Mountain of the Month August 2019: The Mountain Stage, Green Man Festival, Crickhowell, Wales

A slight deviation this month as August was high on adventure and fun but quite low on actual mountains. After a quick weekend break at the Edinburgh Festival (see my top tips here) the big event of August was a visit to Green Man Festival in Crickhowell in South Wales. With mountain of the month taking the form of the ‘Mountain Stage’ which played host to some fantastically eclectic acts.

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The mountain stage in full glory

This was my first visit to Green Man festival having really enjoyed End of the Road Festival last year I was looking forward to getting back in the field and onto the real ales. The weather was probably the biggest contrast between the two. Glorious sunshine was the order of the day in 2018 but Green Man 2019 was decidedly moist. While Goretex is a practical option, and on the Friday, was really the only option, it did somewhat limit my shape throwing and made the Friday slightly hard work. However, as Saturday dawned dry and sunny things were looking up. A headline set from Car Seat Headrest on the Saturday evening was definitely the highlight of the day.

In classic festival modus operandi there was a major clustering of all the acts I most wanted to see on the Sunday evening culminating in Idles headlining the second stage. Immediately we regretted not taking the Monday off work but nonetheless dug deep and managed to rock out and then drive home.

Green Man festival sits on the river banks above the river Usk and is gorgeously green and lush. With good flat camping sites high above the river banks and a natural amphitheatre around the main Mountain Stage the site is brilliant for chilling out and catching bands on the main stage. If you fancy things a bit more intimate and sweaty the big top stage has a more indie/rock line up and tiny gigs happen all over the site on the smaller stages. Very much appreciated on the rainy Friday was the cinema tent – great for a lie down and shelter from the rain with a brilliant range of films for adults, kids and culture lovers of all ages.

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Absolute stand out set from IDLES including a cameo from non other than Bristol’s own Big Jeff

My only slight gripe about Green Man was that live-in vehicle tickets were like gold-dust. With the damp weather returning to a dry, cosy, campervan would have been incredibly welcome and would have made things just a little more comfortable. I would also add don’t be fooled by the Quiet camping area – it was anything but as it was closest to some of the main after-dark stages! These slight gripes make me sound a bit ‘festival past it’ but with a few tweaks, mainly on the camping location, I can’t wait for festival times next year.

A few musical highlights I’d recommend checking out (in no particular order); The Big Moon, Stella Donnelly, IDLES, Art School Girlfriend, Sharon Van Etten, Julia Jacklin and Marika Hackman. Eels need no introduction but their set was an absolute blinder on Sunday afternoon – kudos!

 

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