This is my story, in the style of @bennyhana22;
Wednesday, set off for GM, got stewarding induction at 7. Satnav says the motorway is clogged, do I want another route that'll save me an hour? Ye go on then, I'm on a deadline here. Takes me down all little windy country lanes, bit gnarly for me, I'm not used to this. Big big truck coming the other way, I try to give him a wide berth, drove my fucking car off the road and fucked it. This is 5pm. Big up to the amazingly friendly and helpful locals who give me a hand and are unbelievably nice and hospitable. Middle of nowhere so I got to use a guy's landline to ring the RAC and ring the fest to tell them what's happened. RAC comes at 11, pissing it down with rain, had to sit in the car because a cow started on me. I felt very bad and sad, I love that little car. Towed back home, get in at 3am. Get on National Express and look at coached, all sold out, go to bed feeling very very shit.
Thursday, phone call from mum telling me about how my brother's go into university, I say I'm not really in a good way right now mum I've fucked my car and going to have to bin off this festival. So she says she's off on holiday and I'm free to use her car as long as I don't fookin crash it like an apoth. Amazing, thanks mam. I'm off, drive careful, only play good wholesome CDs like Mik Artistik and Charli XCX and Ella Fitzgerald. Get to GM, weather is incredible, v happy to be there. Get some little mushroom burgers and a beer, very nice. Stick my head into Chai Wallas, see this fella called Solomon O.B. who says it's his third ever gig, he's fucking great, rapper with a jazzish backing band, finishes his set on a mega cover of Alright by Kendrick, nails it. Head over and watch Anna Meredith, she's always fucking great so that's to be expected, but the crowd is massive but really respectful during the quiet parts and dancing during the bangin parts. Fucking love this festival. Badbadnotgood come on, first time I've seen them, much livelier than I expected, loads of songs I know, had a brilliant time. Put myself to bed afterwards, was pooped and had a 7am shift the next day.
Friday, early shift, having a nice time walking round the campsite and helping folks out, everybody's so friendly here, setting is lovely. Bit shit tho because scruffy bastards had got in over the fence and robbed a lot of tents, fucking sickos doing then when there's so many kids around. Then got put on accessibility gate to Mountain Stage, having a lovely time there, people are friendly and weather is on fleek. After my shift finishes am over at Far Out watching Warm Digits, they're pretty upbeat, a good time. Stick my head into Chai Wallas after that and there was a right old knees up going on, but I couldn't say who that band were. Then I'm back in Far Out for Kikagaku Moyo, started out really interesting and bangin but I have to admit my interest tailed off towards the end. Not entirely sure where I was for the next few hours, in all honesty the trips around Rising and Walled Gardens and Chai Wallas and food outlets across the weekend kind of blend together in my memory, but then I'm in Cinemadrome watching Nordic Giants later on and they're fucking mega. Been wanting to see them for ages and they didn't disappoint, sound was great, all the films were really engaging, only post-rock of the weekend so I savoured it. Back down at the Mountain Stage after that, having a fucking great time to British Sea Power, seen them bloody innumerable times and they don't vary those setlists a lot, but this just seemed to be the time and the place for them, they were so at home up there. Lift To Experience after them were probably the band of the weekend, it was so loud and epic and unique, and again they just really fit in with the setting. It feels like a real event for the band, the crowd, and the festival, really everything I could've hoped out of them. Again a bit of a bimble and I reckon I managed to cram summat else in before Pumarosa, who were a brilliant headliner for me, I laugh at both Kate Tempest and Future Islands, so I'm thankful that Pumarosa saved me from them, but still on their own merit they were really good. I loved them at Glastonbury, but this show seems to be a completely different beast, frontwoman doing a lot of dancing bits through the show, instrumentation seems more mellow this time, I really like it, this band are incredibly versatile and amazingly good performers, they seem really attuned to the audience and know how to deliver what the crowd wants. After that I was fucking knackered and really felt like I needed to put myself to bed because my legs were like jelly, but instead I went and got drunk and I think I got into Chai Wallas and don't remember getting back to the tent.
Saturday wake up sore as shit, took me ages to pull myself out of the tent and off for breakfast. Pictish Trail on the Mountain Stage was an odd sort, but I enjoyed him a lot, and I liked standing out there admiring the sight of the Black Mountains and taking in the vibe of the place. Luckily for me I could watch his entire set before just going straight to the steps at the side of the stage for my 1pm shift. Checking wristbands on various gates for this one, most other stewards seem to hate that gig, but everybody is so nice that I don't mind it, especially not when the sun's out. After I'm done I catch half each of Allah-Las and Lambchop, Allah-Las don't really stick out in my mind, but I was having a nice enough time at Lambchop, but I did abandon because he seemed to have lost the crowd, I could just hear loads of noise and talking from the back of the field, which is really down to the set being quiet and he probably should be on Walled Garden instead. After that I get straight into Cinemadrome and watch Prevenge which was really great, only an hour and a half so perfect festival length, and a good opportunity for me to sit down for the first time since I got out of bed. A bat got into the tent! I love bats. After that was done I got down and was able to see pretty much all of Yorkston Thorne Khan, who are obviously incredibly competent musicians who know how to put on a show, had a lovely time watching them, and got a big kick out of being able to look up and see a starry sky. Jogged back to the tent and switched shorts for trousers because I was fucking freezing, got back in time to enjoy Melt Yourself Down. I can't say I wasn't a little bit disappointed at the poor sound for this one, I couldn't discern any bass guitar at all, the saxes and drums just lacked bite, and it all seemed quiet. Can't deny those tunes are great though, and they're a really fun and energetic band to watch, so I liked it, good headliner. Got up to John Hopkins DJ set after this, and despite it not being my usual thing I found myself enjoying it with the help of libation from the rum bar, stuck out the whole thing and I'm glad I did. Not sure where, but I remember dancing to Kendrick somewhere before getting to bed, so it wasn't straight home after John.
Sunday again a bit difficult to wake up, but I reckon some of this is down to the tent not being long enough for me, so I'm sleeping in an awkward contortion. Green Man house band Deep Throat Choir to start off, I love this band, it's not Green Man without them, I hope they keep coming back every year. Then I reckon it was a bit of Chai Wallas with breakfast before I got into the Far Out for Wolf People. Not my usual thing, kind of heavy 70sish psychedelic tinged stuff, but I did really enjoy it. They stuck out for me because they weren't really like the rest of the stuff I watched, and they were very good at what they were doing, would watch these again. Had to cut out of them a little bit early so I could get into Rough Trade for This Is The Kit. Was really gutted I missed her main sage set for my shift the day before so I was really happy to catch this. Only a handful of songs, but it really took me by surprise, I was amazed by it, felt like the floor was going to give way beneath me. I do like the record, but seeing these guys live was something else entirely, really wonderful. The playing and the harmonies were so incredible, I can't say enough good things about the show, if it'd been longer it would easily have been my favourite of the weekend. Bagged a few records, including This Is The Kit's, signed, took them and a lot of my stuff back to the car to make getting out the next day easier. Back in time to see Michael Chapman; what a fucking pro, I could watch him pick that guitar all day, I'll definitely make an effort to see him again. Julie Byrne on next and she was brilliant too, kept things interesting by switching between just her and the full band, so she had my full attention all the way through. The crowd were in hushed rapture for the whole thing, so I gather from that she's kind of a big deal. Managed to get in about 30 mins of Conor Oberst in the drizzle before going back on shift. Not remarkable but he was pretty entertaining to watch. Got stationed on a restricted area, checking everybody had the right credentials to be going in, there wasn't much traffic through, but there was music playing, and a lot of punters seemed to like the sight of me dancing in my hi-viz and rain gear while it peed it down. I'm then shifted to actually in the crowd for most of Peej's set, so I get to watch that, she's not what I expected, really epic and powerful performance from what I saw of it, great headliner. Then I'm up at the Green Man himself, so I get to watch the bonfire and fireworks show. After that's done I guide some crowds and that's me done for the night, cram in a few last beers + food before getting to bed at a sensible time.
All in all, fucking loved it. I counted this is my 20th weekend camping festival overall, and I might have enjoyed this one more than any other. Stewarding gave me the chance to meet a lot of different people, which was really nice. Having had that peak behind the scenes, I've got a real appreciation with what it takes to put a festival on, and how much the people behind the scenes care about giving the audience the best possible time, it's an attitude absolutely everybody seemed to have. Green Man definitely has the best setting and the best atmosphere of any festival I know, it's all so pleasant. It all feels like there's been so much attention to detail, every aspect of it is deliberate and in service of the overall vibe of the place. The meticulousness of it really pays off, and that's what really struck me this year, that when I felt like the line-up was quite weak on paper, I barely stopped watching bands when I was free, and had a consistently great time at pretty much all of them. Food was absolutely amazing as per, the Vegan Junk Food stall in Walled Garden was giving me life, I'll dream about those tofu buffalo wings until next year. Big up to the many kids of Green Man, who are all adorable and routinely brightened up my shift with their smol banter, also that curious small mammal I found ambling around the campsite (seriously tho what the hell was it? oddly shaped little bugger with no tail, sort of like a hedgehog with no spines). Best festival in the UK, I'm 100% back there for round 4 next year.