Having the hills and mountains of Wales as a backdrop helps make Green Man the most beautiful of British music festivals, a visual winning card that was matched this year by a gorgeous programme of folk-influenced performers, surely the largest array of decent ales and ciders outside of a beer festival, and the ritual of burning the eponymous green man, taking with it to the skies hand-written messages of the festival-goers hopes and dreams.
This weekend’s British Sea Power curated Krankenhaus festival on the Cumbrian coast has been pure joy. Housed in a barn on the Muncaster Castle estate, it felt like a legal rave curated by a nature-loving art-school band. Where else would you get hear everything from folk to tree-people trance, alongside a reading from the poet laureate, late night DJ-ing from a snooker legend, and musically enhanced bingo from Japanese punk band?
This year’s Glastonbury will be remembered for the sunny weather, for sure, but also the most extraordinary Pyramid stage show that I can remember in twenty-seven years as a Glastonbury regular. 2019 is the year that Stormzy headlined Glastonbury.
After six glorious season, Festival No.6’s North Wales run appears to have come to an end. It’s a musical tragedy because there is no other festival quite like it. Hosted in the bizarre mock-Italianate village of Port Meirion, with the peaks of Snowdonia as a back-drop and a schedule liberally dotted with Welsh acts, including a male voice choir as the top attraction – outshining even superb headline acts like New Order, Noel Gallagher, The Manic Street Preachers, and The Pet Shop Boys, Festival No.6 has had a spirit all of its own.
This quirky, boutique festival is teetering on the brink of becoming too successful for its own good, but still has lots of charm and the wonderful Port Meirion setting keeping it extraordinary. And the food at Clough’s restaurant was almost worth the price of the ticket itself – not something you can say about most music festivals.
When I say that swimming in the river, a talk about tree climbing, and dancing with mine and Ms markontour’s parents were the among the highlights of this year’s Port Eliot Festival, don’t think it wasn’t a vintage year for this little, eclectic Cornish festival. Almost everything we saw hit the spot. But for this big-city-hopper, you can’t beat combining great music with the lovely British outdoors, especially if your nearest and (wonderfully eccentric) dearest are in tow.
The British music festival season is in full so swing and so it is time for the first of many markontour reviews, starting with what remains the greatest of them all – Glastonbury. As usual the acts I saw will be scored based on what I scribbled down at the time and with a tendency to allocate extra stars to the new and unusual.
Festival No.6 feels like it has come of age and turned out to be something its parents can be proud of. All the tickets sold out…
A festival that I come home from feeling stimulated but relaxed. We were first attracted by the Caught By The River stage, and that is still the main draw, but there is also a cracking roster of book talks, great poets and comedians, the best festival food you are ever going to eat, beautiful grounds to enjoy, the Idler Academy for some casual education, and a bracing swim in the estuary to set yourself up for the day.
My round-up of Latitude 2015. There won’t be any prizes for guessing that Wolf Alice turned in the most exciting performance of the festival, but an energetic Malian blues band, Songhoy Blues, ran them close.