Gŵyl Cymru Festival programme announced

Gŵyl Cymru Festival programme

The FAW and the Arts Council of Wales announce the programme for Gŵyl Cymru Festival, a 10-day celebration of creativity in support for Wales during the FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign.

Gŵyl Cymru Festival kicks off on 19 November, and almost all the events will be free.

Programme highlights include:

● Footballroom; a dance/theatre show exploring football and LGBTQ rights, produced by August 012
● Live comedy gigs across Cymru and London, featuring comedians from other World Cup nations as well as familiar names from Cymru inc. Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Mike Bubbins
● Live music inc. from Sage Todz and Juice Menace (in Cardiff), Gwilym and Y Cledrau (in Dolgellau), Lemfreck, Mace the Great and Teddy Hunter (in NYC) and 11-piece brass band The Barry Horns (in Dubai)
● Literary events and panel discussions inc. with the Rainbow Wall, poet Rhys Iorwerth and the National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa
● An event hosted by the Syrian Welsh Society to acknowledge and celebrate the support of refugees for Cymru
● Activity curated by Cymru’s biggest and best-known arts organisations, including Welsh National Opera, National Museum Wales, National Theatre Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Tŷ Pawb and Chapter Arts Centre
● Plenty of events for children, including t-shirt-making workshops and sticker swaps

Gŵyl Cymru Festival aims to unify and amplify the wealth of arts, music and events being created for Wales’ historic World Cup journey and introduce new audiences to Welsh arts, culture and language – ensuring a cultural legacy to the FIFA World Cup 2022, brought by the smallest qualifying country to take part.

Key to the festival is supporting independent grassroots venues, which is why the programme’s venues include community organisations, football clubs, schools, community pubs and memorial halls. Many of the programme’s events will take place alongside screenings of Wales’ fixtures during the tournament, and there’ll be a wealth of online events too, so the festival can be enjoyed from the comfort of home.

The full programme is now live at gwyl.cymru.

The National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa, was commissioned by FAW and Literature Wales to write The Crowd Gathers; the official poem for Gŵyl Cymru Festival. It has been translated by Grug Muse into Welsh, under the title Mae’r Dorf yn Ymgynnull. Both Hanan Issa and Grug Muse feature in The Crowd Gathers’ official poem video^, citing lines from the poem in English, Welsh and Arabic, accompanied by music from Welsh artist, Sage Todz. Gŵyl Cymru Festival is supported by the Welsh Government’s World Cup Partner Support Fund.

Gŵyl Cymru Festival programme

World Cup Arts Producer, Nick Davies, said: “This is a special moment for football in Cymru – and also for Welsh culture. The world is watching so we want to create and promote events that best represent what Cymru is about – events that are inclusive, celebratory and fun, that people from all our communities can engage in.”

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “As excitement levels build ahead of Wales’ first World Cup in 64 years, the Gŵyl Cymru Festival will help us to celebrate our wonderful culture and heritage, at home and abroad, and allow us all to get behind the team.

“With a range of free events taking place across the globe, the festival will help promote Wales worldwide and project our values of inclusivity and diversity.

“We may be the smallest qualifying country, but we have big ambitions and a wealth of talent and history. I am delighted the Welsh Government is supporting what promises to be a truly unique celebration of Welsh football, Welsh values and Welsh life.”

Dafydd Rhys, Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales, said: “This is a truly incredible event; a festival that not only celebrates our team’s achievement but is also a celebration of the arts and the rich diversity of our communities. Without a doubt, there is something for everyone in the Gŵyl Cymru Festival, in every corner of our country – and beyond!”

Football Association of Wales CEO, Noel Mooney, said: “In just a few days’ time Wales will be visible on the world stage like never before! It is fantastic to see the support Cymru will receive during the tournament and how the amazing Gŵyl Cymru Festival events and venues will truly showcase and celebrate our incredible Welsh culture, arts and supporters across Wales and worldwide.

“Thanks to funding support from Welsh Government, our ambition for the Gŵyl Cymru Festival to introduce new audiences and members of Y Wal Goch to elements of Welsh art and culture they may not have come across before is sure to be met! I’m looking forward to hearing what events our Cymru fans will be attending.”

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