Tafwyl Festival: Cardiff's yearly celebration of Welsh arts and culture will be held online in 2020. 

To be streamed live on 20 June from Cardiff Castle, the lively and uplifting programme of events 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.

Tafwyl 2020 Poster by Tafwyl’s official illustrator, Efa Lois. Originally from Ceredigion, Efa’s work focuses mainly on positivity, flowers, 70s aesthetics and mythology. Find out more about the poster and a limited edition print here. 

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