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Green Man Festival 2012

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by Karen Grikitis (subscribe)
I am a former journalist and editor, currently writing fiction for adults and children. Visit my website at
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A relatively small, family-friendly festival for lovers of indie, traditional and contemporary folk music the Green Man Festival is a favourite of mine, set in the scenic Black Mountains,
Green Man festival, mountain stage, Black Mountains, Wales
The Mountain Stage, Green Man Festival
among the rolling countryside of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.

This will be my third year at the Festival, where, every year, I 'discover' bands that I would otherwise never have heard of, such as Johnny Flynn, Sweet Baboo and
Festival, Green Man
A food stall at the Green Man Festival
The Wave Pictures.
The big headline act this year is Van Morrison, with other well-known names for indie music lovers such as Michael Kiwanuka and Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

The site features a range of music venues, set among the outbuildings and gardens of the Glanusk Park Estate, each with its own special ambience. The main stage is set
Festival, Green Man
Einstein's Garden, Green Man Festival
in a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by mountains, while the Walled Garden Stage is right next to the Green Man Pub and has a much more intimate feel. In the Chai Wallahs tent you can chill out to some reggae, blues and jazz, just for a change, and for those late-night revellers the Far Out After Dark Stage will keep you entertained well into the early hours.

Einstein's Garden caters particularly for children, with its art installations, stalls and entertainment, such as 'Elfic: a showdown with gravity' and 'Puppets & Pendemonium'. If you fancy a break away from music, there are also cinema, comedy and literature tents, this year featuring artists such as Josi Long, Dan Evans and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Food stalls serve fairly typical festival fare, including Goan fish curry, my particular favourite, and you'll also find the usual range of craft and wacky hat and clothing stalls. The Green Man Pub serves a great selection of ales, beers, cider and
Green Man, Festival
The green man himself
The climax of the festival is the spectacular torching of a gigantic green man made of branches and twigs at midnight on the last night – a real pagan treat. You might see the occasional druid or hoola-hooping 'fairy' out and about also.

On the practical side, very few of the music venues have much seating, so take your own seat with you and be prepared for any weather – check the forecast and if necessary take wellies and waterproofs.

The general camp site is downhill from the car park and sturdy, four-wheel garden trolleys can be hired to help you lug your load down to the site, although I take my own as the hire charge is about £5 per half hour and it is impossible to go there and back in that time. Once your tent is up, it is a five minute walk to the festival site. There are also designated camping areas for families, live-in vehicles and the disabled, and if you don't want to take your own tent, you can hire one from Tangerine Fields.

Weekend adult, student, and child tickets are still available, at £145, £125 and £5 respectively. I've always driven there, following the instructions on their website, but you can also catch a specially commissioned National Express coach from most major cities in the UK.
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Why? Great location, great music, family-friendly
When: 17-19 August 2012
Phone: (email only)
Where: Glanusk Park Estate. Powys, Wales
Cost: £145 for weekend adult ticket
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