Tafwyl is delighted to be collaborating with Philadelphia Folk Festival, North America’s oldest music festival, which typically attracts 35,000 visitors, and is celebrating its 59th year.
This is another pioneering festival, which is offering a fully digital music experience for the first time this year, taking place from the 13th-16th of August 2020.
Al Lewis, an Award winning Welsh language Singer Songwriter’s incredible performance at Tafwyl will be relived as part of the festival, as well as opportunities to enjoy some of Tafwyl’s other highlights. Al said:
“I’m incredibly excited about sharing my performance from this year’s Tafwyl festival with the attendees of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. I’m very proud of my Welsh roots and to be able to share our culture and music with people from across the world is one of the main reasons why I love doing this job. I hope in the coming years’ I’ll be able to go to Philadelphia and perform these songs in person! Thank you to Tafwyl & Arts Council of Wales for enabling this project to happen.”
We are grateful to Wales Arts International for the support in making this possible. Eluned Hâf, Head of Wales Arts International said:
“As one of the International Partners of Philadelphia Folk Festival this year, and as part of our investment in the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages, we are proud to be able to bring Philadephia a Welsh postcard of music in the form of Al Lewis’s outstanding performance at Tafwyl. This is a fantastic opportunity to put Welsh music on an international stage and to capitalize on the ability of digital festivals to transport artists and audiences to all corners of the world – from Cardiff Castle to Pennsylvania.”
Today sees the publication of the Tafwyl 2020 Evaluation Report highlighting our audience’s hugely positive response to this year’s digital Festival.
Following the huge success of Tafwyl 2019 (recently recognized at the Cardiff Life Awards as the city’s best event) the concept of Tafwyl was further developed this year, under Covid19’s challenging circumstances, via a virtual broadcast.
On Saturday 20th June, this innovative event took place with an ambitious programme being streamed live from Tafwyl’s most recent home, Cardiff Castle, directly into people’s homes.
The festival was watched by a global audience of more than 8,000 who tuned in to enjoy a digital version of Tafwyl – Cardiff’s annual celebration of Welsh arts and culture – with people watching from the USA, Japan, Netherlands, Spain and France to name but a few.
During a worrying time for the arts, artists, and the event industry alike, the festival provided essential cultural output and industry support at a time when it was most needed.
The established blend of live music, literature, discussions and activities made up the programme:
• 10 artists performing 50 songs;
• 60 speakers across 19 discussion groups and Q&As;
• 16 children’s workshops;
• Over 50 stalls in a virtual market on Facebook;
• Performances by Cardiff & The Vale of Glamorgan’s schools.
40% of the audience watched all afternoon, with a further 46% dipping in and out. 93% felt that the Festival was welcoming and 99% said they’re likely to return next year.
As we look towards 2021, we will build on the vast array of new experiences this year whilst continuing to review our vision to secure a bright future for this ground-breaking festival, which will celebrate its 15th birthday next year!
Planning for the future will require us to learn from our past events and evolve to provide the best possible experience for our audience, and continue to be an inclusive and proud festival celebrating the Welsh language, arts and culture in the heart of Cardiff.
There will be further exciting announcements over the coming months
With Tafwyl being held online this year, you’ll need to create your own festival vibe at home! How about decorating the garden with Tafwyl bunting by artist Efa Lois, or having a go at cooking your own version of Ffwrnes Pizza? If you’ll be able to collect some elderflower today, you’ll be able to make some elderflower champagne just in time for Tafwyl! Share pictures of your homemade Tafwyl with us on #tafwyl20
To be streamed live on 20 June from Cardiff Castle, the lively and uplifting programme of events will be a very welcome distraction from the current situation and will offer the established blend of live music, literature, discussions, and activities for children.
The music will be streamed from the event’s most recent home, Cardiff Castle, making it one of the first UK festivals to stream from the festival venue.
Manon Rees O’Brien, Chief Executive of Menter Caerdydd, the festival organisers, said:
“The bedroom gigs recently seen by other popular festivals have of course been fantastic at filling the cultural gap over the past few weeks, but the team at Menter Caerdydd felt it would be amazing to be able to offer artists and viewers at home a quality production from our iconic venue to celebrate all that’s great about our language and culture. Of course, throughout the planning period, safety has been our top priority, and we have complied fully with the government’s regulations and restrictions. Thanks must go to our key funders and supporters who have enabled us to bring you Tafwyl this year. We can’t wait to be back at Cardiff Castle, albeit in a strictly controlled environment with minimal crew and no live audience.”
During a worrying time for the arts, artists, and the event industry alike, the festival will provide essential cultural output and industry support at a time when it is most needed.
Antwn Owen-Hicks from The Arts Council of Wales said:
“Tafwyl is now the main Welsh language arts event in Cardiff, that attracts audiences from all over Wales and beyond. We are so pleased that Tafwyl decided to hold a digital festival this year to keep in touch with their audience. It is good to see them being innovative and thinking of a way to continue to offer our artists a platform during these difficult times – digitally for the first time. It is a time of great change to our normal lives and it is heartening to see the creative sector coping and adapting so well. We are delighted to be supporting Tafwyl through our National Lottery grants.”
Clwb Ifor Bach have curated an eclectic mix of 10 artists to perform from Cardiff Castle, including live sets by popular singer-songwriter Al Lewis, art-rock group HMS Morris and electro-pop performer Hana. Acoustic sets will be performed by synthpop songstress Casi, talented folk musician Gareth Bonello and funk-pop artist Alun Gaffey.
As well as the live music, several of Tafwyl’s usual offerings will be provided, including Q&As, literature sessions and children’s workshops. Highlights include a Q&A with FAW, who of course should have been in Rome over the Tafwyl weekend, a circus workshop for children with Nofit State and spoken word with Y Stamp. The traders who were planning on having a market stall as this year’s event will also get involved, by trading in a virtual market on Facebook; and Welsh medium schools from Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan will have a dedicated platform to showcase their talents.
Food and drink have always been a huge part of Tafwyl’s appeal and going digital will not change that. Some of the caterers who were due to trade at the event will be delivering food to the audience’s door including The Bearded Taco, Mr Croquewich, Y Bwrdd and West Pizza; and St Cannas will be providing a bar delivery service of Welsh ales and cider.
Huw Stephens, who will be presenting live from the castle, said;
“It’s a strange and different summer for everyone. But Cardiff, music and the Welsh community continue to bring a little sunshine to June. I am delighted to be a part of Tafwyl 2020, with so many interesting events happening on-line, and of course ten artists playing live sets from Cardiff Castle. Log on, check it out, turn it up.”
Menter Caerdydd, a charity who promote and extend the social use of the Welsh language in Cardiff have been funded and supported by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales, Arts & Business Cymru, Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council to present Tafwyl.
Tafwyl will join forces with Gŵyl Fach y Fro, an annual festival on Barry Island celebrating Welsh arts, culture, and language organised by Menter Iaith Bro Morgannwg, and combine resources in order to appeal to the followers and audience of both festivals.
Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said:
“Even though we can’t all be together at Tafwyl this year, it’s very exciting news that we’ll get a little bit of the Tafwyl experience from our homes. The innovative response in sharing, celebrating and bringing people together from the events and creative industries has been excellent – and has provided hope and entertainment during these difficult times. Creative Wales has also supported the AM platform and it’s excellent to see the growth in this content sharing platform while supporting and promoting the arts and creative sector. Of course, many people may not have heard as much Welsh being spoken during this time – and this will be a great opportunity to bring some more of the Welsh language into our homes.”
Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council said;
“I’m delighted to have been able to give the keys of Cardiff Castle to Tafwyl for this year’s festival. This is one of my favourite Welsh festivals, combining music, culture and our language in a way that’s effortless, enjoyable and open to all. Of course the pandemic means the festival can’t go ahead with the huge crowds that it has attracted over the past few years, but by opening up the castle for this live broadcast, I hope it will remind everyone of the great times they’ve had there in the past, will give them a real buzz on the day, and whet their appetite for its full return next year.”
The festival will be streamed through AM – an online platform sharing creative work from Wales’ cultural scene. The AM app is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play at www.amam.cymru/ambobdim or available to view on desktop at www.amam.cymru