4 events to go to in 2017 to experience welsh culture

Cardiff is a great city with loads of amazing things to experience, but Wales has so much more to offer than just its capital, this list will help you see as much as you can.

Wales is an amazing country with a rich cultural background, we have compiled a list of 4 events this year for you to see and experience as much a possible.

The events take place all over the country, from the award winning coastline to the luscious mountainside and you’ll be able reach most of them on public transport from Cardiff.

Wales has so much to offer there will be something for everybody check out the list below and see where in Wales 2017 will take you.

Cwlwm Celtaidd

Welsh folk band Calan will be preforming at this year’s Cwlwm Celtaidd

When: 10th-12th March

Where: Porthcawl

Cwlwm Celtaidd, Wales interceltic festival is a musical celebration of the celtic countries which takes place in the coastal town of porthcawl.

There will be music, songs and dance from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany.

This years festival takes place on the weekend of the RBS 6 nations  Wales Vs Ireland match which will be incorporated into the festivities.

Organisers say, “For a whole weekend, visitors will be able to enjoy performances, workshops, street dancing as well as watch the Wales v Ireland 6 Nations rugby match live on a big screen”

The full lineup is yet to be announced but the headline acts were recently revealed.

“Bands Calan and Jamie Smith’s Mabon will join other artists to perform at Porthcawl’s Grand Pavilion on March 10-12th, 2017 in the annual festival that celebrates music and dance from the Celtic nations.”

Calan is a Welsh folk band playing at Cwlwm Celtaidd on the Saturday, ahead of their international tour to promote their new album.

Calan’s fiddle player, Angharad Jenkins said, “I’m really looking forward to play at Cwlwm Celtaidd once more this year. It’s a pleasure to be part of this Welsh festival that celebrates music and dance of all the Celtic nations…I’m sure a great big party will take place in Porthcawl over the weekend.”

Jamie Smith’s Mabon a band whose music has roots in all the celtic countries will perform on the Friday night.

Organisers say “On Friday, March 10th, Wales v Ireland 6 Nations clash will be shown live on the big screen with live music and dance and a special performance by Jamie Smith’s Mabon to close the evening.”

Other artists will be joining the lineup and the weekend of music, live dance and competitions promises to be one to remember.

Click here for more information or to buy tickets

The Hay Festival

Picture credit: Marsha Arnold

When: 25th May – 4th June

Where: Hay-on-Wye

The Hay Festival is an annual literary festival held in Wales.

Taking place for 10 days at the end of May the festival is a celebration of writing and writers from all sorts of backgrounds.

The organisers say “Hay Festival brings readers and writers together in sustainable events around the world to share stories and ideas. The festivals aim to inspire, examine and entertain, inviting participants to imagine the world as it is and as it might be.”

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Hay Festival so if you’ve never been before this year is a great year to start.

The full line up has not yet been announced and is expected in Spring.

Organisers have said of this milestone event: “the 30th Hay Festival in Wales promises to be as diverse, pertinent and illuminating as ever before, featuring Nobel Prize winners, novelists, scientists, global leaders, historians, musicians and comedians together in discussions and performances across more than 600 events, plus a series of special projects that will celebrate Hay’s anniversary.”

Picture Credit: Marsha Arnold

The Hay festival has events with wide range of speakers so there is something for everybody no matter  what their interests.

Organisers told us,“Last year’s festival saw appearances from Caitlin Moran, Sam Mendes, Michael Palin, Simon Schama, Germaine Greer, Salman Rushdie, Gordon Brown, Yanis Varoufakis, Mervyn King, Tom Jones, Monty Don and Tom Holland”

From its humble beginnings Hay Festival now holds events globally but Wales’ is still the original and the best.

“Founded around a kitchen table in Wales in 1987, it has so far travelled to 30 locations, from the beaches of Cartagena de Indias to the heart of the cities of Beirut and Mumbai, becoming one of the world’s leading literary organisations promoting the transformative power of conversation.”

The Hay Festival is site free to enter, so you only pay for the events you want see. Many of the events are free and students can get free access to paid events by contacting the Box Office.

Click here for more information

The Big Cheese

Caerphilly Council

When: 28th- 30th July

Where: Caerphilly

The Big Cheese a festival celebrating the heritage and culture of Caerphilly turns 20 in 2017.

This year’s event is still in the early stages of planning but the annual event attracts 80,000 visitors to the town every year.

Caerphilly council says, “The Big Cheese is a ‘must see’ attraction for all visitors, … Portraying the history, heritage and culture of Caerphilly. Families from all over the country flocked to Caerphilly to experience this fun filled programme of activities and entertainment.”

The festival normally boasts a packed programme with a large variety of activity so there is something for everybody.

Organisers say,“The event will host street entertainers, living history re-enactments, music, dance, a traditional funfair, falconry, craft and market stalls with produce from near and far, and much much more.”

Caerphilly Council

The Big Cheese is also an opportunity to showcase local musical talent, with last years lineup including a significant number of Welsh artists from a wide range of genres.

Organisers say, “A fun filled programme of entertainment at the big cheese includes a fabulous music programme. The best of welsh musical entertainment including local groups will get your feet tapping with a blend of Folk, Blues and lots more.”

In a curious tradition the Big Cheese festival starts its fun filled weekend with the Great Cheese Race.

“The weekend of entertainment will start off with the Great Cheese Race…where competitors work in pairs to see who can carry a truckle of Caerphilly Cheese along the route in the shortest time.”

You have to sign up for the race in advance but the festival itself is free so just show up and enjoy an amazing weekend in the Welsh valleys.

Click here for more information

The National Eisteddfod

Eisteddfod 1
Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru

When:  4th-12th August

Where: Anglesey

The Eisteddfod is a annual festival celebrating Wales’ culture and the Welsh language, which travels all over the country.

This year’s festival is taking place in Anglesey at the start of August.

Organisers say, “The Eisteddfod is the jewel in the Welsh cultural crown and it’s your chance to experience the best that Wales has to offer”.

The Eisteddfod is traditionally competition based but over the years it has evolved into into a varied festival incorporating music, dance and literature along with many other facets of welsh culture.

There is even a battle of the bands, in order to encourage welsh rock bands to compose and perform in welsh.

Organisers say, “Once again this year, Maes B and Radio Cymru have joined forces to launch one of the highlights of the Welsh Rock Scene – Brwydr y Bandiau (Battle of the Bands), with the final held on the Eisteddfod’s open air stage in August.”

Eisteddfod 2
Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru

Although the Eisteddfod is a celebration of welsh language there is a really inclusive atmosphere and there is plenty to do if you don’t speak welsh.

Eisteddfod staff say, “You don’t have to speak Welsh to enjoy the Eisteddfod, with plenty of music, art and dance on offer, and there’s free translation in the Pavilion so you can follow everything.”

If all the dancing tires you out there will plenty of opportunities to take a break, do some shopping and have a snack.

“With over 250 trade stalls it’s a mecca for shoppers and with a wide choice of food and drink stalls it’s the perfect venue to catch up with friends old and new.”

Click here for more information

If you want to find out more about welsh culture but don’t have time to travel the length of the country check out the video below to find out about three major welsh symbols:
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