With Tafwyl 2019 looking to be the Welsh-language festival’s biggest year yet, Gareth Mitchell chats to festival director Llinos Williams and co-ordinator Lia Hawen.
With the news of Tafwyl being opened up for an extra day, and the announcement of a further three-year sponsorship deal with Clwb Ifor Bach, what’s next for Tafwyl?
Llinos: Things are looking very exciting for Tafwyl. Reaching maximum capacity last year pushed us to develop and expand further this year. The festival has been growing in appeal for years, so it’s nice to be able to give more people the chance to come and experience this unique event on the Friday evening. Tafwyl will hopefully be showcasing the best in Welsh language music, arts and culture for many years to come!
Lia: Recent Welsh Government funding aims to extend the reach of the festival beyond Wales too. It’s nice seeing a home-grown event like Tafwyl showing Wales as a vibrant and outward looking nation on a national and international level.
What would you say to non-Welsh speakers who maybe feel that Tafwyl isn’t something they can get involved in?
Llinos: Tafwyl has always been inclusive and open to everyone. The whole idea is for people who haven’t experienced Welsh language and culture before to give it a go. As a free event in a very prominent city centre location, it attracts lots of non-Welsh speakers, who pop in to see what’s going on but end up staying all day enjoying the music, street food and the general festival vibe. You don’t have to understand Welsh to enjoy those three things!
The team behind Tafwyl is predominantly female. How does this inform both the festival and your support of the Welsh language music scene, if at all?
Llinos: As two women programming the event we obviously realise the importance of programming female artists, but everyone on the Tafwyl bill is there on their own merit. It’s certainly not a token gesture. Two out of three of this year’s headliners are predominantly female acts, and almost the entire Friday evening lineup is female.
If you could recommend one place in Wales to a first-time visitor that’s not on the tourist maps and off the beaten tracks, where would it be and why?
Lia: Porthdinllaen Gwynedd, on the north coast of the Llŷn peninsular. With views across the Irish Sea and miles of sandy beaches, it’s THE most beautiful place in the world. There’s plenty of beautiful walks along the coast where wildlife is thriving, seals perched on the rocks, birds nesting in the sandy cliffs, and even dolphins are spotted often. The Ty Coch pub is definitely one to visit, and can only be reached by foot! You can start your walk from Morfa Nefyn beach and walk the one mile stretch along the beach to the front door.
Tafwyl, Cardiff Castle, Fri 21-Sun 23 June. Admission: free. Info: www.tafwyl.org