Four major Welsh arts festivals are joining forces to stage Gŵyl 2021; a free, online festival available on 6th – 7th of March 2021.
Four of Wales’ best-loved festivals – Festival of Voice (Wales Millennium Centre), FOCUS Wales, Other Voices Cardigan and Aberystwyth Comedy Festival – have come together in lockdown with the support of the Welsh Government to create Gŵyl 2021; a free, online festival packed with unforgettable music, comedy and conversation. Captured over recent months in Wales and internationally within Coronavirus guidelines, Gŵyl 2021 will be available on the BBC website on the weekend of 6th – 7th of March 2021.
An extraordinary digital gathering for these exceptional times, Gŵyl 2021 shines a light of determination and resilience from the creative scene in Wales. Following almost a year of physical distancing, Gŵyl 2021 marks an emotional moment of unity – of artists and audiences, from Wales and the world. It recognises that our collective voice is a powerful sum of its parts. “Whilst the past year has been an unprecedented challenge for the events industry, an event like this shows that the arts community has also come together as a result of that challenge,” said Henry Widdicombe of Aberystwyth Comedy Festival.
In true festival style, Gŵyl 2021 will be a celebration of the established, and a discovery of the eclectic and the emerging, from Wales and further afield. The line-up includes contributions from Cate Le Bon in collaboration with Gruff Rhys, the award-winning Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Tim Burgess’ Listening Party, and Catrin Finch; plus BERWYN (BBC Music Sound of 2021), Carys Eleri (Adelaide Fringe Festival winner), Arlo Parks and Dani Rain, the drumming force behind Neck Deep.
Other highlights of Gŵyl 2021 include Charlotte Adigéry, post-punk Welsh Music Prize winners Adwaith, Irish poet and art rock pioneer Sinead O’Brien and Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Jordan Brookes; Welsh Language Album of the Year winner Ani Glass, Dublin four-piece Sprints, Cardiff-based Guinean griot musician N’Famady Kouyate and sketch group Tarot. Dance company Jukebox Collective have also curated performances from reggae artist Aleighcia Scott, RnB/soul artist Faith, rapper King Khan, singer and rapper Reuel Elijah, spoken word artist Jaffrin Khan and more.
There’s an exclusive, one-off performance by Brett Anderson, Charles Hazlewood and Paraorchestra, featuring special guests Nadine Shah, Adrian Utley & Seb Rochford, plus special episodes of the comedy podcasts from Little Wander, Welcome to Spooktown and I Wish I Was an Only Child, featuring guest appearances from some famous faces.
The festival will also include content on other platforms: FOCUS Wales have 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, 5th – 10th of March 2021. S4C will broadcast exclusive highlights from Other Voices Cardigan at a later date (yet to be confirmed).
“We all 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,” said Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Cymru Wales. Content from Gŵyl 2021 will be available to view for seven days following the event and will be shared across BBC Cymru Wales.
To find out more about Gŵyl 2021, visit the BBC website and get involved on social media using the hashtag #gŵyl2021.