The Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Arts Council of Wales (ACW) have announced the programme for the Gŵyl Cymru Festival, a 10-day celebration of creativity as part of the nation’s support for Cymru during their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign.
The free Gŵyl Cymru Festival will kick off on 19 November, with a programme of events taking place across the country to coincide with Cymru’s first three games.
Planned 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 a’r Cledrau (in Dolgellau), Lemfreck and Kizzy Crawford (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.
- Events for children, including t-shirt-making workshops and sticker swaps.
In addition, the National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa, has been commissioned by FAW and Literature Wales to write The Crowd Gathers; the official poem for Gŵyl Cymru Festival. The poem has been translated by Grug Muse into Welsh, under the title Mae’r Dorf yn Ymgynnull.
Gŵyl Cymru Festival aims to unify and amplify the wealth of arts, music and events being created for Cymru’s 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. World Cup Arts Producer, Nick Davies, describes the Festival as “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.”
Key to this aim will be the support the Festival plans to provide to independent grassroots venues, with the programme’s venue list including community organisations, football clubs, schools, community pubs and memorial halls. Many of the programme’s events will take place alongside screenings of Cymru’s fixtures during the tournament, and will be accompanied by a range of online events, meaning that elements of the festival can be accessed remotely by those unable to attend in person.
“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!”
Dafydd Rhys, Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales
Gŵyl Cymru Festival is supported by the Welsh Government’s World Cup Partner Support Fund.
Full details of the Festival and listings for all of the events taking place can be found on the Gŵyl Cymru Festival website. You can follow news from the Festival on social media, using #GŵylCymru.