A sign of things to come?

Having being kept fully hydrated by the charity Frank Water at the End of the Road Festival last weekend, I would be interested in the Green Man's comments on why that organisation was not present at Glasnusk this year.

From what I've been able to ascertain, Frank Water were due to be there, but their involvement was pulled at short notice by the festivals management in favour of an exclusive deal with Brecon Water, whose product was on sale at the various bars on the site.

In my family's view, Frank Water have provided a valuable, reasonably priced service at the Green Man over the years, helping to counteract the effects of too much alcohol while raising money for a worthy cause. If what I've found out is true, their absence this year in favour of a commercial organisation selling a more expensive product, coupled with no advertised water point within the festival site itself (we did eventually discover one late in the weekend) strikes me as at best a compromise re the values that underpin the Green Man (for me at least) and at worst an attempt to fleece attendees in a not dissimilar way to how some night clubs (at least when I was still young enough to frequent such venues) take measures to limit access to free water.

I may be being a bit paranoid here, but along with the involvement of BBC6 (which was frankly pretty embarrassing from where I sat, e.g. Nemone's creaky "are you having a good time" type clichés from the main stage), this could also be interpreted as an attempt to quietly introduce aspects of corporate sponsorship into an event whose audience has historically been very resistant to such an approach.

I'm not naïve and realise that, despite all the faux-hippy trappings, cold hard cash and the bottom line are now major factors regarding the ongoing existence of Green Man. I for one have no problem with people making a living out of providing a 'service' that I love. However, if the version of events outlined above is correct, this really strikes at the core of what the festival is all about for me and does not bode well for the future. Please put my mind at rest.

we too were surprised by the water charity not being there this year

if it is indeed because of water on sale in the bar, then that is truly shite

yes, there's a financial bottom line

but we're not in a corporate club here

and even those corporate clubs have returned to providing free water (i.e. no longer turning off the cold taps in the bathrooms...) after the bad press it got

Hi all - we decided to stock Brecon water in the bars this year as we want to stock more Welsh and local produce and it is a really local product.  There was no exclusive deal, all the stallholders were free to stock whatever they want.  

Free tap water was available from all the bars and we will be installing more standpipes in the entertainment area next year so there is more drinking water readily available. 

We don't sell very much water on site, it's certainly not a big money maker, we just wanted to do something different and support a local business.

Woof woof x

It was disappointing that Frank Water wasn't around this year, my kids enjoyed refilling their bottles last year and it was healthier, cheaper and more accessible for them than squash or pop served in bars

It also raised their awareness of the value of clean drinkable water, how lucky we are in this country to have it and how charity can help those who don't. (Possibly a better demonstration of charity for them than being filmed rather wastefully tipping a bucket of the stuff over your own head)

We found a tap hidden away in that passageway between the Walled Garden and Einstein's Garden but it wasn't clearly signposted or particularly visible....it did the trick though.

Please bring Frank Water back next year.

I'm not sure that Brother Grimm's original question has been answered but it's really good to hear that there'll be more standpipes next year. Even some of the most corporate events embrace the principle of providing free water.

While I consider embarassing MCs whether 'professional' or otherwise to be an endearing feature of Green Man, I really would rather not hear any advertising jingles over the PA.

I love 6Music and do anything I can to promote it ... I'm already converted so don't preach to me.



To make money out of a festival you need to have as little live music as possible, hardly any services, encourage a similar demographic to attract sponsors, a site which is not difficult, or hilly and has a great deal of hard standing, not surrounded by a river that needs fencing off, undertake no phylanthropy training or fund raising programs, discourage children who buy nothing but take up services to come to the festival, have very few other entertainment areas with a later start and an early finish, have few really well know acts that again attract sponsorship rather than a lengthy bill of known and newcoming bands, massively increase the price of tickets charging more for all areas and getting rid of student discounts, increase teenage ticket prices, replace independent catering stalls with sponsored taster products, get major drinks sponsorship by removing the beer festival and other bespoke brews, replace local suppliers with the national contractors.

Basically the opposite way that Green Man is organised. If you think that money is the motivating factor for why we organise Green Man then please look again..

Hear, hear, Walter

And note people - no 'Woof woof' from Walter...do NOT upset the dog!

Just the correct amount of snarkiness to remind us how lucky we are to be part of GM, an almost unique ship in a sea of pale imitations.

Ben x

I think you're going to have to start going to more festivals each year Ben. I think we'll all miss you're undying enthusiasm next year

I think he's normally sufficiently chilled for a couple of months after the festival to let things pass. 

Fill yer wellies, before the cane is brought back out!


That's very sweet, Wakestock.

However, it won't be GM next year...with Child 1 turning 18 and getting A level results in August (plus subsequent University scrum), and Child 2 getting GCSE results, the second half of summer 2015 is looking mighty busy chez soi.

So.....after a lot of deliberation, and a degree of indifference-reversal, I have decided that I am going to go all out to get a ticket to (what would be my first) Glastonbury for 2015. As I have said, I'm a strictly one-festival-a-year person (just would feel too guilty to treat myself to more than that, let alopne the financial implications with 3 very busy teenagers...), so if successful, Worthy Farm would be my annual pilgrimage next year.


Hopefully you'll still find time to drop in here from time-to-time anyway Ben. Be interesting to hear your take on the mother of all festivals next year. My first Glastonbury was '85, my last '86, I think. No doubt it's changed a bit since then. Look forward to seeing you back at a Green Man around 2017 anyway!

Walter - Thanks for your response(s).  I was expressing a concern that the Frank Water/Brecon Water issue may indicate the start of  a change in stance re sponsorship at the festival, which you appear to be saying is not the case.  For that I am thankful.  However, having attended Green Man every year since 2009 with a large family group,  I don't need a lecture on how GM is different to other festivals - that is why I have spent many thousands supporting the festival and also the reason I raised a legitimate concern about a perceived change in direction, i.e. a good cause being dropped in favour of a commercial supplier.  I did not say that money was 'THE motivating factor' but I would have thought it must be a significant consideration - after all Green Man is a business.  Given your comments about not selling much water on the site, in future years is it not possible to allow Frank Water to operate as well as Brecon supplying the bars as you outline?  

Typical bloody Jack Russell - always ready to snap ;-)

What happened to welcoming feedback, even if the festival is so damm near perfect that we have to nit pick?

Anyway I shall look forward to gorging on the standpipes next year ... and in 2016 shall expect them to be dispensing free ale and cider!


Firstly, I didn't have a problem getting water whenever I wanted some. Although the Blindfold Cider from Hallets was more to my taste. Take it from me, as someone who's been going to music festivals for a very, very long time Green Man is by far the best out there. Not only in its curation of music, but in its support of the community, charities and many other things that it does ethically. Einstein's Garden, Babbling Tongues, the food, the drink the landscape ....... I could go on. I really can't see what people are complaining about, count yourselves lucky to have such an amazing, dedicated group of people who give us a really beautiful week to look forward to once a year at a fantastic price. We get a great week and it takes them a whole year to make it happen. I'm not being sychophantic, just being a realist! 

People are not really complaining they just want the most perfect of festivals to be more perfect every year,it's important that people can state what they are not happy with,Green Man has always asked for feedback and has often acted upon it---i'm sure this has helped the festival evolve into what it is today.I have been going to festivals for 40 years but there is no point in comparing older festivals to the current crop---they all have good food,good beer ranges,decent toilets nowadays---festival goers would no longer accept the poor facilities of the past.Green man is special because of location/music and the festival goers.


I just can't see what people are not happy with. You said yourself "the most perfect of festivals."

Now, if Carlsberg did festivals!

Oh hang about, they do, and to their credit the people who run Green Man have not gone down that precarious, rocky road. Otherwise we'd all be sat in front of the Mountain Stage listening to Paloma Faith! (no offence Paloma, but did anyone see the Proms?). Give thanks, praise the Lord and sing Hallelujah. Amen.

Totally agree Chris, as far as festivals go, GM is the best in my opinion and in the best location, run by people who actually listen and produce.   I have seen it many times on here, twitter and facebook, the organisers engage actively, and that has to be commended.  I mean I have a winge and a moan now and again but you have to put it into perspective.