TAFWYL is back this year and after a cancellation, and 12 months of a pandemic, it looks like this will be a record breaking year, even though it’ll all be streamed.

The Festival, Cardiff’s celebration of the Welsh language, arts and culture will once again take place digitally on its 15th birthday, appropriately on the 15th May.

Manon Rees-O’Brien, Chief Executive of Menter Caerdydd, the festival organisers, said…….

“Following such positive feedback from the virtual Tafwyl last year, I’m excited to announce that Tafwyl will be held again this year – streaming live from Cardiff Castle on the 15th of May, supporting our talented Welsh artists and lifting the spirits of our audiences.

“Tafwyl offers Menter Caerdydd another fantastic opportunity to continue to raise the profile of the Welsh language within an innovative live event, whilst introducing the language and culture to a new, more diverse audience.”

The appetite for the online event last year was huge with in excess of 25,000 tuning in to enjoy the festivities on-demand, from home. And the event became truly international with countries like America, Japan, and New Zealand all joining in.

Tafwyl is an annual festival celebrating the Welsh language, arts and culture. It was started only in 2006 as part of the core work of Menter Caerdydd, a charity that promotes and extends the social use of the Welsh language in Cardiff. In a relatively short time Tafwyl’s audience has grown impressively over the years from just over a thousand people during its early years to nearly 40,000 last year. The pictures say it all.

In 2017 the Festival actually came out on top in the Cardiff Music Awards and was awarded the title of ‘Best Cardiff Festival.’ And this year Tafwyl is understandably thrilled to have made it as a Finalist of the 2020 Cardiff Life Awards, which was is a fantastic achievement considering this year saw a record number of nominations.

And it doesn’t stop there. In collaboration with Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale College they took the top prize in the category Arts, Business and the Community at the Arts & Business Cymru Awards ceremony. 

So what is it all about? Well it’s easy really, FUN. Tafwyl is a family friendly festival, with a lively mix of music, literature, drama, comedy, art, sports, food & drink held over 9 days across the city (obviously current restrictions will make this a very different event).

Usually, Tafwyl is split into two events: Tafwyl Fair, the main event at the weekend, and Tafwyl Week, a 7 day fringe festival the week before. The main weekend event includes bars and street food outlets.

The organisers tell us that Tafwyl Week is………

“Welsh culture at its very finest”

The main event this year takes place on Saturday 15th May, with various fringe events taking place between 8th and 16th May.

The Tafwyl website will direct you to the appropriate platform – but most events will be streamed on AM, which is an online platform that shares and celebrates the creativity of Wales. The AM app is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play – HERE or can be viewed on desktop HERE

A few fringe events will be directly on Zoom. The information to access the Zoom session will be on the Tafwyl website. You can take part via the Zoom app or directly on your computer. Some things will also be happening on Facebook.

If you can’t join in at a scheduled time, the individual sessions will be available to watch on AM following the festival, and in a special hour long highlights programme on S4C on June 13, 8PM.

It’s all free, but a charity gig featuring Welsh girl group Eden, will be taking place on Friday the 14th May as part of the fringe festival, with all proceeds going towards the mental health charity, Mind Cymru. You can purchase a ticket HERE.

What we love about this years event is that you really can get into the true spirit, at home. Tafwyl’s illustrator, Efa Lois, has created custom decorations to help you to decorate your house / garden. These have been shared on the website and social media channels. Videos have also been shared with festival make-up tips, and street food recipes to make at home. Please remember to share your photos with us on our social media pages @tafwyl, or by using the #Tafwyl21. Also, take a look for your old Tafwyl t-shirts!

Download the Tafwyl bunting HERE.

You can also pre-order food directly with the caterers – more information HERE This is a great way to enjoy some festive cuisine from home, as food and drink can be ordered straight to your garden by one of the 12 caterers including Ansh, West Pizza and St Cannas. You can order Cwrw Tafwyl from Tomos & Lilford brewery; enjoy a virtual wine tasting session with Vin Van Caerdydd; and there will also be an opportunity to celebrate the culture, food and heritage of Tiger Bay by taking part in the charity Oasis Cardiff’s Supper Club.

Come along and support small Welsh businesses by shopping at Tafwyl’s digital market. Stallholders will be selling their produce on the Marchnad Tafwyl Facebook page on the 15.05.21 from 10am to 6pm. From toys and jewellery to unique craftwork, there will be something for everyone! You can find out more HERE.

The artists who will be performing at Tafwyl festival in May have been announced. 

Among the musicians are Geraint Jarman, Mared, Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog, Ani Glass, Gwilym, and Breichiau Hir. 15 bands will perform across 3 stages, curated by Clwb Ifor Bach. There will also be a performance by Breton band, EMEZI, through a partnership between Tafwyl and the Breton festival Gouel Broadel ar Brezhoneg (GBB).

“After a quiet year, I’m really looking forward to returning to the castle to play at this year’s festival. It will be a great opportunity to say goodbye to a difficult time and celebrate a new beginning for us all.” – Ani Glass 

The event will be streamed on the digital platform AM, live from the festival’s home at Cardiff Castle, hosted by presenters Huw Stephens, Seren Jones and Tara Bethan.

Seren said…….

“I’m delighted to present Tafwyl for the first time with Huw and Tara this year. It’s a privilege to be part of the team, to broadcast from my home, Cardiff, and to enjoy our culture. After a tough year for everyone, I think Tafwyl is the best way to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter!”

As well as the live music there will be an exciting mix of discussions, talks and workshops for children in an ambitious programme of varied events.

The discussions include a session with the FAW as we look forward to enjoying the ‘Euros from home’; a special recording of ‘Beti a’i Pobol’ with Sara Yassine (BBC Radio Cymru); and the launch of the first LGBTQ+ Welsh language podcast, ‘Esgusodwch fi?.

There will be a schedule of sessions and discussions about health and well-being, with sessions to include a podcast by meddwl.org with Tara Bethan and Alun Saunders; yoga and meditation workshops; and a panel discussion on body confidence arranged by HIWTI’s Mari Gwenllïan.

For the younger audience there will be a range of workshops including TikTok, make-up, cooking, and dancing to name but a few, and a chance to take part in a rugby workshop with Cardiff Blues. Pupils from Cardiff’s 17 Welsh medium schools will also come together for a special online performance led by the Welsh of the West End.

As Tafwyl celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year, the intention is to build on the new experiences brought by last year’s virtual festival, continue to maintain its welcoming and inclusive spirit, and turn the challenge into an opportunity to attract new audiences to experience Welsh language arts and culture.

Some of the festival’s fringe events will kick off on May 8th, with one of the main events – Mind Cymru’s charity gig with Eden – taking place on the eve of Tafwyl (14th May).

On Saturday 15 May all the events will be streamed live between 10am and 9pm on AM, then there will be an opportunity to enjoy the festival’s highlights on S4C 8pm, Sunday 13 June.

To see the full festival programme and for more information visit HERE


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