Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's Wanderlust

Green Man Festival Preview 2016

It’s just two weeks until I head to Green Man Festival in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. It will be my first visit to this award winning independent music and arts festival, and I couldn’t be more excited. To make sure I don’t miss a thing, I’ve pulled together this festival preview with everything you need to know in case you’re planning a visit too…

Green Man Festival

Green Man is held annually in the breathtaking beauty of the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Now in its 14th year, it has grown to a 20,000 capacity event over four days in mid-August, featuring live music, literature, film, comedy, theatre and much more.

Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's Wanderlust

The festival is divided into 10 areas, each offering a unique festival experience:

  1. Mountain’s Foot is the festival’s largest field and home to the main stage framed by the stunning backdrop of the Black Mountains.
  2. Far Out is for 24-hour party people, featuring dark and delicious dance acts and a huge bonfire from dusk until dawn. It’s also home to a helter skelter, Ferris wheel and the Cinedrome.
  3. The Walled Garden is said to be like a festival within a festival, open late with live sets and featuring the Green Man Pub.
  4. Einstein’s Garden features music, comedy and spoken word; innovative presentations from scientists; walks, talks and interactive experiences, on three sustainably-powered stages.
  5. Babbling Tongues features poets, authors, musicians and journalists giving thought-provoking readings, debates and interviews.
  6. Nature Nurture is a quiet haven of health and well-being, featuring the healing gardens, with therapies, workshops, hot tubs and showers.
  7. The Courtyard is a gothic stable block made from locally quarried flint, located right at the heart of Green Man and featuring over 100 independently brewed beers and ciders as well as a mouth-watering selection of foods.
  8. Fortune Falls is a quiet hideaway where you can pause to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the festival, featuring interactive art installations and effervescent lighting, a wishing tree, and new music from the Green Man Rising stage.
  9. Little Folk is a safe children’s area featuring Jungle-themed activities for children aged up to 12.
  10. Somewhere is an action-packed area for 13­-17 year olds, featuring circus skills, film-making, drama, football tournaments and indoor cricket.

Green Man is also known for its countless informal gatherings, all-night bonfires and secret gigs which add to the festival’s unique identity. It is the largest contemporary music and arts festival in Wales and has been given major event status by the Welsh Government thanks to its positive impact on the area.

Who is the Green Man?

Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's WanderlustA Green Man is a carving, drawing, painting or other representation of a head or face surrounded by, or made from, leaves.

There are many theories and interpretations about the meaning of the Green Man in folklore, but none of them are definitive.

For some the Green Man is a pagan nature spirit symbolising life force and nature. Many examples are also found in churches.

For others the Green Man represents fertility, rebirth, artistic inspiration or is even a demon.  The only thing that is clear is that he (and sometimes she) means different things to different people in different cultures.


Music is the heart and soul of Green Man Festival, and at least 112 artists and bands will feature on this year’s line-up, with a particular focus on alternative, indie, rock, folk, and dance.

Headliners include Wild Beasts (Thursday), Mercury Prize winner James Blake (Friday), enchanting folk goddess Laura Marling (Saturday), and Scottish festival stalwarts Belle & Sebastian (Sunday).

Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's Wanderlust

But Green Man is not just about the big names that you know already, it is also about introducing you to new sounds, with dozens of lesser-known and new bands on the line-up to discover and enjoy.

Check out the Green Man Festival 2016 spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect.

Literature, Film & Comedy

The Green Man Festival also features an impressive selection of authors, writers and reading groups, along with poetry, theatre, science and more.

From music industry writer Jon Savage and science writer Dr Kat Arney, to Travis Elborough who recently published a book about national parks and green spaces, there is something for everyone.

Green Man also features an interesting selection of films. I’m particularly looking forward to New Zealand adventure comedy-drama Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

It’s also sure to be a laugh a minute with an awesome comedy line-up of no less than 19 great acts, including Alex Horne with The Horne Section, BBC Radio 4’s John Shuttleworth, Steve Hall, and a personal favourite of mine Rhod Gilbert who will be recording a special episode of Jest A Minute for BBC Radio Wales.

Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's Wanderlust

Food & Drinks

One of my favourite things about any festival is the food, and Green Man has a mouth-watering selection of British and world street food lined up to get your taste buds watering, including Anna Mae’s Mac ’n’ Cheese, Flaming Cactus Mexican Cantina, Jol’s Food Co., Barnaby Sykes Pie Maker, Pieminister and The Hippy Chippy.

Cardiff-based burger company The Grazing Shed, the Welsh Venison Centre, Meat Cure, Roaming Rotisserie and Jamon Jamon will be on hand to keep the carnivores happy.

Or for flavours of the British coast check out Pembrokeshire’s beach shack Café Mor, famous for Welshman’s caviar and laverbread, Claw (British crab) and festival favourites The Goan Seafood Company. Classic British fish and chips will be available from Bennett’s, a proper Weymouth-based chippy serving sustainably caught fish from my home county of Dorset.

Veggies needn’t miss out on great food at Green Man Festival either with the Feral Food Store (renowned for delectable ‘dirty vegan’ dishes), Dosa Deli authentic South Indian vegetarian street food, Ghandi’s Flip-Flop for spicy food with a clean conscience, and Happy Maki with their yummy vegan nori wraps.

Green Man also claims to have the best selection of beer and cider at any festival including 22 independent Welsh breweries to keep thirsts quenched throughout the four-day event. I’m hoping there will be something for the gin lovers among us too!

Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's Wanderlust


Green Man Festival is well known for its non-corporate, ethical approach, and has won several awards including Best Medium Sized Festival 2010, Grass Roots Festival 2012, and Best Festival at the Live Music Business Awards in 2015.

Drinking water is provided throughout the festival site and festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own bottles to refill, or purchase one at the Green Man shop, to avoid plastic bottle waste. All food stalls use compostable food ware and offer fair trade produce.

Any leftover equipment or supplies can be left at the Keep Green Man Green stall or the Stewards point in Settlement to be up-cycled for local charities. Separate disposal facilities are available for recycling around the site, and festival-goers can take full bags of clean recycling to the Keep Green Man Green stall during the festival in return for a small prize.

The festival is a charitable partner of The Bevan Foundation and Oxfam Cymru, Cymdeithas yr laith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society), RSPB Cymru and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority all host stalls at the festival.

Around 40 stalls are allocated to Welsh Charities and Not-for-Profit Organisations each year and approximately £20,000 is raised annually for local arts and sports projects through the Cwmdu Friends.

More Info

Sound like an event you’d like to be part of? Green Man 2016 takes place on 18-21 August 2016. There is still some limited ticket availability, but better be quick as it is sure to sell out!

A standard adult 4-day weekend ticket costs £175 (plus booking fee), and includes camping.

Green Man Festival Preview 2016 | Amanda's Wanderlust

Pictures by Caitlin Mogridge, Courtney Barnett and Daniel Alexander Harris, and courtesy of Green Man.


47 thoughts on “Green Man Festival Preview 2016”

    1. Thanks Fee – I think the location is a major selling point. The Brecon Beacons are just stunning! I can’t wait! I will certainly be writing about the festival when I get back so watch this space.

  1. This sounds like my kind of thing! I must admit though, I’d never heard of the Green Man Festival before, but I’m very happy to learn that the organizers encourage sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

  2. This sounds like such a fantastic festival Amanda! I would love to check out Einstein’s Garden, Babbling Tongues and Nature Nature. The green man is such an interesting figure. There’s an abbey in the village that I work called Cong Abbey, dating back to 1120 and there’s a green man carved into one of the arches of the doors.

  3. i love the non-corporate and ethical approach to the festival! i think it’s so important and a great way to encourage others to take on similar approaches. also, love the food options at festivals..!! yummm

  4. Sounds like a great festival. So many options for kids and adults alike. It is good to see written word being incorporated into a festival. That’s the first I’ve heard of this. The eco-approach is great as well. Have a great time. Keeping this as a future reference.

  5. The Green Man Festival seems to hold the promise of a rocking experience in a lovely setting. Great music and lots of fun, have a great time.

  6. It definitely seems like a great event to be part of, have fun! I am looking forward to a post about the actual experience 😉 I was part of something remotely similar, although a lot smaller this year in Slovakia (as a seller though ;-)) – a small hippie festival called Drienok with plenty of new music, natural and handmade products and lovely people in the nature – reading your post, I have an impression that the feeling might be a bit similar <3 Pinning this in case I come close to there one day 🙂

  7. I have never heard of this festival, but it sounds amazing. I love music and comedy, so to have them at place is pretty sweet. I would definitely check out the Einstein’s Garden 🙂

  8. That festival sounds amazing and even more so because of their sustainability and eco-friendly habits. Festivals can produce so much trash and leave places in a horrendous state afterwards. It’s great to hear some promoters changing that. I’d never heard of this festival before. Thanks for the info.

  9. I’ve never heard of the green man festival, but it sounds like a fun event to attend! I love the festival’s approach to sustainability and the fact that it discourages people from bringing plastic bottles. Also, I’d love to try beer from one of the 22 Welsh breweries represented!

  10. From your description, it sounds like the Green Man festival is worth planning a trip around when visiting Wales (I’ll admit Wales has been on my to-visit list for quite a while now). This seems like an event that captures the heart and soul of the Brecon Beacons and Wales. You’ve given me something to think about!

  11. Wow, this made me feel mega old 🙂 The #2 Far Out area – I could only imagine what this would be like !!! It sounds like such an incredible event to experience though and in such a beautiful location. I hope you have an awesome time there.

  12. Looks great 🙂 A friend of mine was raving to me about the Green Man festival the other day. As someone from Wales – and who has been to the beautiful Black Mountains – it’s shameful how ignorant I’ve been about this festival until recently. Thanks for sharing this very useful information. Really loving the names of each of the 10 festival areas – very witty and evocative 🙂

  13. This music festival looks insane! I’ve been to many music festivals in the past and I always cringe looking around at all the trash. I would love to go to a concert that incorporates sustainability. Perhaps I’ll have to go next year! Thanks for sharing.

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