Today, the globally known annual Green Man festival starts near Crickhowell in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.

I recently met Fiona Stewart, the driving force behind Green Man, and after a conversation about our shared interests in music, festivals, art and culture and why we want to promote what we do in Wales much more effectively, Fiona invited me up to Crickhowell to carry on our conversation.

Every year, Green Man hosts tens of thousands of people during the festival week. Fiona and her festival are trailblazers for environmentally sound, ethical and locally sourced produce and businesses.

I toured the site with Fiona and her dog, Walter, hearing about how they host a globally renowned independent and authentic festival in the age of big corporate music companies, promoters and ticket sellers. Fiona is the only women in the UK to have the controlling ownership of a large independent music festival.

From ensuring that Green Man directly employs its staff, that all food and drink providers meet the green standards (so Fairtrade, British Red Tractor and Marine Conservation Society kitemarks), powering the festival by solar and recycling tents this year with Help Refugees and Newport to Calais Aid Collective – the list goes on – this is a festival that is all about actually putting words and principles into action. It’s been doing this for nearly two decades, ahead of its time in many ways.

During the 2019 Green Man, tens of thousands of people won’t just hear new and emerging artists, they’ll participate in literature, art, science, eat, drink, dance, talk, learn and sleep in beautiful surroundings.

The Green Man Trust has showcased over 3000 emerging artists, involved 2000+ people in training, got 200+ science projects off the ground and provided 27 grants for community projects.

To all those involved in making Green Man happen and to everyone going this year – have a brilliant time.

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