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Best of '09

What was the most memorable arts event of 2009? Were you blown away by Enron at the Royal Court? Did you love Lily Allen at Glastonbury? Was Antony Gormley's Fourth Plinth the defining cultural moment of the year? Or perhaps it was an unheralded gig or play in your local theatre which stole the show?

Here, Independent writers name some of their favourite cultural moments of the year.

In the comments form below or via email to arts@independent.co.uk nominate your favourite - in film, music, theatre, comedy, dance or visual arts - with a brief explanation as to why it tops your list and we'll print a selection in The Independent Readers' Review of 2009.
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independent minds

Holly Williams: Green Man Festival

Posted by Best of '09
  • Wednesday, 9 December 2009 at 12:09 pm
Maybe choosing a festival is a bit of a cheat – lots of artists under one open sky. But Green Man probably contained my favourite one-off musical performance too, in Bon Iver’s Saturday set. A slow convert to singer-songwriter Justin Vernon’s stuff (although friends had been telling me all year how amazing the album For Emma, Forever Ago was) this soaring performance completely sealed the deal. Bon Iver found just the right balance between staying true to the simple arrangements of bittersweet love-and-loss songs as found on the album, and allowing an epic, multi-instrumental emotional swell to give you the sort of spine shivers that only happen at live performances. The set pulled a large - and soon enraptured - crowd, making this the sort of ‘festival experience’ it’s easy to gush over, especially when Vernon got us all singing along on ‘The Wolves’. It really was a bit magical, though.

But Green Man is also a good all-rounder, with an eclectic line up, great atmosphere, friendly people and a stunning location in the Welsh hills (which feels happily close to home for me). As well as getting reliable doses of sunshiney indie-whimsy from Emmy the Great, Camera Obscura and Vetiver, there were delightful new finds while dozing in the grass (the haunting weirdness of Mary Hampton springs to mind), and late nights were catered for with danceable DJ sets, film screenings, and bonfires.

Tell us your favourite cultural moments of the year in the comments form below or email them to arts@independent.co.uk. We'll print the best in the paper.


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