Behold the closing installment of the Green Man Festival 2012, courtesy of Festival Editor: Kathleen.
After watching a little bit of Will and the People in Chai Wallahs, on Sunday afternoon we pack into Far Out with the rest of the youth of Green Man to see Alt-J. Since we saw them at Latitude, they’ve gathered even more critical acclaim as Mercury Prize favourites, and their enormous turnout is down to this and perhaps the dubstep rhythms that set their brand of folk off against the rest of Green Man’s line up. The huge tent is a sea of plaid shirts and Hunter wellies squelching around in the deep mud, and when the band make an appearance it feels like I’m standing at a gig that’s all their own, not at a festival. The crowd is singing along to every word of every song and a few die-hards are holding their hands up in the ∆ shape. Their set is comprised of their perfectly written and unexpectedly mature debut album, with the announcement of Matilda getting a fond cheer – but I’ve been waiting for Dissolve Me. Its opening chords wash over the humid crowd and the weekend feels complete. Sadly, with the real world beckoning all to closely, our festival is indeed drawing to a close.
In any summary of Green Man, the word ‘mud’ would reign supreme. Much as I’d like to say that the weather didn’t put a dampener on the weekend, that much rain at such a small festival can affect proceedings. There was only one stage under cover, and this quickly turned into a swamp of mud as well as everywhere else. There’s nothing more that the organisers could have done about the weather, but perhaps some more wood chippings to absorb the worst of it would have improved the situation. Thankfully the Green Man festival-goer is a sensible one, and almost everyone had wellies, if not a waterproof jacket and trousers. Some people did away with everything and went barefoot. It’s also a festival, like Latitude, that attracts camping chair lovers. We didn’t think we’d need ours because we didn’t spend much time in the campsite, but everyone takes them to the arena and it’s a real if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them thing. For the afternoon sets, we could hardly move for camping chairs, but when the ground is so muddy you wish you had one too.
Green Man’s virtues stem from its fantastically small size which makes the stellar line up all the more inviting. It’s also welcoming, family-friendly, and there are plenty of independent retailers offering interesting grub, crafts, music and beer, none of which was overpriced. Of course, there’s its location too: every now and then when the cloud cleared the festival took on a really beautiful backdrop. It was with heavy heart and that we pulled out of the car park arguing over what music to listen to.
Thankyou Green Man, see you next year.