“Not enough support” for Welsh bands say artists on Dydd Miwsig Cymru
After almost a year of cancelled gigs, musicians are calling on the Government to provide them with more support in the face of Coronavirus.
Today is Welsh Language Music Day (Dydd Miwsig Cymru). The annual event organised by the Welsh Government aims to celebrate and promote all types of Welsh music.
In previous years, bars, clubs and music venues would be bustling with crowds of all ages, but this year artists will live-stream their performances online and on the ‘AM’ app.
However, with next to no opportunities to perform in front of crowds Daniel Jones, a member of the band WigWam, is calling for more support from the Government: “I don’t think Welsh bands have had enough support from the Government.
“A lot of a musician’s job is to perform and gig live, in front of a live audience and now that’s been taken away from them.
“The money they get from Spotify or iTunes etc is not really enough to maintain their job so some have had to go ahead to find another income. More support from the Government for all these artists around Wales would have been useful.”
Llew Glyn is a member of the band Gwilym and says he has not had any direct support from the Government.
A lot of a musician’s job is to perform and gig live, in front of a live audience and now that’s been taken away from them
Daniel Jones, WigWam
“The support is next to nothing, we haven’t had anything directly given to us, but we have had indirect grants through organisations and businesses that want to put on virtual gigs,” he said.
It’s not only the artists who are experiencing a very different Dydd Miwsig Cymru today. Cat Morris from Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff says the occasion is a brilliant opportunity to promote Welsh music but events like this are not the same when celebrated virtually:
“Not having thousands of people turn up to socialise and listen and appreciate Welsh music is a huge loss and multiple generations are losing out. It’s not just a younger or older crowd, a lot of people that usually go to events like these,” she said.
Elsewhere, celebrations have been bigger than ever. Pupils at primary school Ysgol y Castell in Caerphilly have had much of their schoolwork this week, tailored towards today’s events. Mr Gareth Hughes, the deputy head says days like these are important for the younger generation.
“From a primary school point of view I think the music is seen as cool and it’s something the children like listening to. [Dydd Miwsig Cymru] is about making music a little more modern for the children,” he said.
“One of the biggest battles we’re finding is that 90% of our pupils come from English speaking homes, so any opportunity to immerse them in the language is a good thing.”
90% of our pupils come from English speaking homes, so any opportunity to immerse them in the language is a good thing
Mr Gareth Hughes, Deputy head at Ysgol y Castell
The Welsh Government has been approached for a comment.