Massive response to global appeal launched to secure iconic festival

An urgent global appeal has already attracted £40,000 of pledges to help secure the future of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
The appeal was only launched at the weekend because this year’s event is heading for a financial loss as a result of disappointing ticket sales.
Eisteddfod officials are delighted with the response after urging supporters to keep on giving towards a target of £70,000 to clear the books this year.
Concert-goers for the Burt Bacharach curtain-raiser to this year’s event dropped almost £500 in collection buckets at the event and there has been a steady stream of donations, large and small all week.

Organisers of the Eisteddfod, which will celebrate its 70 th anniversary on two years, have stressed the need for people to keep on making donations to ensure more secure finances in the long-term.
Promises of cash came flooding in just hours after the appeal fund was set up.
Rhys Davies, Eisteddfod Vice-Chairman, said: “There has been an absolutely fantastic response which shows the regard in which the Eisteddfod is held and I and the rest of the committee are very touched by that.
“Within hours we had started receiving pledges of cash and support and it is a clear demonstration of the real affection that people feel towards the Eisteddfod which has played such an important role in bringing peace and harmony to the world for so many years.
“I would stress, however, we’re not out of the woods yet and I would implore people to keep on giving so that we can secure the future of this wonderful festival for many years to come.”
With the 70th anniversary on the horizon, the Eisteddfod board are confident the event has a bright long-term future but say they need the cash to get over their short-term difficulties.
Supporters wishing to make a donation will be able to do so online via the Eisteddfod’s website or by using Gift Aid envelopes that will be available at all the concerts during the week.
This year will be the 69th year the festival will have been held consecutively since it was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War to promote peace and harmony.
The iconic event has now grown into one of Europe’s premier music and dance events, where “Wales meets the world” and the town of Llangollen is turned into a cultural melting pot.
This year competitors are attending from as far afield as USA, Ghana, China, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Morocco, Nepal, Slovakia and Holland as well as from across the UK and Ireland.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit on Tuesday when they waved off the colourful Parade of Nations and met Eisteddfod officials.
The appeal was announced by long-serving Eisteddfod chairman Gethin Davies who first attended the event as a young boy in 1951.
He said: “The Eisteddfod is an expensive festival to put on, and, like many other festivals, we have been walking a financial tight-rope for some time.
“The Eisteddfod board has submitted a three-year business plan to the Arts Council of Wales and is confident that if we can weather the present difficulties we can move into profit.
“The Music Director has set out an extremely attractive concert programme for 2016 – including a household name – which we are confident will attract larger audiences, and the preliminary budget for 2016 shows a reasonable surplus.