Far Out Tent - Idles

Will post my usual post-Green Man stuff later in some thread or other but just wanted to voice my concerns about the situation in the Far Out Tent last night. I'm not an IDLES  fan so had no intention of going but my 15-year oid daughter and her friend went. From what they said and what others have said it is clear that too many people were in that tent last night. Several people had to be carried out including my daughter and her friend who had a panic attack and had to be treated in the medical centre on site. The staff there said they'd been dealing with several other similar cases. I know I should have realised and told the girls not to go too far in, knowing something of the bands' reputation for mayhem but I didn't think there'd be such an issue. I spoke to some stewards and a security guy this morning who said there had been real concerns about the numbers going in to the tent and congregating outside. The security guy commented that 'Green Man got lucky' and that there could have been serious injuries. He reckoned that the tent was full to capacity before the band came on and that there was nothing they could do to stop more coming in.

If Green Man are going to book bands as popular as IDLES then fine but they should really be playing the Mountain Stage surely? I was in the Walled Garden for splendid sets by Skinny Pelembe and Nilufur Yanya and haven't seen such small crowds there in years, especially for Nilufur Yanya - just a couple of hundred I'd say. I also hear that FJM didn't have a huge crowd either. They were all up for IDLES

I have faith in Green Man as the organisers have always shown a capacity to react to things and adapt accordingly. There does have to be some thought about who plays late night slots in the Far Out and how numbers attending can be controlled or the outcome might be worse than it was last night.

Sounds grim Krasnyi, hope your daughter and friend are ok. We were at the front for Growlers and there were lots of kids already there for Idles, some quite young.

It was absolute mayhem with people piling into the tent. No security or anything. It wasn't helped that half the Far Out area was fenced off and there were loads of families up there with kids in trolleys waiting for the burning.

Perhaps Idles wanted to play in the tent rather the main stage but it reminded me of when Reading decided to put Foo Fighters in the tent in 1995 when they must've known loads of people would want to see them.

Fjm was busy enough from where I was standing. We picked him over idles as we knew it would be too rammed and have a high arsehole count.

Good decision as fjm was very good indeed.

I think between booking them and the actual festival date Idles sort of blew up. After the Glastonbury hype and all of the radio play they've been getting it did seem they were too big for the tent. I was a little surprised to see them kept in there but thought clashing them with FJM was a good idea. I'm sure lessons will be learned. 

Firstly, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope they are now doing ok.


I was apprehensive about seeing idles all weekend. I figured it would be carnage. And, seeing half of the area fenced off for the burning, that apprehension was heightened. 


We were never gonna try to get in the tent, what with having a buggy. But we decided to hang out outside to tent and, If it gets mega busy (as I expected), we would move back. We ended up underneath the outdoor screen with lots of space (and, being tall, I could see the stage from our position). We did not have to move at all. So......yeah. 


I agree that they could have been on the main stage easy. I thought they could have swapped with Aldous Harding (who would have been mega in a devoted, transfixed, rapt, packed out tent rather than a mildly disinterested chatter crowd). But, where we were, there was lots of room. Even looking out to those in front of the outdoor screen there was space. 


Course, I also know it would have been intense in that tent too. So.....yeah. I hope they are ok. And maybe GM might think about something like that again, and maybe do it differently.

I think it was a poor idea to put idles on a Sunday night due to the fenced off burning area. Hopefully everyone is OK and yes, please greenman, have a good think about potential safety concerns for the future. 

Sorry to hear about that, Krasnyi. 

I was stood right in front of the screen on the left hand side (that's as close as I could get 20 minutes before they were due on) so saw probably about 15-20 people - I'm guessing including your daughter- being escorted round to backstage. It was extremely intense and boisterous, but I have to say that the band's awareness of that was impressive. There were many occasions that Joe Talbot gave instructions ("let him up" etc) or generally encouraged respectfulness and I'm guessing that it was the band's entourage handing out water to people at the front?

But I agree that a huge gamble is being taken that shouldn't be, especially as there were quite a few parents with young kids quite far forward. Hope that'll be taken on board.

And in general there seemed to be quite a lot of calls for security this time (what was the story with the "intruder" in the Stereolab set, for example?) but it helps the festival to work well for security to step back and be as invisible as possible, and they tend to do that pretty well.

The main thing I was going to mention was about the sitation outside the Far Out Tent. By about 9:00 there was already pretty much a full ring of people camped out against the barriers so they could be in the front row. I don't understand why anybody would want to miss the climax of the festival in order to sit outside for 3 hours to get a better view of fireworks, but hey.

On leaving the Far Out Tent, I thought I'd try and shuffle round to the left hand side on the grounds that there was a bit more space that way, but there were people trying to get round in either direction and progress was non-existent so I quickly gave up and just took a place at the back of the crowd directly in front of the Far Out Tent. In front of me was one of those "trailer" things that people carry their tiny children round in, as there were a lot of people trying to get past I was in very close, probably a foot behind it. After I'd been stood there for about 10 seconds I felt a push on my back. Normally I'd just let myself be shoved to one side and think little of it, but that would have meant being pushed into a sleeping (probably) infant, so I resisted. Then another harder push and a "sorry, not sorry", and then an even harder push and the same words. Only when I shouted something like "STOP- THERE'S A CHILD DOWN THERE" did it stop. It was a pretty scary experience and really spoilt my enjoyment of an incredible night.

I was wondering whether it's time to accept that burning a big Green Man and having fireworks isn't a viable end to a festival that's grown this big, and some other spectacular show could replace it. No idea what, but there must be something. Am I right in recalling that the Green Man burning thing only started in 2010ish anyway? I'm pretty sure it didn't happen the first couple of times I was at GM.

Finally, on a loosely related note. To the 2 people who were trying to get to the front at Car Seat Headrest by ducking down below waist height and trying to stealthily crawl past people. WTF???? You know you can usually just give people a tap on the shoulder or pretend you've got a drink for your mate up the front or something?

Last year I thought it was looking risky having barriers for the burning so close to the far out tent.  also the placement so the green man was facing the far out and end up bar meant that family groups with trolleys (arriving early) would want to get the best view by standing over by where the majority of people would be spilling out at 12.00.  

Security are great and always found to be friendly and low key.  However, when there are a very small number of idiots doing stuff like intruding the stage during Stereolabs, GM may have to review matters and introduce measures that will spoil it for all of us.  it Would be a shame to go back to the higher mountain stage there was a few years back.  Safer for the performers if a ladder is needed  to access the stage but loses any intimacy with the crowd.  

Regarding the intruder, was it the guy with the yellow cape and shorts that was with the (disrespectfuel for a welsh festival) England football strip Wearers?

Haven't they always burnt the Greenman at glanusk, pretty sure they have. I think it would be a massive shame to stop it as its part of my family's and no doubt many more of their greenman tradition. It is a big part of what makes greenman special. Putting idles on Sunday evening was a mistake. They should have been on the main stage and everything would have been fine. 

Regarding children at Idles-

I saw really tiny children and babies on their parents' shoulders in the tent, many without ear defenders, which was really dangerous. It really wasn't an environment for toddlers anyway, my ears were ringing from the soundcheck alone. 

This isn't the responsibility of Green Man though.

There has been a massive increase in the number of trolleys with small sleeping kids trailing around the festival site until the small hours, rather than taking little ones back to the tent with them when they're tired and had enough. I'm not criticising parents for this because it would appear an elegant solution but it makes for logistical problems on a crowded, dark hilly site and it failed to cope with this on Sunday evening.

That 'No Chairs' policy went well too.

Sounds like a right nightmare. This was out first GM. Overall we enjoyed it. Great vibe, laid back security and easy to get around. But, having Idles on in a tent like that was a mistake. I'm not even into them but new it'd be carnage. I also felt the placment of acts seemed all over the place. Seemed like lots of similar artists clashing with each other. I'd heard they'd changed the booking agents or something. Perhaps this is why?

Really sorry to hear about your daughter and friend's experience Kras .. I hope it didn't taint their festival experience too much or put them off seeing big events.

I was at the front for Idles and it was certainly one of the most physically intense gig experiences I've had. I knew what to expect and could cope, but for anyone taken by surprise and not comfortable, I would not have wanted to be trying to get out of there.

I think quite a few people here and on other channels questioned the wisdom of putting them on in the tent especially when it was rumoured that they were going to be on the Thursday night. The equivalent tent at End of The Road is much larger and there were people suffering at the Idles gig there last year .. mainly due to the heat that built up in the fully enclosed space during an unseasonally hot weekend. The big advantage of that closed tent with tunnel entrances however is that access can be controlled and EOTR did close it off before it was full, with a 'one in, one out' policy in place.

I expect that Green Man honestly felt that the FJM clash would split the crowds sufficiently but unfortunately it didn't in this case. With the increase in numbers to 25k, I think it's really time that Far Out be increased in size with better access control to provide for crowd management. This was an extreme example but there has been a number of acts in recent years whose popularity has created uncomfortable conditions in there.

The other obvious thing to do in my opinion is relocate the Green Man burning to an area that will not impinge on access routes to the stages.

I'd put good money on it that the capacity of Far Out is much bigger than the big top at EOTR, but the point about having entrances that you can close is important, at EOTR it was one in/one out from about 20 minutes before Idles started last year.

Although it’s good having the Green Man centre Stage throughout the festival, when it comes to fencing off the area to prepare for the finale on Sunday afternoon it does encroach too much on available space around Far Out. Maybe they need to think about putting it elsewhere, but difficult as I do prefer the overall layout now to how it used to be. 

Seems to be a general consensus here that Green Man got this one wrong. The EoTR 'one out, one in' policy described by Peridot sounds sensible but would obviously need a different tent. Shifting the Green Man further away from the tent also make sense if possible.

As Elizabeth points to, I also think there has to be some more thought about letting parents with small children, buggies and trolleys into the Far Out after dark. I agree with Liz, it shouldn't be Green Man's call, parents should stop being selfish and get their toddlers back to their tent. That's what we always did. Sure you do miss seeing a lot of a stuff but tough. We all have stories of tripping over trailer handles don't we?

My daughter and her friend are fine now. They were pretty shaken up at the time though. Certainly won't taint my daughter's experience of the festival at any rate. She's been every year since 2007!

In terms of moving stuff about, I think the only change you could make would be to go back to having the Green Man down towards the cinedrome and have everyone watching from one side. You couldn't move the Far Out Tent anywhere, I don't think.

That would still be a lot of people in that space, and you'd probably have to close the cinedrome on a Sunday evening. You might be able to make a bit of space by moving Chai Wallahs and/or the cocktail bar, possibly to where Round the Bend or whatever it's called is, but that's just a small gain. 

And re site layout, I don't think any changes are needed, just don't book bands that are too big for the Far Out tent! As criticisms go, its not a bad one in some ways, that GM have booked a bigger band than should be expected for the venue.

Agree Oap-Dub, sensible booking on Sunday evening and it's fine as it is. Let's not start moving things round cos of this please. It's worked fine and the green man is a massive attraction thoughtout the entire four days. This wonderful festival is not just about the bands. 

Fair comment marcus_g although I would say that the big exclusion zone around the green man shows how seriously the organisers take ensuring the safety of attendees. If a side effect is that, combined with other circumstances, a potential safety issue is created elsewhere it's appropriate to discuss how things might be improved. The site layout has changed a number of times over the years, often in line with suggestions on threads such as this. The tent in particular has occupied a number of positions on site, all of which worked at the time, but were appropriate to change in response to increased attendance or other considerations.

My daughter and I were front centre for IDLES after spending most of the evening in the Far Out to secure our place.  it was intense and chaotic but that’s what we expected and why we were there - really pleased we had a barrier to hang on to though!  Security coped pretty well, although not sure they had the numbers to deal with anything more serious than it was.  Also plenty of people handing out water and Joe did his best to keep it from getting too messy - calling out bottle throwers and asking everyone to respect each other, wasn’t much he could do about the overcrowding though.  We saw several people lifted out early on, after that it was just crowd surfers and Bowen & Lee jumping on our heads.


My son was at the front under the screens which is usually a little oasis of space when the tent is rammed, but he said even that area was packed and definitely the most full he‘s ever seen the Far Out In 7 years at GM.  Until then hadn’t really given much thought that there’s no way currently of limiting numbers cramming into the tent, but as said above, don’t think we need any major site changes or an in/out policy - just a bit more care over which bands are on which stage when.

We had an amazing weekend and can’t wait to do it all again next year.

I was towards the back, maybe a quarter of the way into the tent, and it was busy but not ridiculous. I couldn't see very much so had no idea things were so chaotic at the front. Lots of people kept pushing past and leaving (including one guy pushing a wagon right through the crowd, which seemed a bit dangerous) but I assumed they just decided listening to derivative music fronted by a sweary and apparently charmless man wasn't the best use of their time, a decision I wish I had made part way through.