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Gŵyl 2021 Online Festival

Four Welsh arts festivals are coming together on the 6th-7th March 2021 to form the Gŵyl Online festival, writes Sophie Platt.

After a year of minimal access to live festivals and music, Gŵyl 2021 brings together the Festival of Voice, FOCUS Wales, Other Voices Cardigan, and Aberystwyth Comedy Festival for a digital festival which embraces diversity and celebrates music and comedy from around Wales, broadcasted internationally.

Gŵyl 2021 will allow people to discover new artists and see established performers from Wales and further. Some of the acts include Cate Le Bon in collaboration with Gruff Rhys, award-winning Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Tim Burgess’ Listening party and Catrin Finch. There will also be appearances from BERWYN (BBC Music Sound of 2021), Carys Eleri, the Adelaide Fringe Festival Winner, and Arlo Parks and Dani Rain, drummers from the band Neck Deep.

Other acts include Welsh Language Album of the Year winner Ani Glass, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Jordan Brookes, Dublin four-piece Sprints, spoken word artist Jaffrin Khan, plus many more.

Jaffrin Khan

Graeme Farrow, the Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre said: “Festival of Voice has been the highlight of our calendar since 2016, and last year’s festival was shaping up to be no exception. The exciting and ambitious plans we’d made were dashed by the pandemic, but we’re all delighted to be able to work with such outstanding partners to deliver Gŵyl 2021 in March. It brings together the very best of all four festivals, and our shared spirit of curiosity and passion for great performance. We hope it brings a bit of much-needed joy to audiences to blow away the cobwebs.”

Gŵyl 2021 includes content from other platforms as well, such as FOCUS Wales who have scheduled a screening of Eternal Beauty, a feature film made in Wales starring David Thewlis and Sally Hawkins. There will also be a selection of new music from Canada and Québec, which will all be streamed on AM Cymru, the Welsh cultural app on the 5-10 March 2021. Highlights from Other Voices Cardigan are due to be broadcasted on S4C at a later date.

Charlotte Adigery

All aspects of the festival; filming, recording and rehearsals, have either taken place under the local Coronavirus guidelines, or will be. Content made in Wales has been discussed with the Welsh Government.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director of BBC Cymru Wales said: “BBC Wales is delighted to be working with Gŵyl 2021. We need a blast of creativity, comedy and music right now and this unprecedented partnership with four brilliant Welsh festivals promises to be a real gem.”

The festival will be available to view again on the BBC website under Gŵyl 2021 and also shared across BBC Cymru Wales.

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