Last night, 2023’s brilliant edition of Green Man, Wales’ largest music, science and arts festival came to a close in spectacular style.
Across the weekend the festival has seen stellar headline performances from Spiritualized, DEVO, Self Esteem and First Aid Kit, as well as memorable sets from fan favourites including Amyl & the Sniffers, Slowdive, Young Fathers, The Walkmen, Confidence Man, Goat, The Comet Is Coming, Jockstrap, Sudan Archives, Obongjayar and an array of Welsh talent including Melin Melyn, The Gentle Good, Rogue Jones, Hyll and more.
Reflecting on the event, Fiona Stewart, owner and MD of Green Man festival said: “Green Man 2023 was magical and a joy to experience. We spend years planning the festival and seeing our efforts validated by the smiles and appreciation from our audience means everything to us.
“Sustainability and inclusivity are part of Green Man, and 2023 was our greenest year yet. Being the first music festival in Wales to be awarded the Gold Charter for improving disabled people’s access to music from Attitude is Everything illustrates that everyone gets a warm Welsh welcome at Green Man. Diolch to everyone who made it happen.”
Alongside the brilliant music, there were stimulating talks across the Babbling Tongues area from the likes of Harriet Gibsone and Ash Kenazi, comedy from the rib-tickling Sean McLoughlin, Amy Mason, Scott Bennett and more. There was innovative, audience-friendly science taking place in Einstein’s Garden, fun for the younger members of the Green Man family at the Ancient Egypt-themed Little Folk area, and football fans were treated to a live screening of the tense FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
Beloved Swedish indie folk sister duo First Aid Kit stunned as the festival’s final headliner, almost a decade after their last performance at Green Man, continuing Green Man’s commitment to supporting artists from early in their careers and celebrating them on their biggest stages. Their career-spanning set saw them bring tracks from their acclaimed 2022 album Palomino to life in the beautiful Bannau Brycheiniog National Park as well as fan favourites from across their discography.
Earlier in the evening, Australian punks Amyl & the Sniffers tore up the Mountain Stage before First Aid Kit’s headline set, the band’s fiery set brought a red-hot atmosphere to the festival and was a truly standout performance.
Following First Aid Kit’s momentous closing performance, festival-goers made the pilgrimage across the site to witness the annual burning of the handcrafted Green Man effigy, this year themed to celebrate the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and the beautiful Black Mountains.
The Far Out stage also featured a number of scintillating sets during the day, LA newcomers Julie showcased their brilliance, with the grunge-shoegaze band veering between nonchalant cool and a sharp ferocity. Mercury Prize-winning Young Fathers headlined the stage that evening, bringing songs from their acclaimed new album Heavy Heavy to life. It was a set that showed everything that makes the band one of the most celebrated acts in Britain today. Sudan Archives lit up the tent ahead of Young Fathers, performing select cuts from her latest album Natural Brown Prom Queen, plus standouts from her debut record.
Over at the Walled Garden, Nuha Ruby Ra came armed with some art-punk explorations that captured the imaginations of those in attendance. Critically acclaimed Special Interest headlined the Walled Garden, their disco-infused hard-rock sound made the crowd move whilst the band hit a series of rug-pulling left turns.
At the rising stage, it truly was The Last Dinner Party’s day to shine: the band are currently enjoying a meteoric rise and it was easy to see why - they drew one of the biggest crowds the Rising Stage has ever seen. Shimmering harmonies formed around chamber pop melodies and a theatrical performance. Mary In The Junkyard had a high bar to hit when they headlined the stage but took it all in their stride and truly performed the set of their career so far. The band have been performing secretive shows at London’s talent hotbed The Windmill and it was a joy to see their sound performed to a wider audience.
The final day of Green Man 2023 was the perfect encapsulation of why the festival has been one of the most beloved in the UK for over two decades. Incredible music bookings, thriving arts programming and science events once again show that Green Man is a festival for all. Tickets for next year’s festival, taking place from 15-18 August 2024, go on sale on Saturday 30th September, and are set once again to be in high demand after this year’s event sold out in three hours. Green Man Festival 2024 is set to be another phenomenal weekend of music, science, art and more amongst the Black mountains.