THE LAUGHARNE WEEKEND
The township of Laugharne is quite something. Once christened “the strangest town in Wales” by its most celebrated inhabitant, Dylan Thomas, the poet spent his final years building a rather close rapport with the Carmarthenshire spot. It seems that plenty of other punters have followed suit and formed their own connections with the timeless town over the past decade, as the even stranger Laugharne Weekend festival has repeatedly pulled in the masses to a place that is not far from the middle of nowhere.
Enticing literary heavyweights, musical icons and general culture vultures to the locale, The Laugharne Weekend takes the tired, clichéd festival pullquote “something for everyone” and flips it on its backside. Forget your over-organised weekenders that pride themselves on meticulously planned schedules and burgers priced for the bourgeoise: Laugharne is staunchly non-conformist in its ways. Untroubled by its rather remote location and proud of its chaotic but close-knit community, think of it as less seaside twee and more pub culture personified.
This year’s lineup sees a host of idiosyncratic characters. Everything But The Girl’s Tracey Thorn will be discussing her latest memoir, Another Planet: A Teenager In Suburbia and BAFTA Cymru nominee Carys Eleri will be performing her critically lauded comedy show, Lovecraft (Not The Sex Shop In Cardiff), fresh off the back of a successful stint at last year’s Festival Of Voice. Dr. John Cooper Clarke will be on hand to lend a few of his finest verses from his wildly successful, and what seems to be never-ending, career; and still able to confound with lyrics that emote multifariously, Gruff Rhys closes the weekend with a selection of songs from his latest solo effort Babelsberg.
Consciously small-scale, The Laugharne Weekend is concerned with keeping its fellow festival goers in close proximity. Rightly so: upscale the festival even further and the locals could have their very own small-town Fyre Festival in their hands. Busy and boozy it may be, but that’s how they like it. It’s a Laugharne thing.
words Sophie Williams
Various venues, Laugharne, Fri 5-Sun 7 Apr. Tickets: £100 full weekend. Info: www.thelaugharneweekend.com