipated acts of the weekend, they certainty didn’t disappoint. Hearing the hauntingly beautiful, Still come to life was earth moving and you couldn’t help but get drawn in by the raw emotion of it all.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Harris
Nicely mellowed out, we struggled to fight back the desire to head back to the tent, we knew we’d made the right decision however when Beirut burst on stage.
The rapturous trumpets blew out the need to sleep and the hit filled set soon had us all on our feet. Frontman Zach Condon seemed genuinely thrilled to be given the top spot and they were clearly the perfect choice to end Friday’s festivities.
Photo courtesy of Alex Elms
Unzipping our tent the following morning and watching the mist rise over the Black Mountains was something special indeed, and as the clouds parted across the valley all that was left were blue skies.
After breakfast we headed over to the Little Folk Enclosure to catch The Flying Seagulls. We saw this merry band of performers last year and were fascinated by their mix of energy and madness, perhaps more so than some of the kids!
Our toddler eventually pulled his parents away from the Seagulls and took us over to I See Magical Creatures, a whimsical band of characters who encourage creativity and participation through arts and crafts. We stayed and painted a rhinoceros and then as you are encouraged to do, we hid him near a tree for someone to find. This was an adorable activity that allowed our imaginations to run free and kept our boy enthralled for a good while.
After wandering though Einstein’s Garden and chatting to some very clever and creative minds there, we decided to head over to the Far Out tent to catch reformed Swansea band, The Pooh Sticks. Their inoffensive indie had us bopping along and we hung out after to catch up-and-coming purveyors of modernist pop, Woman’s Hour.
After bumping into friends and family with their children we pitched up near the helter skelter for a bite to eat and planned our next musical move.
We hung around the Far Out tent long enough to catch Fat White Family, eager to see what all the fuss was about with these young lads.
After reading about the madness from some of their earlier gigs I was keen to see what extrovert frontman Lias Saoudi would bring. Shirtless and repeatedly off stage and in amongst it, the punk-ish behavior somehow wasn’t enough to distract from how musically brilliant these guys are. Yes, they’re over the top but that’s what makes them so addictive – it was certainly up there with one of the best performances of the weekend.
We decided to forego I Break Horses in favor of a pit stop back at the tent before heading back down to the Mountain Stage for the evening.
We caught the tail end of The War On Drugs, and as we approached I couldn’t help but notice how packed the crowd was. Lead singer Adam Granduciel belted out songs from new album Lost in the Dream and had everyone warmed up for Mercury Rev.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Harris
Playing their classic album, Deserters Song’s in its entirety, headliners Mercury Rev were phenomenal. Considered one of the highest rated albums of the year when it was released in 1998, it truly was a joy to hear live.
Sunday started much the same as Saturday. We spent far too much time singing along with the Flying Seagulls but managed to pull ourselves away when we heard the band begin for No Fit State Circus who were on site showcasing some of their amazing skills and acrobatics.
Having seen the company perform Bianco last year I was hoping to see a little more from No Fit State, their blend of carnival vaudeville circus techniques were fun but unfortunately I wasn’t blown away. It was worth hanging around just to listen to their band though who were stomping out all manner of Parisian infused cabaret music which really got the audience going.
Sunday was mostly a day for lounging and exploring. We wearily wandered around the Nature Nurture area, discovering the joys of bush craft and wished we’d had the foresight to book into the spa before deciding to push on through and head to the Babbling Tongues tent.
We were hoping to catch Howard Marks who was due to give a talk on Dylan Thomas to tie in with the centenary celebrations but unfortunately this was cancelled. However, we were able to chat all things Dylan Thomas with aficionado and number one fan, Jeff Towns who was on-site with his mobile bookstore, Dylan’s Book’s.
After a good chinwag we decided to head back to the tent to feed the kid and layer up for the evening.
We made our way to the Mountain Stage later that evening and settled in to catch First Aid Kit.
“Hello, we’re two Swedish sisters,” were the first words from beautiful songstresses Johanna and Klara Söderberg and I overheard someone suggest the large crowd was probably made up of men, eager to catch a glimpse of the stunning pair rather than take in the music.
Whatever your reason for being there, their beauty was matched by equally gorgeous vocals. Playing tracks from their new album Stay Gold, and peppered with earlier tracks like Wolf, their set had something for old and new fans.
Bringing the festivities to a close were folk legends, Neutral Milk Hotel who returned to the stage bringing with them a newfound vitality and spirit. After disbanding in 1998, they returned to touring last year and the reception they’ve received every since has been huge.
After having far too much fun we couldn’t bare to stay up to watch the Green Man burn, the annual flaming full-stop that marks the end of the weekend would mean it really is all over for another year.
With such an eclectic programme of acts each year it is clear to see why thousands flock here. The breathtaking backdrop is the perfect location to what is fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated festivals of the summer. Only 360 odd days until the next one!
The Summer Festival Guide can announce the latest additions to this years Green Man Festival lineup which includes The War On Drugs, The Waterboys and Neko Case.
Philadelphia indie rockers The War On Drugs have made arguably the record of the year with their third album, Lost In The Dream. It’s a tense and epic road trip through classic Americana that echoes the likes of Dylan, Springsteen and Arcade Fire. We can’t wait to see them headline the Far Out stage on Saturday night.
A ticket for #GreenMan14 also now gets you…
Celt-rock legends Mike Scott and The Waterboys who headline the Thursday night; Grammy-nominated alt-folk from Neko Case and psychedelic experimentalism from Panda Bear (also from Green Man 2009 headliner’s Animal Collective).
The peerless and prolific Bill Callahan (Smog) returns to the Brecon Beacons after a seven-year absence. Hailed as “the natural heir to Leonard Cohen” (The Observer) following last year’s superb Dream River album, revel in 25 years of towering songcraft from classics such as 2005’s A River Ain’t Too Much Love.
Bill is joined by Canadian electronic auteur Caribou, creator of psychedelic dance masterpiece Swim (2010), and New Jersey indie trio Real Estate whose ace third albumAtlas is winning rave reviews and comparisons to early REM.
Mac Demarco, the 23-year-old ‘slacker rock’ wunderkind inspired by Shuggie Otis, Steely Dan and Weezer, the wonderful Hamilton Leithauser (lead singer of The Walkmen), and analogue production and DJ duo Simian Mobile Disco.
the greatest breakthrough acts of the year…
Spectral US singer Angel Olsen, Aussie indie-folk quintet Boy & Bear, BBC Sound of 2014 nominee Nick Mulvey, Anglo-French popsters Francois & The Atlas Mountain, the mighty Teleman and bright young thing East India Youth.
…plus the must-see ‘ones to watch’ this summer!
O'Hooley & Tidow | Adult Jazz | 9 Bach | Samantha Crain | Samaris | Laura Groves | Alice Boman | Hockeysmith | The Rails | Babe | more TBC soon
They join the rest of the previously announced lineup which includes Beirut,Neutral Milk Hotel, First Aid Kit, Kurt Vile, Daughter, Anna Calvi, Sharon Van Etten,Jeffry Lewis, Tuung, Toy and many more yet to be announced including our Saturday night Mountain Stage headliner.
As the Green Man Festival 2014 tickets go on sale, we have the details of the first lineup phase announced for this years event which includes the wonderful Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, First Aid Kit, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Daughter, Anna Calvi, Sharon Van Etten, Polica, Jeffrey Lewis, Tunng and Toy.
The multi-talented Zach Condon and Beirut headline the Mountain Stage on Friday August 14th. Their amazing 2010 set is the stuff of whispered legend among the Green Man faithful…
And what better way to close four days of five-star live music than with a Sunday headline set from Neutral Milk Hotel, one of the great US alt-rock bands of the 1990s, back together in their classic line-up led by the mercurial Jeff Magnum?
Harmonies as pure as a Scandinavian stream from Swedish sisters First Aid Kit, skuzzy stoner-rock from Kurt Vile & The Violators, nocturnal atmospherics from the soon-to-be-massive Daughter, and epic raw emotion from Anna Calvi.
…not to mention…
Brooklyn indie-folk favourite Sharon Van Etten, genius cult hero Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams, blissful folktronica from Tunng and moody krautrockers Toy.
…and ALL these unbelievable bands…
I Break Horses |Ry X | Lanterns on the Lake | Frank Fairfield | Fat White Family | William Tyler | Michael Chapman | Speedy Ortiz | Georgia Ruth | All We Are | Happyness | Plank! | Eaves | Sons of Noel & Adrian | Valleyers | John Mouse
A traditionally folky affair, Green Man festival is historically known for being one of the most ethically-minded music events that takes place over summer. Priding itself on being fiercely independent, it’s a refreshing alternative to the corporate hives of pop and crowds so many festivals have unfortunately become. Now, in it’s eleventh year running, thankfully, it still maintains it’s original vision.
Starting as a one day event back in 2003, just 300 people trickled into the stunning valley at the foot of the Black Mountains. Now, it’s grown into one of the biggest and best loved festivals of the summer. Hundreds of hippies, fanatical music-lovers, bearded gents and oodles of families poured into beautiful Brecon, ready for good music and good vibes.
Green Man has an atmosphere rarely found at many festivals. The people that come here arrive with an interest in listening to some great bands, discovering new music and sampling a few specialist ales. I’m confident you won’t find anyone peeing on your tent or starting fights here. Plus the number of young children around really helps curb any potentially hostile behaviour. It really is something special.
It’s also accessibly one of the best and well thought out spaces in which to host a festival I've ever had the pleasure of walking around. The effort taken to maintain sanitary conditions and ensure wheelchair access throughout the field is phenomenal and when the sun goes down at night the whole arena is framed by fairylights, making it look truly magical.
Taking place over four days, guests were spoilt for choice this year with ten entertainment areas boasting 14 stages with more than 1500 performers running from dawn until dusk.
Seriously every taste was catered for. Green Man organisers had put masses of effort in to ensure no-one was left out. Right down to the adorably named ‘Little Folk’ tent – a magical enclosure for under twelve’s.
After arriving Friday morning and hearing about Patti Smith’s electric performance the night before, I was eager to catch up, musically speaking, so pitched up at the Mountain Stage ready and waiting for Phosphorescent. Matthew Houck’s distinctive voice sounded truly overwhelming. His warm and woody vocals would’ve been heat enough had it not been gloriously sunny.
Midlake and headliners Kings of Convenience were equally as impressive, both providing a dose of bluesy-infused folk-pop. Tim Smith of Midlake enchanted the audience with his almost floaty voice making We Gathered in Spring sound elusive yet powerful.
Lo-fi, Indie-folk duo, Kings of Convenience was an interesting choice of headliner. The lads from Norway have such delicate and calming voices at times it felt like I was being transported into an almost trance-like state. However, the duo was both engaging and sweet and peppered their performance with greetings and suchlike to the audience.
Erland Oye, one half of the band, had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand when he told us we’d, “picked the best festival to come to,” and as the music and weekend continued, I knew he was right.
Almost like the antithesis to the glorious weather the day before, on Saturday the odd rain shower was dodged by ducking into the Babbling Tongues tent.
Here, Welsh native and ex- Velvet Underground member, John Cale took part in a Q & A with Jude Rogers. Honest, fascinating and a real treat to have stumbled upon. I’m almost glad it rained.
As the afternoon drew-on, the rain dried up, the sun put her hat on. Shortly after, a rainbow appeared and framed the Mountain Stage creating an almost ethereal atmosphere.
You could almost feel the anticipation in the air, Band of Horses was performing soon and I had a feeling it was going to be good.
Better than I could’ve predicted, the set was nothing short of impressive. Knocking out hit after hit, the worthy headliners drew in an impressive crowd, easily the biggest of the weekend.
Soaring voices and stomping Americana, the festival had reached an outstanding crescendo with an excellently delivered set. Their ability to ensnare an entire audience was striking and they had everyone on their feet dancing.
Finishing with Funeral, it was a very fitting end to what was easily the best performance of the day.
Bringing the pace back down and wrapping up a wonderful weekend of music, Ben Howard was given the accolade to close the festival.
His fandom has grown massively over the past year or so and it’s clear to see why.
He exhibits such raw emotion when he sings, it really is difficult not to find his performances utterly moving. Incredible to watch, he bought the festival to a close beautifully, encapsulating the ethos of Green Man. Chilled out, good times.
Performances across the weekend were as fresh as the air that was to be found in this lush Welsh valley, with an eclectic blend of indie, psych, garage and of course folk, enjoyed by an equally diverse crowd.
Uniquely wonderful, Green Man still remains devoted to being independent, diverse and family-orientated. It is definitely worth a visit. And I’m sure you’ll find yourself returning year after year, if not for the incredible music, then for the barrels of real ale.
Photos by Tom Proudfoot
The incredibleKings Of Convenience will be topping the Friday night bill at Green Man this August!
The Norwegian indie folk-popsters will headline the Mountain Stage on Friday night and we bloomin’ well can’t wait!
A live appearance from Kings of Convenience is a thing of rare beauty and wonder (their forthcoming London show has sold out months in advance!). Experiencing their spine-tingling harmonies in our picturesque Glanusk Park will be simply lush!
Keep your eyes trained on Green Man’s social media feeds as we’ll be unveiling our full stage-by-stage weekend line up soon! In the meantime, look who else announcing today…
Phosphorescent return from Alabama via Brooklyn with new and much acclaimed album Muchacho in tow and a fantastic live show that saw them tour Europe with The National.
Steve Mason released his superb second solo album to rave reviews last month; it’s the most ambitious and political record to date from the former Beta Band singer.
BEAK> are Geoff Barrow (Portishead), Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Junk) and Matt Williams (Team Brick); the “anti-Blue Note” Bristolians return with added synths.
Melody’s Echo Chamber recorded their 2012 debut album with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker; it’s a superbly cinematic trawl through Europe’s art pop lineage.
Julia Holter releases the follow up to her phenomenal critically acclaimed second album 'Ekstasis' on Domino later this year.
Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer whose acrobatic contralto and finger picked guitar (or South Americancharango) have won her legions of fans around the globe.
Public Service Broadcasting “inform, educate and entertain” by blending archive BFI audio and video samples with live drums and electronica to; 2013 is their year.
Peggy Sue have toured the US twice since releasing debut album Acrobats in late 2011, as well as supporting the likes of Jack White and Joan As Policewoman.
Plus Parquet Courts, Ryan Francesconi & Mirabai Peart, Girls Names, Revere, Landshapes, Joe Banfi,