UNCERTAINTY surrounds Wales’ largest music festival just six weeks before it is due to take place. 

The organiser of the Green Man Festival, Fiona Stewart, has said it will have to take a decision on whether to cancel the event, for a second successive year, around a month before it is due to open on August 19. 

The Welsh Government isn’t due to announce any possible further relaxations on regulations covering events until next Thursday, July 15. 

Before the pandemic up to 25,000 music fans would attend the Green Man, at the Glanusk Estate near Crickhowell, in the Brecon Beacons National Park every August.  

But Fiona Stewart, the woman behind the festival that has brought acts such as Teenage Fan Club, PJ Harvey and Fleet Foxes to Powys, has said she cannot give any guarantees this year’s can even take place as scheduled from August 19 to 22. 

Ticket holders, for the sold out 2020 event, have been able to keep hold of their tickets for this year while returned tickets, from last year, sold out within 50 minutes of going on sale in May.  

A notice on the festival website warns Covid-19 regulations could still mean the festival is unable to go ahead. 

On the site’s FAQ section it warns: “If social distancing laws remain in place by August, Green Man will not go ahead this year.” 

Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced social distancing regulations in England are likely to be lifted from July 19, with a decision to be made next week, but the Welsh Government has given no such indications it will drop its two meter social distancing rule. The next Welsh Government review of its lockdown restrictions is due to be announced on July 15. 

The festival, via its @GreenManFest Twitter account, has said it cannot make a decision until it knows the Welsh Government’s stance on regulations. 

In a tweet the festival said: “Successful test events have taken place in Wales & England, but unfortunately we just don’t know when restrictions will be lifted in Wales. We’re also awaiting an update on gov-backed festival insurance in the case of a forced covid cancellation. This would be a crucial lifeline.” 

It also said regulations that have allowed sporting events, such as Wales’ rugby international against Canada to take place in front of nearly 7,000 fans in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, don’t apply to music festivals. 

South Wales Argus: The Green Man Picture: Nici EberlThe Green Man Picture: Nici Eberl

Organiser Stewart was also quoted on outdoor events industry website Access All Areas discussing the difficulties of planning a festival at present and said: “We’ve already paid money to artists and suppliers but a decision, one way or the other, as to whether we press ahead with the festival will have to be made around a month beforehand. 

“We are doing everything we can to stage it. We have been able to hold on this long because of the brilliant relationships we have with supplier and artists, they have bent over backwards to try to accommodate us.” 


The Green Man boss also said she had declined the chance for the festival to be a Welsh Government trial outdoor event due to a lack of financial security if it was cancelled. 

Regulations have been eased to allow music events to take place in Wales under some restrictions, including social distancing, and the Tafwyl festival, at Cardiff Castle, went ahead as a pilot event in May. 

UK-based festivals have previously called for a government backed insurance scheme. The Peter Gabriel founded Womad festival, which normally takes place in Wiltshire, England, last week cancelled its 2021 event citing the lack of an insurance scheme. 

John Morris, who is the local councillor representing Crickhowell on Powys County Council, said the music festival, which also features comedy acts and children's entertainment, is important to the local economy. 

South Wales Argus: Entertainment at the Green Man Picture: Visit Wales (Crown Copyright)Entertainment at the Green Man Picture: Visit Wales (Crown Copyright)

The Liberal Democrat said: “The Green Man Festival is hugely important for the local economy and cultural life of Crickhowell. Two cancelled years in a row, would have a devastating impact on Green Man, but also on many other individuals and businesses in the Usk Valley and Brecon Beacons area.” 

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Government said it is in contact with the Green Man Festival.  

She said: “Decisions on the way forward on any further relaxation of restrictions on events will be taken as part of the regular 21-day review process. We are in regular contact with the organisers of the Green Man Festival in relation to this year’s event.”

  • This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.