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Welsh festivals join forces for mega virtual event

Four of Wales’ best-known festivals have banded together to create Gŵyl (Festival) 2021, a free online festival which will assemble both domestic and international artists to mark “a moment of unity” after almost a year of social distancing.

Festival of Voice, Focus Wales, Other Voices Cardigan and Aberystwyth Comedy Festival are behind Gŵyl 2021, which will bring together comedy and music in the form of special collaborations, exclusive one-off performances, podcast streamings and feature films.

Gŵyl 2021 will feature a collaboration between Cate le Bon and Gruff Rhys, an edition of Tim Burgess’ Listening Party and an exclusive, one-off performance by Brett Anderson, Charles Hazlewood and Paraorchestra, featuring special guests Nadine Shah, Adrian Utley & Seb Rochford among other contributions.

Alongside the performances, Focus Wales has programmed a special screening of Eternal Beauty, a new feature film made in Wales and starring David Thewlis and Sally Hawkins, plus a bespoke selection of the best new music from across Canada and Québec, all to be streamed on the Welsh cultural app AM Cymru, 5-10 March 2021.

“We look forward to a brighter future and to coming together and celebrating Wales’ rich and diverse cultural offering”

“We are delighted that Focus Wales has been able to work in partnership with three of Wales’ best-known festivals to create Gŵyl 2021,” says Neal Thompson of Focus Wales.

“After what has been a dark and difficult year for us all, we look forward to a brighter future and to coming together and celebrating Wales’ rich and diverse cultural offering, with a programme of outstanding music and comedy.”

Wales’s deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, says: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this pan-Wales partnership, which will bring the best of these wonderful festivals to a wide audience.

“Throughout this pandemic, the innovative response in sharing, celebrating and bringing people together from the events and creative industries has been extremely successful – and has provided hope and entertainment during these difficult times.”

Gŵyl 2021 will be available across the UK at www.bbc.co.uk/gwyl2021 on the weekend of 6-7 March 2021.


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