From humble beginnings, The Green Man Festival has grown to become the largest festival in Wales. Although crowds will swell to 20,000 when this year’s four-day event kicks off on Thursday, the festival still manages to retain the independent spirit that it was founded upon, offering a more intimate alternative to the nation’s larger forms of outdoor entertainment. Come rain or shine, the stunning setting for all this loveliness makes it one of the best ways to stretch out the last days of summer. Great food, an incredible beer and cider festival and a real gem of a musical line-up are on offer, which this year includes a raft of quality female artists that are worth hunting down. These are five I really don’t want to miss.
The twenty-seven year old’s second album Stranger Things Have Happened dropped in May and the record demonstrates the incredible talent and versatility that many believed we would be hearing a lot more off after her debut was released in 2011. Five years after Light After Dark, Maguire’s battle with personal demons has been well documented and the new record oozes an authenticity that should be amplified by the dramatic surroundings of the Mountain Stage on Saturday afternoon.
The Californian’s debut record is raw at times, always honest and chock full of wry observations and personal disclosures. Production values of Emotions and Math are intentionally subtle, always placing Margaret Glaspy’s bluesy voice and her coarse guitar front and centre. This should make for a thrilling Sunday afternoon on the Mountain Stage.
Julia Holter is definitely appreciated in this country. A tour in the spring saw her successfully support the release of Have You in My Wilderness and she’ll be returning for another extended stay in November. What’s the appeal? Well, we can be an eccentric bunch over here in the UK and this record is full of gloriously idiosyncratic musical moments that just click in the most agreeable way. The Mountain Stage will be the perfect place to meet up with this warm-hearted Californian.
Sarah Howells’ is known to many as one half of Welsh duo Paper Aeroplanes but she arrives in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons as Bryde this year. She began the solo project in 2015 and the Rising tent should be an amazing way to experience Howell’s compellingly fragile compositions which hint at something much darker, lurking in the shadows.
The Weather Station
Tamara Lindeman is the one constant of this essential Canadian folk band and the Green Man is the perfect place to experience her irresistible, evocative compositions that explore the North American landscape and the fragility of relationships within it. Her support slot with Basia Bulat earlier in the year was an absolute joy, successfully combining the the sincerity of Joni Mitchell with a more unpredictable, darker edge. The chilled out Walled Garden stage will be the perfect location to experience Lindeman’s wonderful stories.
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Piece by Iain Fox | @IainFoxPhoto