Absolute joy and freedom. That’s the feeling you get from four days in the bracing Welsh hills of the Brecon Beacons at a festival designed to maximise your personal enjoyment. The landscape that holds this cult favourite festival (c. 25,000 capacity) - that sold out this year - is astounding. Rolling hills, lush trees, greenery as far as the eye can see. Green Man is a dreamland. And the acts were magic. 
Kicking off the craziness last Thursday we adored the PVA and Lice DJ set which established the tone for hedonism and indulgence. Madonna sat in the same world as Bloodhound Gang and we were whisked away by the dance noise. Spilling out of the Round the Twist tent, revellers bounced along to the beats and lost themselves in the flashing lights.
Next, on Friday, we enjoyed Martin Parr’s discussion of his iconic photography as well as Minor Conflict on the Rising stage, described by Clash magazine as tapping into the “post-punk phase that melded rock’s more abstract side with free jazz, throwing in some folk aspects for good measure”. We dug the presence of a harp on stage and the fact the drummer Marcus was celebrating his first ever festival at Green Man. The post-punk outfit were one of many smaller artists being discovered on that stage, and hyped up by the compare who seemed to share in the joy of just being at the festival that so many bands expressed. The Last Dinner Party wowed festival-goers at the same stage that was seriously over-crowded after their Times feature last weekend, and wore romantic outfits by rabbit. Abi, the lead singer, was as charismatic as ever and the band’s performance confirmed this is a group to experience live.
Green Man   the Last Dinner Party   Rising   Credit  Nici Eberl.jpg
The Last Dinner Party - Photo: Nici Eberl
Another crazy act to see in person was Warmduscher, during whose set there were three crowd surfers at one time. Their driving base rocked our spirits. Dressed all in stylish black boiler suits the grown-up band - who have been around since 2014 - oozed cool. They also invited the super-fashionable and incredibly talented Nuha Ruby Ra on stage with them, who also impressed us with her characteristic screams and perceptive lyrics later on in the weekend. She played Green Man Mountain stage in 2021.
One of our favourite acts was Clipping. whose show gave us a feast for the senses. Part terrifying (the lyrics are inspired by horror movies) and part dazzling, everyone was dancing to the Hamilton-actor’s raging lyricism and hip-hop beats. Surprising and enchanting the raps covered on the street paranoia to horrifying torture, but all the tracks got heads bobbing and arms waving. 
Green Man   Clipping   Walled Garden   Credit  Kirsty Mc Lachlan.jpg
Clipping - Photo: Kirsty McLachlan
Apart from the gritty hip-hop there was also good representation for world music at the festival. Dur-Dur band International from Somalia made an appearance on the main stage and so did Etran de L’Air from Niger, who played on the Friday and Saturday retrospectively. These day-time slots taken by talented international musicians soothed thumping heads and lifted spirits.
In terms of comedy, we were dipping in and out of the tent for some easy respite all festival long. We found particular pleasure in the surreal escapist world of The Lovely Boys and the very funny Jain Edwards whose jokes about invented husbands and the Welsh predicament of having a wet leek drop out of you instead of a period were simply hilarious. 
Another one of the festival highlights was Manchester-based French-English band Mandy, Indiana whose noise rock echoes the raves of Paris. The vocalist and lyricist Valentine lurched into the crowd, drawing us further into her oneiric world. Swathed in red light, the performance transported us.
It’s impossible to cover all the artists that rocked our world at Green Man, since the list is simply too long. This fact says a lot about the festival: it’s expansive, inclusive, varied and just a down right good time. We just can’t wait until next year. 
Green Man   Warmduscher   Far out   Credit  Nici Eberl(3).jpg
Warmduscher - Photo: Nici Eberl
Green Man   Jockstrap   Far out   Credit  Nici Eberl .jpg
Jockstrap - Photo: Nici Eberl
Green Man   Burn   Credit  Parri Thomas.jpg
Photo: Parri Thomas