Tag Archives: arts festival

Green Man Festival 2017 – 15th birthday bash review!

I think you can take as a testament to quite how good this year’s Green Man was that it’s taken me over a week to get myself together enough to write this review.

If you’re in a rush and just want the headline: Best Green Man yet!

Green Man Festival 2017

For more: read on!

If you’re not in the Settlers camping, general admission starts at 10am on Thursday. In Green Men past, I’ve always liked to be one of the first people in on a Thursday (gotta make the most of it, right? Also means you get to camp near Orange parking, which makes the get-in and get-out easier) but we were delayed a bit this year, meaning we ended up fenced out of our normal spot, and instead deeper into the camping areas – pretty much right behind the Mountain Stage. Which made our tent-festival-tent commute a staggering five minutes. YAS!

We put the tent up (we indulged in a trolley this year to assist us), had a tent cider, then wandered into the festival. We headed straight for Nature Nurture with swimming cossies, just in case there were any spaces in the hot tubs. And guess what … there totally were! So we splurged the £25, had a lovely shower, and then spent two hours intermittently boiling in hot water and then dunking in the cold plunge pool.

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Thursday night was finished off with a viewing of the Ben Wheatley film Free Fire in the Cinedrome (which, judging by the number of napping adults in the tent, also doubles as a grown person creche).

On Friday morning we  scrambled out of bed in time to see the Druids of Stonehenge open the festival. This year it was Rollo Maughfling on his todd, and he opened the festival with the traditional series of blessings and group chantings and wishes for peace throughout the world. He did also hope for good weather, but as if by magic, the heavens opened and it poured down during the ceremony.

Green Man Festival 2017

The rest of Friday was mostly spent pootling around between the Mountain Stage and the Back of Beyond, a relatively new stage for the performing arts. Like many of the people at Green Man, we were with people who had kids in tow. But luckily for all of them, it’s a festival that’s built with families in mind.

You’ll see various families pulling these trolleys around the festival: they’re the same trolleys you can use to help drag all your camping crap in during the set up. You can also rent one out for £25 a day, complete with cushions inside and roof to protect your little ones from the weather.

They were an absolute godsend – like mini pillow forts on wheels. The kids slept, ate, and played in and around them all day – and more importantly, they weren’t as tired and crabby as if they’d been walked around.

Frankly, I was a little jealous that no one was pulling me around in one.

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

We managed to catch quite a bit of music on Friday. The weather was holding steady, which meant sitting on the floor (or rolling around if you needed to) were still possibilities. On the Mountain Stage we caught Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit (who we’d seen at Green Man a couple of times before – and has never disappointed), and the grungey, slow-roasted rock of US band Lift to Experience, who had on stage with them the biggest Texan flag I have ever seen.

We also enjoyed British Sea Power (who turned the stage into an arboretum for their powerful set).

Green Man Festival 2017

For the big finale of the night, it was a toss up between Future Islands and Kate Tempest, which split our group. Personally I was in favour of staying in Round the Twist, which was busting out some 80s classics (and had handed out inflatable guitars to everyone for some serious moshing), but plumped instead to head to see Kate Tempest.

Green Man Festival 2017

And my word, am I glad I did. I’ve never seen her live before, and she performed Let Them Eat Chaos, all the way through. Despite some ill-timed whooping from hammered ravers whenever she mentioned drugs, it was one of the most effective performances I’ve ever seen. I’ve listened to the album before, but there was something incredibly special – raw – vital – about her voice, about the words, about experiencing it live.

When she finished, I was so overwhelmed by it that I couldn’t even clap. We staggered out of the tent and headed to Chai Wallah’s to get a drink.

We headed back for Roni Size – I was hoping that listening to New Forms all the way through might help ease the tension, but the first 20 minutes was some straight jump-up, which I just didn’t have the energy for. We rambled back down the hill and to bed at 2am – a relatively early night – to get ready for Saturday.

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Slightly bruised by our late night politics, we spent much of Saturday moving slowly from stage to stage, absorbing music, talks, djing, and many, many pints of Growler, which has now become the festival’s ‘house pint’.

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

We caught a couple of bands in between moving very slowly, many children in tow between stages: the excellent H.Grimace, who played on the Green Man Rising stage (and very kindly let us use one of their tracks for our video above – thank you Hannah!), folk veteran Shirley Collins, old school rnb revivalist Michael Kiwanuka, experimental disco-punkers Liars (although they were a bit loud for the kids, so we hung outside with Bloody Marys for their set), sludgy garage-rockers Thee Oh Sees.

There was also plenty of food explorations on Saturday – and although the jury’s still out, here are the best eats at Green Man (sorry there are no pics, we ate everything before we had a chance to take photos!):

  • the Vietnamese place up by Fairy Power (I ate here three times can’t remember the name …!). They had the MOST AMAZING sweet and sour broth, stuffed full of veggies and noodles with pork balls on top … for £8 …
  • the Roaming Rotisserie chicken place. Half a chicken, stuffing and potatoes for £8.
  • Strumpets with Crumpets. Just do the blue cheese, jam and bacon one when you’re pissed and on your way back to your tent – and don’t even trip, dog.

So anyway, back to the festival, I guess …

My highlight for the weekend was always the Saturday night … Jon Hopkins into Daniel Avery (be still, my beating techno loop).

And it was, predictably, absolutely amazing. I’ve been a Hopkins fan for years now, and Daniel Avery’s Drone Logic is one of the best dance albums released over the past ten years. Hands down.

Green Man Festival 2017

Myself and the We Are Cardiff technical futurologist have a fun tradition of waiting until we are the drunkest we can possibly be, and then rugby tackling each other down the between the hill between Chai Wallah’s and the Nature Nurture area. This is us, by the way (during the daytime).

Green Man Festival 2017

This year was no different, but unlike previous years, we were either not quite drunk enough for this escapade (or far too drunk). So upon waking, I was a bit worried to feel extreme pain all around my ribcage when I moved, or coughed, or just breathed.

We decided to take Sunday a little bit easier. hiding from the rain in alternate locations (mostly between Chai Wallah’s and Far Out), grabbing slices of pizza and pints of Wrexham lager when the weather allowed, and absorbing Actress, Sunflower Bean, Richard Dawson, and Manu Delago.

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

Green Man Festival 2017

As Sunday night drew to a close, and the weather drew in, Mountain Stage headliner PJ Harvey took to the main stage. You can hear her performance here on the BBC, and I read a great review of her set (and actually of the festival as a whole in the Quietus) so why not head over there, show them some love, and so I can pull this thing to a close!

My camera always falls to pieces every year when I try and capture the burning of the Green Man, so this year I thought your photos would be better to try and represent the ritual. Earlier in the festival I would check the wishes that were written on tags and tied to the man and dragon combo. They ranged from the fairly standard (I wish I was a fairy, please can I have a pay rise) to more fatalistic (my favourite: everything is fucked).

And maybe it’s just me – but after such a wonderfully rich weekend, with good music, good people, and good booze – was burning all those thoughts that we are troubled with – some sort of opportunity for a new beginning?

Radical ritual, folk hearted celebrations of art, music, literature, and people. This was the best Green Man yet. And I cannot wait to see what they pull out of the bag for next year!

GREEN MAN 2018 EARLY BIRD TICKETS ARE OUT SOON! Make sure you’re following:

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR NEWEST SERIES OF WE ARE GREEN MAN FESTIVAL GOER PORTRAITS! OVER AT WE ARE GREEN MAN

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Cardiff Contemporary Visual Arts Festival is here! 20 Oct – 19 Nov

Cardiff Contemporary, the Welsh capital’s biennial festival of international contemporary arts starts THIS WEEK! From Thursday 20 October – Saturday 19 November 2016.

The 2016 theme of communication, and title, Are You Ready? references Marconi’s breakthrough radio signal, made from Flat Holm Island to Lavernock Point in 1897.

cardiff_contemporary

Ten new artist’s commissions include the activation of a permanent sculpture on Cardiff’s waterfront and the re-appropriation of two derelict city landmarks, where artists will communicate ideas globally and through space and time.

Thirty-one days of artistic challenge and discovery opens across the Welsh capital on Thursday 20 October 2016 as Cardiff Contemporary gets underway for its fourth edition. Drawing together international and Wales-based artists to charge the city streets, galleries, forgotten spaces and communities with the crackle of new and exciting ideas in multi-disciplinary visual, sonic and performance arts. The theme of ‘communication’ looms large, as artists and audiences are urged to look beyond earth, through time and to each other for clues, answers and inspiration.

Taking in historic sites from the city centre to Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Contemporary will find its focus in a temporary hub, ‘The Angel’ developed to include four new gallery spaces across a derelict, former motorcycle garage beneath the city’s Angel Hotel. From here brand new commissions will radiate across Cardiff, including impressive new public sculpture along one of Cardiff’s most public landmarks, a takeover of the imposing-yet-defunct Customs and Immigration Building at Cardiff Bay for an exhilarating, public reclamation and an un-missable light sculpture in the heart of the city centre.

Artists and groups confirmed include: Megan Broadmeadow, Laura Ford, Roman Štětina with curator Louise Hobson, Robert Montgomery, Heather and Ivan Morison, Anthony Shapland, Rob Smith and Charles Danby, tactileBOSCH, Spit & Sawdust with Edwin Burdis and a collaboration between Locus Collective (Richard James, Angharad Van Rjiswijk), comedian and writer, Stewart Lee and Andy Fung. Cardiff Contemporary is a Cardiff Council initiative, developed by Visual Arts Manager, Ruth Cayford.

The themes and overarching title for the festival, ‘Are You Ready?’ is a direct reference to the residency of Guglielmo Marconi in the city. As an exile from Italy where his pioneering vision was met with scepticism, he was supported by the British Post Office to develop his experiments into radio communications technology. Assisted by local engineer, George Kemp, Marconi succeeded in transmitting those three, immortal words in Morse code from Flat Holm Island in the Bristol Channel to Lavernock Point, Glamorgan on 13 May 1897. Just four years later, the pair succeeded in the first transatlantic radio transmission. Artists have been asked to consider this history and the modern age of instant and relentless communication in developing new work.

Creating a period of city-wide, creative celebration, Cardiff Contemporary coincides with Artes Mundi 7 art prize and exhibition (opening Friday 21 October at National Museum Cardiff and Chapter) and the city-wide Sŵn Music Festival (Friday 21 – Sunday 23 October, various venues).

Cardiff Contemporary Facebook page

MORE INFO:

Commissions, exhibitions and events announced as part of Cardiff Contemporary 2016 to date are as follows:

Megan Broadmeadow: Let The Stars Be Set Upon the Board

Reportedly discovered in 1901, the same year as Marconi’s transatlantic radio transmission, the Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient, bronze instrument of multiple, moving parts described as the earliest analogue computer. Bristol-based artist, Megan Broadmeadow will use this seismic archaeological discovery as the basis for a new sculptural work, simultaneously reflecting on the mechanism’s resting place at the bottom of the Mediterranean and the ancient Egyptian and Greek civilisations that it is related to.

Laura Ford: Keepers of The Wall

Laura Ford’s sculptures, combining tenderness, fantasy with frequent signs of menace to relay political or social comment, will bring something suddenly and mysteriously new to a Cardiff city centre landmark. This project will remain purposely under wraps, exercising the art of surprise.

Roman Štětina: Shave and a haircut – two bits

Czech artist Roman Štětina investigates the processes of creating film, television and radio; making visible the props, technologies and studios of ‘backstage’. At Cardiff Contemporary, Štětina presents a new site-specific installation curated by Louise Hobson. Exploring the narrative of call and response, images within images stretch back in time and space, reflecting in a present that has no more thickness than a mirror.

Robert Montgomery: Cardiff Poem 2016

Beautifully capturing the convergence of prose and visual art, Robert Montgomery’s work in neon, fire, billboards, painting and print has written deeply-affecting statements large across public spaces from Trafalgar Square, London to Tempelhof Field, Berlin. Montgomery will make his latest statement in central Cardiff, illuminating resident’s and visitor’s journeys with an intervention from on high that invites a moment of reflection.

Heather and Ivan Morison: Love Me or Leave Me Alone (LMOLMA)

Combining to deliver work that transcends the divisions between art, architecture and theatre, the duo of Heather and Ivan Morison will activate Cardiff’s waterfront with their first, permanent public building. Located at Cardiff Bay, the meticulously sculpted structure, inspired by stave churches of Norway – a country inextricably linked by historic trade to Cardiff – and ad hoc beach shacks of 1960s West Coast America will appear as a functional food and drink outlet. Love Me or Leave Me Alone will play host to a programme of special events curated by Chapter on Saturday evenings during the festival.

Anthony Shapland: The Hand That Makes The Sound

Signwriting is an art form that is dying out and one of the most common forms of communication spanning the birth of trade and commercialism as we know it. Cardiff-based artist, Anthony Shapland is exploring the art and one of the city’s oldest surviving practitioners of the trade, whose own, physical canon of works has been gradually eroded by the advancement of regeneration, knocking down the workshops and traditional retailers that once proudly bore the fruits of his labour.

Charles Danby and Rob Smith: Limelight

A project that arrives in Cardiff courtesy of PEAK – Contemporary Art in the Black Mountains – and the Canal & River Trust, Charles Danby and Rob Smith return to the rural heartlands above the city, encountering the canals, quarries, tramways, caves and kilns that fed the heavy industries that roared in South Wales. For Limelight, the artists will use digital means to bring reflections on this history to contemporary audiences by streaming a series of live illuminations to a city centre location and online. The material for their work will be limelight itself, an intense white light generated through heating quicklime used in the 19th century for land survey work and stage lighting. Each broadcast will last as long as it takes for the chemical reaction to be exhausted.

tactileBOSCH: Garden of Earthly Delights

Borrowing directly from a masterpiece by the artist collective’s namesake, Hieronymus Bosch, the Garden of Earthly Delights promises a vibrant, prodigious and inclusive multi-media exhibition in the old Customs and Immigration Building, a vast disused building in the historic area of Cardiff Bay, later reconfiguring their work to be presented again in Stadium Plaza in the city centre. Their invigoration of a long-abandoned landmark will be a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, gathering collaborators together to include site-specific installation, video, painting, photography, sonic art, interdisciplinary collaborations and spontaneous interventions, starting with a wild launch night of live music, cabaret, spoken word and visceral performance art.

Locus Collective (Richard James and Angharad Van Rjiswijk) featuring Stewart Lee and Andy Fung: The Hill of Dreams

An audio-visual, immersive installation based on the psychogeography of childhood and the wider themes explored in Arthur Machen’s book, The Hill of Dreams, Richard and Angharad will travel to locations of their childhood in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and the southern Netherlands to record the landscapes that defined their childhoods. The pair’s collaborative suite of footage, field recordings and archive material will be embellished by comedian and writer, Stewart Lee, recording an original, narrative piece for the audio installation and artist, Andy Fung who will paint an accompanying canvas that reflects on his Trinidadian upbringing.

Spit & Sawdust featuring Edwin Burdis

Occasionally a misunderstood and maligned fixture in city spaces, skateboarders and skate culture are set on a collaborative collision course with artists in a project that draws parallels between the two protagonists. As both visibly inhabit and frequently alter the city spaces that they use, the artist-led collaboration will look to the ‘internal’ language of skating, experimentation in using public space, the conventions by which skateboarders communicate and celebrate new skills and ideas and popular forms of documenting performances, primarily video, as part of this new work. The outcome is intended to be a timely discussion about how we exist in close proximity with others who may have different ideas or agendas.

Full information on each commission, dates, times and locations, plus further events including screenings, talks and workshops, will be published on Cardiff Contemporary’s website: www.cardiffcontemporary.co.uk

Connect with Cardiff Contemporary on social media:

Twitter: twitter.com/cardiffcontemp

Facebook: facebook.com/CardiffContemporary

Instagram: instagram.com/cardiff_contemporary

 

 

Made In Spring, Roath arts festival: 2-3 May, 2015

Made_In_Roath

 

One of the city’s biggest and best art festivals, Made In Roath are BACK in May, with Made In Spring!

Made in Spring will be held from 2nd – 3rd May this year, giving artists, musicians, makers and performers an opportunity to be experimental in response to the season, May Day rituals, and the political annotation of International Workers Day.

Roath residents and visitors to Roath are treated to a Spring inspired street party on a closed section of Plasnewydd Road, featuring free workshops and participatory artist led activities, and all manner of stalls and pop up cafes both related to the Roath area and from further afield. As always, Made in Spring supports local and independent enterprise.

The Red Route will be the second march along the Taff Trail from Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil to Plasnewydd Rd in Roath, this will run over two days from 2nd – 3rd May.

For more information about Made in Spring, make sure to keep an eye on the Made In Spring Facebook event.

Know Your Groceries is an open mic radio show that will be broadcasting live from Plasnewydd Rd on 3rd May for Made in Spring, and they are looking for performers to fill in slots!

Whether you are a musician, poet, (short) story teller or just have something to say. Know Your Groceries! Open Mic Radio show. Get in touch or come along and put your name down on the day. Ltd spaces so get in touch to confirm! Email electronic.music.wales@gmail.com or post on the event page: Know Your Groceries live broadcast Facebook page

Enjoy Made In Spring – we can’t wait!

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