Tips for a first timer.

I’ve been lucky enough to bag a early bird ticket with a camper van for myself and family. This will be our first ever festival and first time at Greenman. 

If anyone has any tips or recommendations they would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks in advance. 

Its one of the, if not THE best UK festivals.

Decent size - you can get from one stage to another in a handful of minutes.

Get there as early as you can, have a wander around and get your bearings whilst the site is still fresh.

Check out the art installations on your first evening.

Try the beers / ciders. The bar is hands down the best you will find at a festival. Not too badly priced and excellent bar syaff too.

Check out the cafe in the Babbling Tongues area for coffee and welsh cakes, as wella s all sorts of other cakes and goodies. All locally made, with the cash going to local schools.

Chat to people. Its one of the friendliest crowds you will find.

Visit the Green Man himself a few times over the weekend and read some of the messages / wishes left on him. The Green Man is a fab piece of art in itself, and always has a few playful little features!

Enjoy it!

Hi and welcome paul. You've managed to get registered on the forum, which is no mean feat, so you're already on a roll.

I would echo everything waveydavey said, and being in a campervan you're avoiding any concerns about car parks, where to pitch, hauling gear, etc.

Are you doing the week-long settlers ticket or just the main weekend? And what does the faimly comprise? Let us know and we can throw in a few more tips.

Hi peridot and waveydavey,
Thank you for your replies.

Its funny you should say that peridot, i originally applied October last year and only actually got access in January...

I stumbled across the festival a couple of years ago and liked the look of it, but at the time the tickets had long since sold out. We then took the kids to a concert at Delamere last year and everything went smoothly so based on that made the call to grab tickets this year. I have to say, im really looking forward to it.

Family comprises of myself, wife and 2 kids (9 and 1) and we just have tickets for the main weekend.

One question i have is when does everyone arrive? Thursday morning?

Thanks again

Hi Paul,

Excellent advice from waveydavey about taking a good look around the site as early as possible.  If you arrive on the Thursday, there’s a lot less folk around, only 2 tents with music in the evening, so much easier to wander to all corners.

Arriving when a festival opens always gives a more relaxed start to it; apart from time to look around, buy a programme at wristband exchange and then you can get a good fix on all the different things that are going to be happening over the weekend and work out what your ‘musts’ are and their where and when.  If there’s a load of stuff unfamiliar to you, ask your neighbours for recommendations.

If the weather forecast says its going to be dry and sunny all weekend, its likely not considering the different microclimates in the Usk valley.  Chances are its going to rain at some point, so make sure you’ve got the right footwear and clothing to cope. (If it is dry and sunny all weekend because you’ve brought the weather gods with you, please make sure you return for many future years).

Don’t assume you will get a mobile signal anywhere on site – I was fine with 3 last year, but a friend with O2 was going into Crickhowell to get a reliable signal.

Not sure what it’s like in a camper van (as I camp), but I’d always recommend earplugs for a good night’s sleep without having to worry about neighbours being noisy.

The earlier you arrive in the campervan field the closer you'll be to the exit down to the arena. That said, it's not a huge area so the difference is small. The field itself has loos, some showers, and a water point. There are no other facilities but there is a coffee stall at the main bus gate which isn't far away. With the high demand for the limited space available the vans will be pretty much on top of each other but there's room for an awning etc. It's always quiet, safe, and really friendly there.

There's a great choice of food and drink available but it can get expensive to feed a family over the weekend so bring your own supplies for some of your meals, and plenty of snacks to keep you going during the day. It's quite feasible to pop back to the van to replenish stocks during the day.

As far as weather is concerned .. plan for the worst and hope for the best.

There's tons to amuse a 9 yr old whatever their interests. The Einstein's Garden area in particular is fab.

With so much on offer you'll miss far more than you'll get to see, especially with kids to consider. Don't stress about that, you'll have future years to catch up because I guarantee you'll want to come back.

We always have a forum meet-up on the Thursday evening - really casual and informal, so watch out for details nearer the time and drop by with the family to say hi.



This will be our 12th consecutive Green Man and my kids were 3 and 1 the first year we came. I'd echo peridot's words above - with small kids in tow, reconcile yourself to not seeing everything you want to see. You will, no doubt, spend a good deal of time in the Little Folk area - the kids will love it!

The 'family friendly' tag isn't just a marketing thing - it really is incredibly tolerant.

Food reccomendations - the Cwmdu community 24-hour tent near the entrance to the main arena - fantastic bacon and Welsh Dragon sausage baps and lovely cakes

The cafe in Babbling tongues mentioned above - lovely peaceful area for chilling out inbetween sets.

If your 9 year-old has a taste for liqourice - then you'll spend a small fortune at the liqorice stall

If your 9 year-old asks to go down the front for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard probably best to say no. I said yes (he was 10) and it was a little traumatic but he's a big fan now!

I said yes to going to the front for my 9 and 12 year old too.  They lasted half the set hanging onto the barrier before a very friendly (they always are) security lifted them out after it all became too much!


Don't think so, it's more that they're a full on stage presence, very loud and trippy and visually very stylish with long black hair.

I could see our youngsters wigging out at the front.

Wow, I just managed to reactivate my account. I'm not exactly a first timer as I attended in 2009, 2011 and 2012 but I guess things have changed quite a bit since then! Also this year I will be bringing my 2-year-old daughter so am expecting quite a different festival experience... I will be following the forum and especially any kids-related advice :-)

Thanks all for your great advice so far. Really appreciate it and really looking forward to the festival (our first!).

Perhaps we will bump into a few of you :)

Hi all,

it's been great to read through all the above tips and hints. I will be bringing my 12yr old as a single parent and our first time camping together. I've been to Greenman back in my twenties but that was a very long time ago!

do you have any updated tips? When we arrive (orange car park), we were thinking to go to the family camping area. How far is this? Also, do we just rock up and pitch or get tickets checked first etc. we are hoping to arrive late Thursday afternoon, is this a good time?

any advice, tips etc very much welcomed. 

all the best, Arwen 

Hi Arwen,

It's a long way from the orange box office to family camping, so you might want to look for a quiet area of general camping instead.

You will need to queue to get your wristbands before you choose your camping spot.

Once you have your wristbands you will be able to go in and out of the festival site as you please.

If you're thinking of hiring a trolley, do this after you have queued for your wristbands,  otherwise you'll be paying for the hire of your trolley while you stand in the queue, which can be lengthy and costly.

Apart from that have an ace festival.

There's loads for kids to do. X

Thank you so much Elizabeth! I was thinking there maybe some trekking to do. We'll see if we can hunt a quiet spot. You have a great one too!

Okay that really confused me... I was pretty sure I hadn't posted here but saw my name!

Hi fellow Arwen:D 

Have a wonderful weekend.