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Time to celebrate Green Man

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James McLaren James McLaren | 10:22 UK time, Friday, 19 August 2011

While most people's thoughts are with the victims of the Pukkelpop disaster this weekend, there is space to celebrate an event that is much closer to home: Green Man.

The 15,000-capacity festival has sold out for the third year running and kicks off today at its home at the Glanusk Estate near Crickhowell. While it's grown from its 2003-era boutique status into a much larger affair, it has retained an atmosphere that many people I know think makes it very special.

Some of that might be the stunning location, cosseted in a lush valley in the Brecon Beacons, but its staunch desire to retain the vision of its founders, Jo and Danny Hagan, has meant that it has done that rarest of things: growing without compromising. Current festival organiser Fiona Stewart (who came to prominence with the Big Chill festival in the Malvern Hills) seems to have married top-name acts with a cornucopia of grassroots Welsh acts.

Stewart told the Western Mail: "It's not owned by one of the entertainment corporate companies that own many festivals, like Special Republic or Live Nation. It's independently run, which means the content is not being put in there because we have to do it through some kind of financial deal. Everything is in there because of the creativity of the people who organise it."

While the likes of Fleet Foxes, Noah And The Whale, Iron And Wine and Laura Marling provide the 'draws', there are some nice home-grown acts to check out across the site's four music stages. The Gentle Good, Y Niwl, H Hawkline, 9 Bach, Chailo Sim and Zwolf are just some of the Welsh ones to catch.

On Saturday 20 August at 6.30pm on BBC Radio Wales you can catch Bethan Elfyn's show from Green Man with interviews and live sessions from some of the artists, including Villagers, 9Bach, Hannah Peel and Martin Carr.

See also: Green Man official website.


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