2014.....it were alright, wernt it?

Hello....

SO....its over. And, now im home (after taking nearly THREE hours to get out of the car park!!! REALLY poor management & stewarding, GM! The only downer on an otherwise spiffing weekend). I miss it so. The hills. The sounds.

Highlights were Nick HElm & The Helmettes, who took all that disappointment with NMH playing to a 1/4 full field and ripped it a new bumhole. You wanted passion? Effort? Jokes? A fat man in pants? Reluctant crowd participation? This had some of these things. Fucking brilliant.

ALSO....Mercury Rev were beautiful. Phantom Band, despite being a member down, were great. Teleman were great too.

So.....well done all.. :) 

I did, althought I'd normally walk past my own mother without recognising her. I think Charlotte goes most years which suggests she has better musical taste than most of us would imagine. I think Green Man is the one place where people won't be bothered (in both senses of the word)

 

Fantastic weekend, weather, beer but especially music. Mercurey Rev were magnificent, one of thefinest things I've seen in a field. Other highlights were Ought, Pictish Trail, John Mouse, Them Squirrels, Stanley Brinks and the truly wonderful Sun Kil Moon, I think I got a speck of dust in my eye during the last song...Many more but I'm too knackered to think now

Musically it was great - Sharon Van Etten, Mercury Rev, Anna Calvi and William Tyler were among the highlights for me.

The site felt over full this year though, and queues for the toilets and bar were just terrible most of the time. I'm not sure whether more people were out because the weather was good, or if more people were here. OK, I know it's not going to go back to be being be like it was a few years back (very chilled, plenty of room), but it would be great if some work could be done in infrastructure (toilets and bars really) so it doesn't become a weekend of queuing.

Don't mean to sound negative - hopefully constructive feedback.

I had a fantsatic time. It was great to meet people on thursday evening, and to keep on meeting some of you over the rest of the weekend. I was pleased to see Kras looking well and Peridot and daughter enjoying the music and vibes. Thanks to all concerned especially the Far Out Crew, the Medic team and the nice lady who did security at Far Out. You are all gems. 

Well, yeah it was brill though I also have some reservations about the numbers but maybe that was something to do with the weather (though weather was great last year too and it felt much less crowded then). I'm sure I'll post more fulsomely later but my musical highlight was the legend that is Jeff Lewis doing Will Oldham Williamsburg Horror (never seen him do it live before) - I and any around me were in stitches much to the bemusement of adjacent children. And WWPRD is a song for our times. Bless him.

Oh and the GM trust cafe (formerly Cwmdu Community) remains the most vital food outlet anywhere on site, could not imagine Green Man without them, such lovely, lovely people.

Talking of which (people) almost without exception, aren't GM people bloody nice? I just love the chats with random strangers in queues and in the camping field.

Bring on 2015 but plese don't increase the capacity any further.

When can wee see the film cyfarthfa?

As soon as all the clearances are sorted and the sound has been remixed- it was edited at the back of the Cinema Tent so some of the sound is a bit iffy at the mo' because of using headphones.

I have a day of sorting out equipment tomorrow but will do it soon as. I am so tired now that I need to sleep before I fall over. The wait to get out of the car park was a drag, the last straw- there was an accident on the road outside the site. I gave up, went back on site and had a cup of coffee until the cars cleared a bit

 

Ah! I wish you hadn't said he did Will Oldham Williamsburg Horror! It was the one song by him I wanted to see, but I assumed he wouldn't. I was at Panda Bear being a little bit bored instead.

Oh well, I'll know for next time there's a Panda Bear-Jeffrey Lewis clash.

Shouldn't gloat but getting away from the family camping car park was the easiest it's ever been for us - helped by our wonderful pitch location high up near the road - brought the car down to the fence to make it even easier. Take a well-earned rest mate!

Definitely seemed busier this year, especially when queuing at courtyard bar, which I seemed to be doing a lot! Great weekend though, as good as any overall. Sorry I missed most of Pictish Trail by arriving a little too late, and sorry I missed Caribou, but just couldn't drag myself back up to the Far Out after Beirut. Many highlights, a few of which off the top of my head were Sun Kil Moon, Anhel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Bill Callahan, Mercury Rev, War on Drugs and Neutral Milk Hotel. Might be something to do with the fine weather, but spent more time around main stage than usual. I really enjoyed Mac DeMarco and Real Estate in Far Out, and Fat White Family and Ought for a bit of variety. Didn't see as much as I'd have liked to see, but enjoyed William Tyler in Walled Garden too

Great time had by myself and the kiddies

Starting with the bad bits:

1. standing in the rain for an hour on thursday getting wet and getting wet gear because I had to get my wrist band first.  Didn't have this problem last year... a shame

2. queues for loos - definitely busier this year than last

3. Bill Callahan - not sure why, but I made the mistake of not going to the front, then spent nearly an hour skirting around the back of the assembled masses at the front trying to find somewhere that people were not talking - I failed and this was my biggest disappointment, I'm sure Bill was great!

4. Sunday clashacism - missed Samantha Crain, Stanley Brinks, SMD, Real Estate and most of William Tyler

However, had some very special moments that the kids seemed to be very happy to share with me:

1. Mac Demarco - sorry, but he was my number one highlight, hung over the railings at the front with my 12 year old daughter and had an absolute blast

2. Other Friday highlights: O'Hooley & Tiddow, Jonathan Wilson, Mariam the Believer, Teleman

3. Saturday at the circus, then the amazingly enchanting Mutual Benefit "the wind was Gods way of telling us to shhh", Angel Olsen was a little disappointing, Sharron Van Etten was good but The War on Drugs rocked our world, although my 8 year old fell asleep hanging over the front rail 2 songs in, good time also with East India Youth

4. Sunday started drawing birds with Matt Sewell, loved Samaris, struggled with Anna Calvi, First Aid Kit were jolly jolly good and the kids loved every minute

5. The weather - same again next year (apart from the thursday downpour soaking all our stuff).

I'm still pinching myself to make sure that I didn't just dream the last four days. I can't really find the words to describe the magic so I'll just say a huge thanks to everyone who made it all possible.

With the line-up so much to my liking as it was, I gorged on the music and pretty much ignored the other attractions. Still, many of the highlights came from totally unexpected places.

A quick top 5 -

1. The Waterboys set on Thursday. Me of little faith didn't believe they could recreate the old magic but still burning? - you bet!

2. Stanley Brinks last night - just brilliant - with a real 'up for it' croud that created the perfect interchange between performer and audience.

3. Talisman in Chai Wallas - Started watching Bill Callahan and, as wonderful as he is, he just wasn't suiting my mood and I thought as my daughter has never seen any old skool reggae we might pop up to CW's. I'm so glad we did as it was probably the most fun I've had at GM (and I got away with some dreadful dad dancing).

4. Fat White Family. Daughter insisted we were going to be in the front row so we got there early and claimed our spot against the barrier. It's probably 30 years since I last felt that frission of excitement as the roadies clear off and the dry ice pumps out - it's only rock 'n' roll but I fucking love it.

5. Other Lives - real quality, real effort, real devotion - I could listen to that all day long, and dream about the days when I too had hair like that :)

Regrets, I have a few (well only two) -

I foolishly sat in my comfortable spot to watch The War On Drugs when I should have gotten off my arse and seen Jeffery Lewis. 

Even when blackpumpkinhead told me that the correct choice between Sharon Van Etten and I Break Horses was the latter, I made the wrong one. My excuse is that I just needed a 'come down' after Fat White Family.

 

 

It did seem a lot busier this year, though I didn't find queuing a big issue as I don't drink and it's usually possible to work out which loos will have the quickest queue depending on the time of day! We were very fortunate to leave (via the west car park pick up zone) with no delays at all, despite leaving mid morning.

I enjoyed almost everything I saw with the exception of finding Teleman a bit dull (two good songs though). Highlights for me were Sharon van Etten, Mac DeMarco, War on Drugs, and the usual collection of completely random but magical moments, like lighting candles with a very charming man at the video installation halfway between Far Out and Babbling Tongues.

My 13 year loved Mac DeMarco and Nick Mulvey (does anyone else find it very improbable that a folky world music influenced artist has such a huge following among teenage girls? I felt positively ancient standing with my daughter at the front.) She also really liked Fat White Family, Jeffrey Lewis (both of which she went to without me - such a great festival for letting young teens go and do their own thing), Samantha Crain and Martha Tilston, an impressively eclectic list of teenage festival favourites ;)

My 11 year old thought the music was too loud ;) but was happy hanging out in Einstein's Garden and working on his diabolo skills at the unofficial "diabolo corner" outside chai wallahs. After three days of that he's almost good enough to run away with the circus.

mistrigi, I too puzzle about the penchant for boys with acoustic guitars especially coupled with the equal if less desirable attraction of the 'bad boys' like fat white family.

I think your daughter would get on very well with mine and cyfarthfa's, as she seems to have very similar tastes. If you're coming next year they might like to meet up.

 

It could hardly have been better for me. It was undoubtedly my best ever festival so far.

It seems like everyone had a few more negative experiences than I did. I actually thought the organisation was great.
- The openness of the stages meant we pretty much never got stuck in a crowd after a show finished.
- I didn't mind the queues that much. Toilet queues were never more than 5 minutes for us. And they were always really clean! The wait for showers was long, even when the queue was short, but worth it.
- It didn't feel all that crowded overall to me, but I've never been before. We were always able to wander around without getting stuck, so compared to Glastonbury which has a lot of congestion problems, it was a breeze.

Friday Highlights
- Discovering Michael A Grammar. Wish I'd checked them out before we came!
- Being at the front for Adult Jazz, who reminded me why their album is a frontrunner for best of the year.
- Dancing at the back of Caribou with new friends who we continued to hang out with all weekend.
- Staying at the campfire until 7.30am due to strangely feeling perfectly awake and content the whole time, and watching my mate who has indulged a bit much walking in a circle around the fire by himself for two hours, talking gibberish to himself.

Saturday Highlights
- Mutual Benefit being even better than I expected - and I expected a lot!
- Going to Ought alone (my friends were having a well-earned nap) who were excellent.
- Slint. Not only my highlight of the weekend by far, but I think the best live show I've ever seen. They were so true to the sound of the record, with the vocals low in the mix, and the utterly piercing guitar tones. I was blown away.

Sunday Highlights
- Solving my long fretted-over Bill Callahan-SMD clash problem by skipping both last minute to watch comedy. Mark Olver and Joe Lycett were hilarious. One of the blokes in Pappys going off script and crashing a sketch into the ground (at one point he was just crouched on the floor muttering "tin tin tin" for a minute) to the awkward bemusement and frustation of the other two guys for was extremely funny in a mildly scary way.
- Real Estate. Beautiful.
- NMH, who I'd never been a huge fan of, had a few real belters. I really got into it.
- The DJs at Denture Disco were awesome on Sunday, and SMD DJ set was really great too. Kept me dancing for hours.

Long list, but it really was that incredible. A friend has said he can probably get me a free ticket through his friend next year, but I might just go ahead and buy an early-bird ticket so I definitely won't miss out.

Can only compare to last year, but it seemed busier. Long wait to get into the car park, get wrist bands and for toilets and food - plus virtual tent mosh pit in Quiet Camping. However with good planning, a bit of flexibility and some nimbleness over guy ropes me and the kids managed to have a magical dreamlike weekend of music, food and people watching.

Our highlights:

After waking into Crickhowell - a mad dash back to catch Michael A Grammar, then seeing Big Jeff at the front.

Teleman were brilliant and delivered our favourite set of the weekend. We loved the extended versions of some of their songs.

Far Out in general as we liked being enclosed and it consistently delivered music we liked.

War on Drugs were the stars on Saturday, Mercury Rev were good, but I think on reflection playing an album in its entirety (however good) is a double-edged sword.

We enjoyed Anna Calvi from a distance and Samantha Crain sitting almost on the stage on Sunday, two very different but equally enchanting shows.

Our first trip to Comedy Tent and kids learning a few new words from Josh Widdicome.

Neutral Milk Hotel - although surprised how few were the to see it, in fact regularly puzzled at the crowd sizes at different sets. Daughter were our main let down - but it was rammed, yet you would barely have had enough for a game of rugby with the crowd at Samantha Crain. 

The food choice and quality, although a bit pricey at times. Pieminister mmmm.

Green Man burning was also a slightly worrying big hit with the kids.

 

I think NMH had a small crowd after the mass exit following the perceived headlining First Aid Kit.  We popped back to the tent and got caught in the crowds going back to the West car park.

Possibly,but more likely NMH are a band it is easy to dislike,it takes a few plays to get under your skin and even then you might hate his voice---third time i have seen them this year and i loved them.Also some people were going home,some were getting positions for the fireworks and Kurt Vile was a big draw.

Highs:

1. The War On Drugs. When they started with Under The Pressure I knew it was going to be a great hour.

2. Jonathan Denahhue and Mercury Rev's whole approach to Greenman: from his introduction and thank yous in Welsh, to the speech about Greenman "you could have demanded a younger and better looking band, but you embraced us because this is a festival that cares about its music", those great interpretations of the Deserter's Songs tracks, the Sparklehorse cover, ... and the "secret" 10.45 set (The Funny Bird & Tonite It Shows) ... so glad we were in the vicinity!

3. First Aid Kit. Magical set. Lots of love for Greenman after their Walled Garden set in 2010. Great cover versions. Treated by the GM audience like the stars they are.

4. No Fit State circus: what a great addition to the festival. Our kids both loved the performance and the workshops.

5. The weather! No mud (again!)!!

Lows:

1. The Thursday lunchtime wristband queue at the family end of the site.

2. The site and campsites did feel busier this year - but I guess that's part of the festival getting more popular. It felt more crowded than the muddy festivals of 2010 and 2012 so I can only assume more tickets were sold.

3. Slightly more intolerance of our kids this year (7-yr-old & 3-yr-old), particularly from some of the teenagers on the site.

4. Great to see the extra use of Welsh on the site, particularly with the bilingual signs on the Mountain Stage & the phrasebook in the programme. But it did feel tokenistic in places: eg. Welsh translations on the main stage but not around the Far Out stage & a IN sign that was translated into Welsh but an EXIT sign that wasn't - presumably GM didn't want the Welsh speakers to leave! I know Greenman's under no obligation to make the main signage bilingual but I think you'll win a lot of friends if you do it properly and consistently.

5. I missed Caribou. Sounds like it was brilliant.

Some of the 'handy' phrases in the programme made for entertaining reading over breakfast - "Actually, I prefer 'On Avery Island'" was a favourite.

Had only been once before, 4 years ago when it was very wet but still great.  This time I had blagged the use of an awning in the live-in vehicle field so even Thursday's rain was of no consequence.

 

Most of the people I really enjoyed have been mentioned already but I opted for Lanterns On The Lake over NMH/Kurt Vile last night and was not disappointed.

 

Non-musical highlights for me included:

 

The food from Manna

The lads from Cambridge Uni doing amazing things with soap bubbles inEinstein's Garden

Bumping into First Aid Kit watching Anna Calvi and turning into a babbling teenager while I took their photo

but top of the list - my team coming 2nd in the Pete Paphides/Bob Stanley music quiz and winning some nice books and a packet of Jaffa Cakes.

What a weekend! I must have seen 40 bands to some degree or other and enjoyed the vas majority. 

The best I've seen were. 

Waterboys. Not a fan but they put on a classy show. 

Jonathan wilson. The performance of the weekend for me. 

Angel Olsen. Mellifluous voice but she seemed ready to tear somebody's head off at points. Is she always that angry? 

Ought. One of the best things I've ever seen. Lived up to the hype. 

Slint. as intense an experience as I've ever had at a gig. 

Other lives. The singer has such poise and they have great talent. 

Mariam the believer. She looked and sounded great. 

Adult jazz. 

Sons of Noel and adrian. 

kurt vile. 

I was a bit disapponted with sun kil moon to be honest. He didn't seem into it and didn't seem to want to be with a band..and was he pissed?! 

Woke up this morning and realised I wasn't at Green Man anymore. Bummer.

Musical highlights:

Pictish Trail on Thursday - great start to proceedings.

James Yorkston predictably wonderful on Friday - just after my two kids had chased him up the hill above the pond to ask if he was James Yorkston. They told him their dad really liked him and had all his records, he said 'tell your dad I really like him'.

Frank Fairfield  - more of this kind of stuff please Green Man!

Jeffrey Lewis - probably the highlihgt of my weekend. The guy is such a treasure, I love him and everything he stands for. Great collection of tunes including a cover of the Fall's Cruiser's Creek and the aforementioned Will Oldham song and finishing with the mighty WWPRD. Just great.

The Rails - not wholly sold on their album but brilliant live

Samantha Crain - vying with Jeff Lewis for highlight of the weekend. Great, great songs and charming personality. Loved her explanation of the Boston song (that's a song about Boston by the way which is actuaally about New York)

First Aid Kit - beautiful end to my Green Man

Non-musical highlights - hanging around Einstein's Garden with the kids, wearing disorientating goggles, checking out skeletons, playing with bubbles. Our pitch - the best ever, not saying exactly where as don't want it to get too crowded next year but the sound from the main stage was amazing - thoroughly enjoyed Beirut and Mercury Rev from under the gazebo (NMH sounded shite though). the Cwmdu cafe (now the GM trust) - as always, lovely, lovely people and great food!. The peopple everywhere  - camping neighbors, people you sit next to, chat to in queues, mis-recognise as being Elizabeth's husband (twice) - everyone's so bloody lovely!

Lowlights - too many people, for me this has to be the absolute minimum. Say this every year but the bloody litter - this is GREEN Man folks, use the fecking bins! The arsey couple (he dressed in Tommy Hilfiger (?) top she in permatan) who made disparafing remarks about Samantha Crain before leaving all their crap behind. The licqorice stall opening late on Sunday sending my son into meltdown. Missing through clashes or because the kids were doing something else - Jonathan Wilson, Phantom Band, Stanley Brinks and the WPs, H. Hawkline - someone tell me they were all crap please! Also the Gentle Good set ruined by constant chatting though we were too far back to be fair. 

Ah well, at least the new James Yorkston's arrived!

Ooh, nearly forgot - musical lowlights and slight disappointments

Too much landfill daytime 6 Music stuff - Augustines, Hamilton whatshisname, War on Drugs and so on. Caught some of this stuff as I wandered about. Anna Calvi from the comfort of Einstein's Garden sounded bloody horrendous. More quirk, psych, twee and folk please (whoa the needle's stuck again!). Tunng (who I really like) were a little disappointing, their set really sagged in the midldle, a band that's lost their way perhaps? Angel Olsen's set was pretty good but why the petulant tetchiness? Grow up lady. My Sad Captains - takes a lot to drive me from my beloved Walled Garden but I thought this kind of stuff had died put years ago, insipid 80s indie, gawd help us.

Musically one of the best GM's for me.

Lovely to see everybody at the meet; freinds old and new - Slugger and his lovely family - I hope you enjoyed Bill Callahan as much as I did.

Highlights for me were -

Pictish Trail, Jonathan Wilson, Sun Kil Moon (exceptional), James Yorkston, Samantha Crain, Bill Callahan (magnificent), William Tyler and Mercury Rev (back at the tent).

Mr Mc (a grumpy old Yorkshireman) reckoned John Mouse's rendition of "On Ilkley Moor b'aht 'at" was the best version of that loathsome song he'd ever heard!

As predicted I never managed to make it to Caribou, regrettably.

Lows and let-downs - very few, but queueing for toilets in family camping and elsewhere, the entirely predictable "talking through sets" crap and the initial failiure to open at 10am on Thursday for wristbands and the subsequent mither that caused.

Observation - Babies....lots of 'em! (Mrs Slugger's very amusing observation you couldn't get anywhere near the front at Waterboys for buggies/babies... a hilarious image, in my mind's eye!)

Thanks to Fiona and Co for providing the best weekend of the year for me...again. x

 

Still recovering from the best weekend! Highlights for me... Sunday afternoon in front of the Mountain Stage, always sun shining; First Aid Kit, remember them in the walled Garden! Fat white Band; War on Drugs; Mercury Rev made me cry! Local boys Sweet Benfica on the GreenMan rising stage; my friends who were GreenMan virgins loving it!   

Downsides, sorry.... Again lack of signposting especially for us coming from west of Cardiff ...just as well as we knew where we were going; being redirected at the last minute to the live in vehicle field; the live in vehicle field....to far out, felt a tad isolated up there; seeing all the mess that a group of yoofs left behind! absolutelly disgusting! 

Off to get our super early bird tickets for next year.....whoohoo!

Despite ealy worries we had a great time this year - the line up was pretty good with too many highlights to choose from and only a few disappointments. The nice weather also makes a big difference too. Other have already made the point that going to the bars and loos involved too much queing so I'll just concur with that and move on. I also agree with Krasnyi that there was too much daytime BBC 6 indie landfill on the bill and not enough folk and psych, but I'm realistic enough to realise that given this year's early sell out the organizers are likely book more of the same for next year. As long as Green Man doesn't stray too far away from its roots I'm happy really.

Unfortunately we were camped by a group of deeply unpleasant young lads who got themselves obnoxiously drunk on the first night and seemed to delight in keeping everyone around them awake for hours on end with their aggressive and expletive-ridden witless banter. Eventually the chap in the tent next to me appealed to the stewards and security for their help in shutting them up. They were no help at all and merely suggested that he move. That's not a solution at 5 in the morning, and they must have known that. That's the sort of thing that can ruin someone's festival. He and his partner were first-timers and I'm pretty sure that they won't be coming back again. We spoke to them on Monday morning, having again had very little sleep due to these anti-social yobs and they were planning on going to Latitude next year. A few years ago I was halued across the coals on one of these threads for arguing that dance music would change the character of the festival by attracting a different sort of crowd. I'm certain that this obnoxius group of pill-heads were only at Green Man for the thud-thuddery. A big part of the charm of Green Man is the fact that most people you meet are lovely and friendly and it's a safe place to take your kids, so please Grenn Man if you're going to cater for hedonists then please spare a thought for those who only want to sleep at their tents and not spend hours smoking dope, coming down off their other drugs and making a horrible racket for hous on end, either ignoring all pleas for quiet or making implied threrats.

Sorry to hear about your camping experience GAster, dalla has mentioned something similar on the other thread.

I certainly noticed an increased 'undesirable' element in the crowd. While I didn't witness any particular incidents, I did see the security team on site a lot more clearly dealing with some problems. In previous years they hardly featured at all.

Whether it's just the small percentage of idiots being more obvious in a larger crowd, or some other feature of the festival's evolution I don't know, but I do hope it's something that can be managed out for future years.

 

My Highs:

Shirley Collins talk with Pete Paphides - informative, funny and extremely poignant finishing off with Shirley introducing a recording of her and Dolly singing 'Gilderoy.' Superb!

The beautiful, in more ways than the obvious, Viv Albertine - again hugely informative, beautifully crude and very emotional. Can't remember the chap who interviewed her, but he sobbed just before the end at her courage.

The Waterboys (never been into their records, but they were brilliant on Thursday night), Jonathan Wilson, on at the perfect time. Sun Kil Moon, Polica (amazing), Sharon Van Etten (heatbreaking & funny), The War On Drugs (big weekend highlight), Toy (didn't know much about them, but really enjoyed their set), The Rails (the closest you'll get to the old Fairports), RY X (chilled out time on Sunday afternoon), Nick Mulvey (soothing), Bill Callahan (if David Lynch sang instead of making movies, he would be Bill Callahan), Andy Hallet from Hallets Cider recommending Blindfold Cider to me and nearly making me lose the use of my legs in the process, some lovely people in the Walled Garden recommending that I try the Agwa in Chai Wallah's to help ease a pulled neck muscle. I did try and it worked in so much as I'd forgotten about the pain after 3 glasses, meeting Pete Paphides and having a good chat about The Waterboys, Richard Thompson and the merits of the sublime Henry the Human Fly.

My Lows:

First Aid Kit (probably unpopular statement) they had a pedal steel guitar but not much country, for me they were too slick/pop and not enough Emmylou and Gram. Also missing William Tyler, that was a low in what was otherwise a totally amazing weekend. Thank you Fiona and Ben, same again next year please. I've already bought my ticket! yeaaahhh - or maybe that should be yee hah!

fantastic weekend.  we daren't have hoped for two fine weather GM's in a row yet we lucked out.  and my first with the kids which made for a different but just as magical experience (although, I did have to resign myself to forgoing probably half the acts I planned to and particularly disappointed to have missed Frank Fairfield in favour of holding camp at the mainstage during SvE).

interesting some of the comments that mirror my own thoughts - which i'd told myself and other half were probably just more a reflection of my advancing middle age years.  but it did feel more crowded this year.  campsite space was certainly at a premium compared with previous.  however, i'm not aware of capacity increasing this year and the site surely has to be at its limit so can't increase any further?  other thing was demographic shift down the age scale.  seemed a lot more teen/early twenty somethings.  not necessarily a bad thing and I guess just a reflection of the greater exposure GM has had (the secret was out a long time ago) but there did seem to be a bit of appreciation and consideration lost as a result - musically and socially.  that said, its only tangible if you've been coming for years and it's still, hopefully always to remain, a very special weekend and meeting of minds.

oh, and highlight for me might have been Angel Olsen in the Rough Trade tent.  transcendent

it was unquestionably busier this year

we did concoct one theory - though it may be nonsense...

having talked to a friend of mrs rad's youngest who was working the festival, we discovered that this year's on-site crew (a substantial percentage of which is volunteer litter-pickers and stewards) numbered 3000 people

3000!

only 500 of whom work a shift at a time

so if they're not counted in the supposed 15000 capacity, then there are an extra 2500 punters wandering about at any particular moment

obviously this would have been true to some extent in previous years

and, as i say, it could be wild speculation

but maybe something in it...

My 4th GM in a row and yes, the busiest I have seen it so far.

Lows : Too many "white bands" (13-17 year olds) drinking until comatosed and being dicks in general camping.

Not being able to see all I wanted to see because far too much was going on.

A slow puncture in my air bed meaning not one good night's sleep

The all night disco was just a tad too loud.

Highs : Not being able to see all I wanted to see because far too much was going on.  This year we avoided the Main Stage and Far Out and went off road to discover diamonds in the rough

Chai Wallahs on Sunday - The Intermission Project, John Langon Band, Talisman, The Melodic.   Heavy Petting Zoo at Green Man Rising.

Lobster rolls in the Walled Garden

The real Tardis and Frazer Hines in the visit Cymru tent

All the wonderful kidlet wagons dressed up to the nines

The hills

I think the official capacity is 20,000 - although the number of tickets actually released for sale is never disclosed.

So say in 2012 & 2013, Fiona & Ben decided to put 15,000 tickets on sale. This year, because the site coped comfortably with 15,000, perhaps they've put say 17,000 on sale. That, combined with volunteers would take the number of people on site to around the 20,000 mark - when previously its been around 17-18,000 in total.

So - capacity hasn't changed but perhaps the number of tickets issued has? Total conjecture on my part mind you!

Bizarrely found myself singing "No survivors ......" as I wandered round 'working' this morning!

 

(This was meant to link to the Nick Helm comment posted somewhere up above)

Two things I found it difficult to comprehend/tolerate which happened right next to each other.  We came down to the Mountain Stage to watch Bill Callahan and were making our way towards the rear of the standing portion of the crowd when our progress was halted by running into a family spread across a semi-circle of 5 folding chairs, all reading books, no apparent interest whatsoever in the music drifting from about 40 yards away.  Whether they were camping out for First Aid Kit or something, I don't know, but they were taking up a decent vantage point which could have been shared by about 15 BC enthusiasts.  But at least they were doing it quietly.

Right next to them was on of those 4 wheeled trolleys which had been converted into a Wendy House, around which four small children were chasing each other and, on catching up, screaming full throttle into each other's faces, while their seemingly oblivious mother/s stood chatting.  During Bill Callahan, ffs!  I don't normally stand for this sort of nonsense for very long and had moved into my pre-gobful of abuse withering glare mode before the 'responsible adults' showed any consideration for anyone else.  The screaming had honestly reached such ridiculous levels that the drone camera buzzing around above the crowd came over to have a look at what was going on!  I've got no objection to the family-friendly nature of the festival but surely parents have to accept that they have to make some small sacrifices, and I don't think pitching up on the edge of the crowd, over by the food stalls, where the kids could enjoy themselves without screwing up ther people's entertainment, should be too much to ask.

 

GTG, I had a very similar BC experience to you, finally found a relatively quiet spot when I then got that drone buzzing around and getting everyone excited.  Lesson learned... pay to see BC with others who want to see him - really annoyed missed him on tour earlier on this year now.

 

Taxi driver I spoke to reckoned they only sold something like 13,000 last year (when the previous year had been wet), but more like the full 20,000 capacity this time, after such good word of mouth following the fine weaqther in 2013. Landlady at B&B also said locals hadn't been given free day tickets this year, as usually happens, presumably because they were already at full capacity.

This could be borne out by the fact that it took an hour and a half to get from Crickhowell Bridge to the entrance on Thursday evening. Also, they'd sold out of programmes by midday on Friday and didn't get anymore in until Sunday afternoon. Whereas last year, they had programmes left over at the end - or so I was told! I think we have to accept the fact that certain areas are going to be crowded whatever the attendance. The Real Ale & Cider Tent in The Courtyard has been very busy since it took on its new guise last year. Some people are buying festival tickets just for that reason, to drink ale and cider all day, they're not too bothered by the music. The Far Out Bar was very crowded too on a couple of nights but I found the Green Man Pub in the Walled Garden was easily accessible. There were definitely more tents jammed closely together in the area we were in, We came back on Friday night to find a small tent directly outside the front entrance to our tent, so close you had to step over the guide rope to get in, not had that before. But that I think is down to whoever thought it was a good idea to just pitch it there, although it must have been done in the dark, so can't be too unreasonable about it. Other Green Man regulars had the same experience and were not happy about it however. Anyway, none of these things came near to stop the enjoyment of yet another amazing Green Man Festival in 2014.

I like the 100 ales and ciders thing, even if it is more like three ales and ciders by Sunday afternoon, but is it just too ambitious with 20,000 people there? Would it maybe help if they found room somewhere for another bar, employed a few more bar staff, and perhaps had a little more on offer in the other bars other than Growler and fizzy cider? Maybe one medium real cider like the Halletts as well, and say three real ales, from bigger casks? If that had been the case I wouldn't have been so bothered to head to the Courtyard Bar every time

Second time at Green Man and really couldn't praise it enough last year. This year, however, I feel that I do have a few niggles. Don't get me wrong I had a wonderful time, particularly loved Fat White Family, Jonathon Wilson, The Waterboys, Nick Mulvey and Kurt Vile. Missed a few acts  I wanted to see and found others I didn't know I'd like, but I did.

On the downside I definitely noticed a change in the crowd this year, and not for the better. Some unsavoury folk who only appeared to be there to turn out after 10pm, dress as wackily as possible, get as wasted as possible and push through the Far Out crown to get to the front as arrogantly as possible. On the plus side, I think I now may be well equipped to handle Leeds Festival!  The place was also a lot more crowded, and the queues for the bars far too long. After arriving late on Thursday and just managing to be on time for the Waterboys, my other half queued lovingly for 40 minutes for a drink (missing half their set).  Oh, and don't get me started on the programme/timetable shambles. 

As I mentioned last year, and this is obviously down to personal taste, but I feel the music starts lacking on the Mountain Stage as evening draws near. This year's headliners didn't do anything for me and I really wish the main acts would have a bit of ooomph!  I spent most of the time in the Far Out tent in the evening with the young and lairy, as this was the only place where the music actually grabbed my attention.  To be more positive, I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy and only wish that Nick Helm had headlined the Mountain Stage on Sunday ;) His brilliant finishing track 'No Survivors' would have got the whole Festival singing and I am sure  that not one person would have dared be found sat down reading a book! 

At the moment, based on the mediocre evening acts and the change in crowd and capacity I am sad to say I'm unsure whether I'll be back. I love it, but feel that if I'm paying £160 and still having to deal with the less savoury crowd types and massive queues,  I may as well go to a Festival where the headline musical acts are a little more my thing.

Agree that a bit more variety at other bars would be good. Courtyard seemed much busier this year so I drank more Growler than usual, it's ok if a little dull. Funnily the best beer I had from the courtyard was on Sunday when there were only about 4 left.

Certainly seemed busier in general this year although I think the site coped fairly well. We camped in General for the first time, only ds about 150 yards in by the first fence as we couldn't be bothered to lug our stuff any further in the pouring rain. Luckily our neighbours were all decent folk. The late night stuff seemed much louder but that was probably because of where we were I guess. I wouldn't have liked to have been anywhere near the large group of youth near the entrance to the arena who seemed to spend their entire festival at their tents getting slaughtered, pouring spirits down funnels once when I walked past. Where they the ones you were next to Gaster? My sympathy if so.

Gruff's interview was great fun, I must buy the book. Jonathan Wilson was perfect for a sunny afternoon. Watching The Wind Rises with my daughter and her friend on Sunday morning was lovely. Enjoyed Mac Demarco, Michael Grammar, Fat White Family's rather restrained set, Frank Fairfield and failing miserably in the Pop Quiz yet again.

We camped at Pen Pont near Brecon for the week before the festival. a beautiful site basically in somebodies back garden, admittely a rather large one. The owner, who came round each morning for a chat, was telling us that the first GM was held there. Also had some interesting, and not wholly complimentary, tales about the current management.

Far too many people this year, some great music and some trendy shit, that I feel is distracting from the core values.  

I had a great time but it is becoming a different type of crowd unfortunately.  I sat on the mountain stage on Saturday surrounded by stag and hen doos, who talked all the way through the evening with absolutely no interest in the music.  The littering was also really bad, yet again a sign of a different crowd.

My 9 year old nephew asked me what the young lads in esteins garden were doing dipping their fingers into a bag of white powder and sniffing it, not good!

For some of those reasons I think I'll give it a miss next year which is a real pity.

The settlers thing had a lovely vibe i would highly recommend,  but I think I will put the money I would ordinarily spend on greenman to go to some more intimate gigs throughout the year, where people have bought tickets to actually appreciate good musicianship and not chat all the way through dressed in a chicken outfit.

I must add that Clik Clik collective artists camped right by us and they were all absolutely lovely, the holiday live in vehicle area really is great, although a water tap would be nice

thought it was great again.  i can't think of another festival that gets so much right.  how is everyone doing on their post-festival bingo?

pros

- some great guitar music.  fat whites, speedy ortiz, phantom band and kurt vile were all stellar.  

- all the comedy we saw was fantastic.  words you mispronouce should become a yearly event.  will look out for edward aczel's gigs.  "cheese poem".

- ry x on the walled garden.  great end to a beautiful afternoon.

- drop of nelson's blood with the smugglers and joining them for grog.

- caribou.  

- our camping spot.  getting more popular but still surrounded by lovely respectful friendly people.

- loos were pristine even on monday morning.  

- smd preforming whorl

- no fit state and their phenominal band

cons

- i know there's nothing you can do but to go from the joanna gruesome no-show to find howard marks had also cancelled was gutting.  

- bars running out of booze on sunday. 

 

 

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