This years Greenman was the perfect ending to my festival season. Greenman never ceases to be just as beautiful, relaxed and memorable as the years before.
This was my fourth adventure to Greenman, located in the gorgeous back drop of the Black Mountains. The Green Man Festival site is situated in the Brecon Beacons, crossed by the River Usk and enveloped by rolling countryside and breathtaking mountains and hills. It is, in a word, idyllic. Wide open spaces contrast with intimate moments. Natural beauty blends with community spirit. The festival has it's own natural amphitheatre with the rolling welsh mountains and pretty landscapes surrounding us. We arrive on a warm, sunny Friday morning and I was lucky enough to get a live in vehicle pass this year with great thanks to Elin. The atmosphere as we enter the festival was positive, happy vibes, with a mix of ages and faces all greeting us with smiles.
The epic Mountain Stage was the first offering of music, hosting bands like Beirut, Daughter, Augustines, Sun Kil Moon and Tunng. The Main Stage is located in the centre of the festival site where you can sprawl out on lush green slopes while watching world-class artists perform against the mystical backdrop of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Later we venture to the denture disco, this was one of my favourite tents of the festival this year. I remember stumbling upon it last year when it was just a giant set of teeth for a DJ booth in the field, with the teeth glowing and flickering to the sound of the bass. I was really glad to see it's had its own upgrade , now under shelter and with added psychedelic décor with an ear drum pleasing range of drum n bass, funky house, breaks, dub step and reggae.
But my definitive highlight this year has to be the incredible Reeps One. Otherwise know as Harry Yeff, he is a UK beat boxing champion. He played in Chai Wallah's on the Saturday night and the tent was rammed. He took to the stage and instantly had every single person in there bouncing. The sheer level of bass to his vocal was in-human at certain points throughout his set, we were like "is that really his voice doing that!?" He was incredible, and my mind was completely blown with his skills on the mic, I would recommend anyone, whatever your musical taste, to go see him perform. You won't be able to stand still- trust me on that one!
Another band that blew me away was the Broken Brass Ensemble who also played at the amazing Chai Wallah's. This lively, multi instrumental band combines the traditional New Orleans brass with hip-hop, balkan, funk, fanfare (and much more) into a blazing mixture of energy. They consist of eight young and talented musicians. Their set had lots of swinging brass with tight percussion. Mostly playing original works, but not fearing to rock the audience with a surprising cover every now and then- like Macklemore's "Thrift Shop."
Other than the stages I've mentioned, during the day Greenman offers so much more than music. Like the Little Folk area which this year was transformed into a Wonderland. Everyone is officially invited to join Alice, the Mad Hatter and his friends for a huge variety games, activities and workshops guaranteed to fire kids’ imaginations. Also the mind-meltingly brilliant Einstein’s Garden returned with an amazing line-up of science and nature fun. You can explore the far flung reaches of your imagination with over 100 jaw-dropping performances, from live comedy, music and theatre to walks, talks and interactive installations – all set across three sustainably powered stages. Einstein’s Garden is the perfect place to cultivate your curiosity and indulge your creative passions. You won’t find anything quite like it at any other UK festival.
Greenman this year was an amazing one that I will never forget. I'd like to thank Elin Rees for all her help and everyone involved in this years festival. Every single person we encountered on our journey was so friendly and warm, this festival is like no other. It is always the last festival I attend of the summer and always the most beautiful. I am already looking forward to next year!
See full story in the Chester Leader