Bit late with this one, seeing as Greenman Festival was about a month ago, but I have been very busy since (honest).
For the uninitiated, Greenman Festival is a musical and artistic smorgasbord served up in the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons in Glanusk estate near Crickhowell. Surely there is no better backdrop to a mainstage than Greenman’s?
I have attended this festival, with my family, for the past four years and have experienced the gamut of weathers and emotions. However, one thing is for sure, we never leave Greenman without having learned something new. A new band discovered, a new joke gleaned from the comedy tent, a new (and usually very tasty) food, and the usual collection of soon-to-be-regretted festival tat (ponchos, felt hats, native American birthing blankets woven from the finest garlic etc etc etc).
On the music side, this year I was blown away by performances by Jonathan Wilson, Mercury Rev who performed their “Deserter’s Songs” album in its entirety), First Aid Kit (great band, silly name. I mean, there wasn’t a triangular bandage in sight anywhere!), Kurt Vile, The Waterboys and The Gentle Good.
I go to this festival to unwind. To enjoy the music and a few beers in the shadow of Crug Hywel and Llangattock Hill. Not to work. Certainly not to network. But that’s what happened on day 2 of Greenman.
We were sitting in our beloved VW campervan, called “Sheldon”, discussing what we would go and see that day, when my wife pointed out a session called “What Next?”. It was a 45 minute panel discussion in the Babbling Tongues (spoken word tent) and was billed as: “…a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK,to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society”.
“Sounds interesting” I said. I’ll just dust off my felt hat, don my poncho and be off…
“What Next?” is a “movement”. A loose (not in the biblical sense) association of individuals and organisations who want to discuss the role of the arts and culture in today’s society. Given recent funding cuts to the arts and culture (with surely more to follow) this movement is potentially highly valuable to helping raise the public profile of arts and culture.
It was a stimulating discussion. So much so that I have now started to attend the What Next “chapters” (sounds a bit masonic but I assure you there wasn’t a bare kneecap to be seen). For me it is early days but I will continue to engage with this movement. I’d urge you to check it out too. The more the merrier!