Posts Categorized: Featured

West End queen Kerry Ellis packs her running shoes for Llangollen Eisteddfod return!

A performer known for her dazzling runs in the West End and on Broadway hopes to try a run through the beautiful Dee Valley when she stars at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod this summer.

Kerry Ellis – known as the Queen of the West End after playing a leading role in shows from My Fair Lady to We Will Rock You and from Les Miserables to Wicked – will take to centre stage during one of the Eisteddfod’s big Core Week concerts on Thursday July 4.

She will be performing alongside another musical theatre great, John Owen-Jones, in Direct from the West End and says she just can’t wait to get to Llangollen and, as a keen runner, maybe find time to take a dash through the local countryside.

“I did my first half-marathon last year and I’ll be arriving in the area the day before the concert so hopefully I’ll get the chance to fit in a bit of a run in the hills close to the town,” she said.

Hailed as the First Lady of West End musicals, Kerry was catapulted to fame in 2002 when she landed the role of Meat in the original London cast of We Will Rock You, a role for which she was especially scouted by Sir Brian May himself.

Taking some of musical theatre’s biggest roles, she has earned numerous awards along the way.

She has also recorded four studio albums, and toured the world both as a solo artist and with her good friend Sir Brian.

She said: “I have been to the Llangollen Eisteddfod before in 2016 when I appeared in a musical theatre evening concert with the singing group Calabro, which I really enjoyed.

“I’m very excited about coming back again and performing with John Owen-Jones, who is an old friend of mine, and a hand-picked orchestra of first-class West End performers. It should be a great evening.

“We’ll be performing a combination of songs from the shows we’ve both been in, like Les Miserables and Wicked, and no doubt John will do something from Phantom of the Opera and some other well-known favourites.”

At the Eisteddfod, Kerry will be gracing the same stage as another of her old duet partners and Llangollen favourite Alfie Boe. She worked with him on his very first studio album and fondly remembers him as a “brilliant guy”.

She has also previously worked with the Eisteddfod’s Artistic Director, Dave Danford, and says she is delighted he will be musical supervisor on Direct from the West End.

Soon after her Llangollen appearance Kerry will be heading off on a 40-date UK tour. Meanwhile, she says she’s looking forward very much to coming to Llangollen which, after all she says, is at the heart of the Land of Song.

Direct from the West End, under musical director Iestyn Griffiths, also features the final of the Voice of Musical Theatre competition, which will have been running through Eisteddfod week.

Tickets for Direct from the West End on Thursday July 4 are available online from our website.

Daytime in the Pavilion launched at Llangollen Eisteddfod.

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has today launched its daytime pavilion programme for this year’s core festival. Tickets are now available to see over 3,000 participants from choirs, dance groups, ensembles and soloists from 34 countries including Australia, Burundi, Canada, China, Japan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zimbabwe. They will all head to North East Wales for the Core Eisteddfod Week, which runs from Tuesday 2 to Sunday 7 July. This year’s competitions include the Pendine International Voice of the Future, and Choir of the World, when the world’s best choirs will compete for the Pavarotti trophy.

The festival, which has existed since 1947 to promote peace and reconciliation through music and dance, has a track record of promoting excellence in the arts. In 2024, its coveted competitions in the Llangollen Pavilion have attracted more countries and competitors than for many years. 

Artistic Director of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Dave Danford said, “This is the most exciting daytime line-up we’ve had in our Pavilion for many years. We can’t wait to welcome the World to Wales yet again in July. We will also be bringing the finals of some of our daytime competitions into our evening concerts this year, such as the Voice of Musical Theatre on Thursday evening. This means winners will be sharing the stage with the likes of folk superstars Calan, Royal Harpist Alis Huws, Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finalists Johns’ Boys Male Chorus, and West End stars Kerry Ellis and John Owen-Jones. The fact that 34 nations will be represented means that Llangollen will be the cultural capital of the world this summer.

With international artists such Bryan Adams, Simple Minds, Paloma Faith and Nile Rodgers & Chic set to appear before and after the Core Eisteddfod Week, organisers are keen to point out that they remain true to their ethos of promoting peace through musical excellence. Tickets for the Daytime in the Pavilion can be bought from There will also be outside stage performances, and a whole host of activities planned for what organisers say will be the biggest Llangollen Eisteddfod for a generation.

Chair of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Professor Chris Adams said, “We are delighted to announce our exciting Daytime in the Llangollen Pavilion competitions and more events for this year’s festival.  Everything will be built around musical excellence and we still have some amazing announcements. This year, we’ve partnered with Cuffe and Taylor to bring some of the World’s biggest artists to Llangollen, but are staying true to the ethos of our founders, and that’s why this Summer, as well as welcoming people like Tom Jones, Gregory Porter and Katherine Jenkins to Llangollen, we will be seeing more countries, more competitors and more diverse culture at the Llangollen Eisteddfod than for a generation.”

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Gold+ Tickets Up For Grabs For Llangollen Eisteddfod’s Six Core Concerts

Music fans are being given a ‘golden’ opportunity to experience Llangollen Eisteddfod’s Six Core Concerts in style this summer.

The Core Week of the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod will open this year on Tuesday July 2nd with a headlining set from music legend Tom Jones, who kicks off six days of evening concerts, with mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins closing the week on Sunday July 7th.

Between these dates, audiences can enjoy a huge variety of evening events, featuring award-winning folk band Calan, royal harpist Alis Huws, Britain’s Got Talent favourites Johns’ Boys Male Chorus, West End and Broadway stars Kerry Ellis and John-Owen Jones, and two-time GRAMMY award-winning jazz sensation, Gregory Porter. (more…)


The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is pleased to announce our latest fundraising event – an international Gymanfa Ganu to celebrate St David’s Day. The event, to be held on Sunday 3 March 2024, 7.30pm at St Collen’s Church in Llangollen, will be led by the popular conductor Trystan Lewis, who will be accompanied on the organ by Owen Maelor Roberts, and will also feature the celebrated Derwent Harp School. The event will also have St David’s Day messages from across the world, featuring groups who will be competing at this year’s Llangollen International Eisteddfod. (more…)



The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod sends its best wishes to King Charles III after he was diagnosed with a form of Cancer.

The Eisteddfod’s Chair, Professor Chris Adams, has written to Buckingham Palace with a message of support to the King on behalf of the festival.

Chris said, “King Charles III has been a huge supporter of our peace festival in Llangollen. As the Prince of Wales he was our patron for 26 years from 1996. He has visited Llangollen numerous times, and championed the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize application. We look forward to welcoming him again upon his recovery. We wish him, Queen Camilla and the Royal Family well as he recovers.”


Dancers in Parade

Our celebrated ‘Parade of Nations’ will be held in the town on Wednesday, 3 July at 4.30pm.  Visitors can expect a colourful spectacle as groups from as far away as Burundi, Canada, China, Ghana, India, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, USA and Zimbabwe will be participating – alongside dozens of groups from the UK.

The parade, one of the central parts of the core Llangollen Eisteddfod comes less than 24 hours after Sir Tom Jones makes his long-awaited debut at the festival. It will be followed by a huge party on the Eisteddfod field, where visitors can get on the ‘ground for a pound’! Welsh folk heroes Calan then headline the ‘Wales Welcomes the World’ concert in the Pavilion, also starring Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Johns Boys Chorus and Royal Harpist Alis Huws, alongside the Llangollen International Orchestra.

John Gambles, Vice-Chair of the festival said, “This year, our parade will be the biggest for years.  We’ve got some amazing international competitors from around the world coming to our town in July.  Our Parade of Nations is one of our most popular events and this will be followed by a huge celebration on a our field as we truly welcome the World to Wales.”

The parade will be led by the Llangollen Silver Band and Llangollen Town Crier, Austin “Chem” Cheminais. In 2023, thousands of residents took to the streets, and this year there will be even more participants and colours. In 2024 the core Eisteddfod week is taking place between 2-7 July, with concerts before and after featuring acts as diverse as Jess Glynne, Manic Street Preachers, Madness, and Paloma Faith.

Dave Danford, the Artistic Director of the festival, will be overseeing the event. He said, “This year, the profile of our festival has gone through the roof. Our partnership with Cuffe and Taylor means that this summer we are bringing some truly international artists to Llangollen, such as Bryan Adams, and Nile Rodgers & Chic. Our core Eisteddfod week remains the central part of everything we are doing, which is why we’re bringing our parade forward, to be held on the day that we welcome the World to Wales.”


flower festival

Our celebrated Floral Committee are branching out in 2024 with their very own ‘Daffodil Flower Festival.’ The events will be hosted at St Collen’s Church in Llangollen from 5-7 April, and will feature an Evening Choral Concert with Lleisiau’r Afon Ladies Choir, conducted by Leigh Mason, renowned local soloist Clare Harrison, accompanied by Owen Roberts and a Music Theatre performance from Shea Ferron. There will also be a special ‘Songs of Praise’ concert, led by popular Llangollen Vicar Father Lee Taylor.

The festival will raise money for the Llangollen Eisteddfod’s charity. The charity helps to bring hundreds of people from across the world for its annual peace festival. It will also feature daffodil wave and floral displays, with daffodils of all shapes, sizes and material crafted by the community including local schools. These will displayed in the church and in St Collen’s Community Hall, which will be hosting stalls, workshops, refreshments, and a raffle on Saturday, April 6.

Michelle Davies, Chair of the Floral Committee of the Llangollen Eisteddfod said, “Our daffodil is a recognisable symbol of Wales and a beloved fixture of our gardens and countryside. Why not hold a festival in honour of our favourite flower? We have been busy preparing for this for months, and our team have already planted hundreds of bulbs in the grounds of our beautiful 6th century church. We have 2 wonderful concerts planned, all in celebration of the national flower of Wales. All of the money raised will go towards the Llangollen Eisteddfod charity to help us continue welcoming the World to Wales.”

The tradition of decorating the main stage at the International Eisteddfod with flowers began at the first festival in 1947, when a few blooms were placed in jam jars to hide the tent poles that held up the stage’s awning. Over the past 76 years, the tradition – and the quantities of flowers – has grown, with the displays as iconic as the festival itself.

Father Lee Taylor, the vicar in charge of St Collens Church, Llangollen said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Llangollen Eisteddfod’s floral committee’s celebration of the daffodil. The Eisteddfod is synonymous with flowers. Each year, our town welcomes competitors from around the world to perform on a stage splendidly decked out in flowers. As well as a symbol of Wales, the daffodil symbolises new beginnings, so we’re delighted to host Llangollen’s first ever festival dedicated to the daffodil.”

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Global rock icons Simple Minds are heading to North Wales for a headline show at the iconic Llangollen Pavilion.

The Scottish legends are the final headlining act to be announced for the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod 2024 and will perform at the venue on Wednesday June 19. They will be joined on the night by special guests Del Amitri.

Tickets for this unmissable show go on general sale at 9am on Friday (January 26) from and

Simple Minds are one of the most successful bands to ever come from the UK, selling more than 60 million records worldwide and having number one singles on both sides of the Atlantic (more…)


Organisers of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will be hosting a number of fundraising gigs at Llangollen Town Hall to raise money to support their core Eisteddfod week. The gigs, which will be held monthly in Llangollen Town Hall feature tributes to ABBA, Robbie Williams, Pink Floyd, Slade as well as bringing the original Merseybeats, who performed with The Beatles in the 1960s, to town. (more…)