Festivals, festivals, festivals! Fe-est-iva-a-a-a-a-ls! It's never too early for festival news, especially when you're dedicated to the still-flourishing folk revival movement we all know and love. All way-too-easy jokes about folkies with Aran sweaters and fingers in ears aside, the Green Man Festival seems to effortlessly straddle the tumultuous divide between long-standing members of the conventional folk establishment and their sometimes-dissed folktronically-inclined contemporaries.
All the hubbub about respecting the oral tradition will be put on the shelf for one weekend in August, when "folk" folk of all musical, philosophical and political persuasions will gather once again on gorgeous Glanusk Park in the Brecon Beacons, Wales for what has become one of the UK's most friendly festivals. Along with loads of the usual (and seemingly annually participating) suspects will be Joanna Newsom (herself a Green Man repeat performer), Stephen Malkmus, and Robert Plant -- yes Robert Plant -- who will take to the stage as headliners at this year's Green Man Festival August 17-19.
Besides the attraction of impeccable vibes and eats (past years have featured veggie, organic meat, and paella stands, and this year promises fresh seafood curries and an on-site smokery!), there will be plenty of obscure spinning in the DJ tent thanks to an esteemed array of crate-diggers of a different breed, and the popular film and literature tents will be back in full force (last year's tents featured obscure "psych-commune" film screenings and included talks with quintessential folk producer Joe Boyd and quintessential folk arranger Robert Kirby).
In short, there should be no excuse for not having your weird beard fully grown and your Morris Dancing steps down by mid-August. With its walled garden Children's area, 20,000 acres of idyllic parkland, massage and alternative therapy services, and possibly the presence of the Association of Radical Midwives, it might be the only festival you could ever consider bringing your three-year-old son, 93-year-old gramma, and ?-year-old lactating mother, daughter, wife, or partner to.
Here are the confirmed acts playing this year's Green Man: Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation, Joanna Newsom, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Bill Callahan, Vashti Bunyan, Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time, Dead Meadow, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Vetiver, The Earlies, Richmond Fontaine, Euros Childs (ex-Gorky's Zygotic Mynci), Tunng, Starless and Bible Black, Lisa Knapp, Men-An-Tol, Arborea, Alela Diane, Monkey Swallows the Universe, The Yellow Moon Band, Steve Adley, Gilbert, Gareth Pearson, and John Power (ex-Cast, ex-The La's), and hopefully a set by Green Man organizers, Jo Bartlett and Danny Hagen, better known as It's Jo and Danny. Expect many more freaks to be announced soon.