Green Man 1

On the Al Barclay scale of not really thinking it through, I’ve got a strong 8/10 for this one. I’m in Wales, in the Brecon Beacons near Abergavenny. I brought my gargantuan tent. The one that I didn’t bring to Wilderness because it was fucked. I just this second put it up as the rain started. It’s fucked, but it’ll hold barring wind, more rain, someone sneezing, a drunk person tripping on the guy rope or me moving in my sleep. I’ve sort of stuck the thing together with tape and string. And now I’ll be in it for 5 nights fearfully wondering.


Thankfully the van is ten minutes walk from my tent, so worst case I can go crash in the van, wake refreshed, realise I can’t open the door from the inside and cook to death slowly.

Last time I was at Green Man, I was in woolly jumpers and a Yorkshire accent, infecting people with a disease that would turn them into llamas. I made BBC TV Wales – the local news – with an interview both in and out of character. Be still my beating heart. It was a science piece about antibodies. We had had lots of very serious meetings with laptops and scientists. I’m here with the same crowd, only this time…

This time I’m… well… I have a performer wrist band. So I can go backstage and use the decent loos. But I’m… well…

I’m the driver. They had a big van. I’ve driven it. So now I’m just going to the festival. With a posh wristband on that gets me free beer.

I just blew the doors off at Wilderness. I’m not craving hard party. This festival is very far from Wilderness in character and purpose. It’s more cider than campari. More burger than baba-ganoush. When I go I usually think of it as the last festival of my season. I’ve done the dancing. I’ve had the party. Now I can just chill out. Most of the punters are terrifically grounded compared to the Oxfordshire “woke” crowd.

Weird though not to be working. I like to have a focus. I’ve brought my tarot cards. Doubtless they’ll come into play. But I can just relax now the van is up and unloaded. So I’m taking a risk with the blog. Can’t make things too easy for myself.

I have always preloaded blogs for festivals. This one has the worst mobile phone reception by far of all the ones I go to. But I haven’t preloaded anything which means I run the risk of breaking my absurd streak through bad technology. But I’m gonna try.

But there’s no music tonight. Probably no bars open. I unloaded the van which is full of the heaviest mini-golf courses imaginable. While I’ve been writing I’ve gone and sorted my wristband. And now, as the sun is setting, I’m going to wander on site and see what’s what. The whole festival site is surrounded by mountains full of dragons, which makes it beautiful but a rain trap. I’ve never been here and not got drenched to the bone. Here’s hoping…

This would normally go out at 6am Thursday. I’m publishing immediately for the next five days because I haven’t fixed the problem with the Facebook share yet. Screw you Zuckerberg.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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