Green Man Festival – Saturday
More mud, and some creative ways of wearing it. Saturday’s line up had some brilliant and diverse sets, we started the day with some original and traditional bluegrass, a certain way to remove any blues about the weather – The Perch Creek Family Jug Band. This family band from Australia features (it says in the Green Man programme): Australia’s foremost one-legged saw player, Who Magazines’ “most handsome jug player” and some excellent tap dancing and banjo playing amongst other delights including washboard, double-bass, ukelele, kazoo, melodica and great singing – especially from the youngest curly-haired sibling who has a rich warm voice for one so young. For more bands using a musical saw – see previous post on The Low Anthem.
Michael Kiwanuka brought the sun with him again, this year on the Mountain Stage. We saw him for the first time last year in the tiny Walled Garden Stage so he has leapt – via The Mercury Prize – from smallest to largest stage. He sang beautifully as always, we kind of missed the intimacy of the smaller stages but then we have been spoilt by seeing him before his rise to fame in smaller venues over the past year.
Yann Tierson was a surprise act to us. We’ve never heard him and we were drawn to the stage hearing his music from a distance and had to go see who he was. I’ve been looking for tracks by him – would like to hear more. Spellbinding!
The mud certainly made it more difficult to get about this year for both able-bodied and disabled festival goers. On hand again this year we had the charitable organisation Event Mobility who provide wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters that are good on the more rough terrain. They can be found in the Disabled Camping field, and do a great job and can be found at many events – the mobility scooters cost around £20 a day to hire.
Green Man organisers improved on the provision of Disabled only toilets this year – there were more of them and they were found near most stages. Last year I’m afraid to say that although they were clearly marked for disabled use, many people didn’t respect this and used them anyway to avoid queuing. This year they were fitted with combination padlocks that only disabled users knew. This worked really well and meant they stayed available for those who really needed them.
Next year, I think it would be good if it were possible to lay down track on some of the walkways between stages to help with access should it get muddy again. I expect this is a costly exercise but it was seriously difficult, especially once the mud had been churned up, to get to the Far Out Stage, and up the slopes at The Main Stage. The tarmac main track area along the spine of the site was much more easily passable so I think some form of tracking like at some other festivals would be a great help.
The other provision on The Far Out Stage was a viewing platform for mobility scooters and wheelchair users. This is a must when there are crowds of people and you’re at a different level from most. There didn’t seem to be anything at The Chai Wallah tent or near The Main Stage but I could have missed seeing these. Possibly another improvement for next year?