I love the Greenbelt festival, ‘the best festival you’ve never heard of’, I love seeing my friends there every year, I love the way that the programming is consistently adventurous and provocative. I love the way that it tries really hard to do important things, despite limited resources.
This year’s lineup (as of March 2018, there’s plenty more to be announced) is already classic: combining festival regulars like Martyn Joseph, every inch the troubadour, and spoken word comedy music duo Harry & Chris, with inspired choices – particularly this year’s headliners Russian artist activists ‘Pussy Riot’.
Greenbelt has been working hard to ensure that more female voices are heard throughout the festival. Last year’s festival was strong on female representation, including GRRRL – In place of war, who went on to feature in Songlines magazine some months after their Greenbelt appearance, demonstrating the festival’s ability to get ahead of the curve.
The poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy is another ‘big female name’ for 2018, and for some another controversial voice – although not for anyone who is in any way a Greenbelt regular I’d guess.
There are loads of other brilliant names already on the bill: 6music favourites Ibibio Sound Machine, Duke Special, I’m with her, Jack Monroe and Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires (who were a brilliant find at Greenbelt 2017) to name but a few.
Still to come, announcements on the spirituality/faith programming which remain a core part of the festival’s identity, as well as much more. But on the strength of the ‘first’ announcements alone, the 45th Greenbelt is shaping up to become a classic. Tier one (discounted) tickets are available until the end of April.