WALES’ largest music, science and arts festival, Green Man Festival, came to a triumphant close on Sunday night with a thrilling headline set from Fontaines D.C.

The Dublin four piece’s first major festival headline show followed headliners from across the weekend, including Caribou, Tirzah and Mogwai, and was a truly raucous display with the Black Mountains looming behind them.

Following the closing performance, festivalgoers made their annual pilgrimage across the site to witness the annual burning of the handcrafted Green Man effigy under the full moon, celebrating the end of an emotional return to the hallowed festival grounds.

Jasmine Bovingdon Wood sang Welsh lullaby ‘Suo Gân’ at this year's Green Man burn. People write wishes or thoughts on the Green Man, which is burned at the end of the festival.

Bass maestro Thundercat graced the stage before Fontaines D.C., serenading the crowd with his astral, micro-funk odysseys.

Over at the Far Out tent, Sheffield’s finest Self Esteem, AKA Rebecca-Lucy Taylor, performed one of the standout sets of the weekend to an overflowing tent. Her show was one filled with honesty, warmth, humour and perfected choreography where she played tracks from her debut record, ‘Compliments Please’, new music from her new forthcoming second album ‘Prioritise Pleasure’, receiving a rapturous reaction to the record’s lead single ‘I Do This All Time’.

At the Walled Garden stage earlier in the day, post-punk cephalopods Squid arrived on stage for their very special secret set. The band have come a long way since their Green Man 2019 performance, releasing their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Bright Green Field’ this year via the legendary Warp records. Ollie Judge, drummer and singer, performed with a blazing intensity ripping through tracks from their debut.

Earlier in the day there were some buoyant, up-tempo jazz party starters provided by London collective Steam Down. One of the most special moments of the day was provided by Green Man Rising competition winner Teddy Hunter, who beat off competition from 3,000 hopefuls and over 30,000 votes to open the main stage on Sunday morning. Also playing the stage were folk heroes The Staves, and the incredible saxophonist and 2021 Mercury Prize nominated Nubya Garcia.

As ever, there were a host of stimulating talks at the Talking Shop stage. Chilly Gonzales spoke about his passion for Enya while drag punk superstar Ash Kenazi closed out the stage with a riveting conversation with Self Esteem for a live podcast recording.

On the final day the Rising stage was once again one of the most buzzy places to be. Rough Trade signed Caroline cast a spell over the audience while Drug Store Romeos and Roscoe Roscoe both played rapturously received sets.

After the Green Man burn, techno duo Overmono brought their cavernous brand of bass music to the Far Out stage.

Einstein’s Garden was filled with zany science displays, while over at the Last Laugh stage, Mark Olver, Jessica Fostekew and Touissant Douglass brought the laughter to the final day of Green Man.

The Little Folk children’s area continued to pioneer family-centric fun at UK festivals with a broad programme of entertainment and interactive exhibitions; this year’s theme was the ‘Land Before Little Folk’. Families were the first to stream into the site when the settlement opened last Monday, for 5,000 enthusiastic festivalgoers who turned their festival experience to a seven-day holiday in Wales. The Settlers warmed up for the festival with a programme of workshops, guided walks, bike riding, canoeing and adventures in the mystical Welsh countryside.

The final day of Green Man was the perfect encapsulation of why it is one of the most beloved festivals in the UK. Incredible music bookings, thriving arts programming and an inclusive, joyous space for all involved.

Tickets for next year’s 20th anniversary festival go on sale on September 28.