The First International Eisteddfod 1947: Movietone Newsreel

The eight minutes and twenty seconds of this film are a unique audiovisual record of the first festival in 1947. You’ll see and hear the winning choirs. You’ll share the excitement with the audience packed into the marquee, made from war surplus canvas with 6000 seats borrowed from schoolrooms, chapels and elsewhere round the area. The first President, Mr W. Clayton Russon, articulates the Eisteddfod’s concept of how an international musical competition can help promote better understanding and friendly relations between people of different nations. The stage presenters, borrowed in 1947 from the Welsh National Eisteddfod, are busy and down-to-earth, just as they are now.
(more…)

Oscar-winning director makes a film about the Llangollen Eisteddfod

“The World Still Sings” is a documentary film of the 1964 International Eisteddfod, directed by Jack Howells and produced jointly by Howells’ own company and the Esso Petroleum Company, Ltd. In 1962, Howells won an Academy Award for his documentary of Dylan Thomas, and at the time of the Eisteddfod film he was working for ITV on a film about Aneurin Bevan. By opting to film the Llangollen Eisteddfod he placed the festival firmly in the pantheon of Welsh icons.

The title responds to lines from Dylan Thomas’s 1953 radio broadcast about the Llangollen festival:

“Are you surprised that people still can dance and sing in a world on its head? The only surprising thing about miracles, however small, is that they sometimes happen.”

(more…)

The Audio Archive

There have been audio recordings since the first Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1947. In the part of our Archive currently held in the LIME Pavilion, we have a recording of the Coedpoeth Youth Choir singing ‘Robin Ddiog’ (or ‘Lazy Robin’) during the 1947 Eisteddfod. The sound quality is not brilliant, but for just over a minute, we go back in time, and listen to this young group entertaining their audience, which erupts in applause at the end. (more…)

Archiving the Past

We were looking forward to meeting you all at this year’s Eisteddfod and sharing our vision for the Archiving the Past project. As this is sadly not possible, we have put together a number of blogs to create a virtual Archive Tent this year to tell you more about it.

(more…)

Llangollen Online presents special message from HRH The Prince of Wales plus online premiere of Global Peace Message as part of ‘Eisteddfod Week’ programme

Last month, we launched ‘Llangollen Online’ #connectingtheworld, a digital offering to bring together our global community following the postponement of this year’s festival. Next week, in what would have been ‘Eisteddfod Week’, we have a programme of online activity to give a flavour of the International Eisteddfod to the many participants and visitors who usually descend on our picturesque Denbighshire town each July.

Prince Charles at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod dancing with Sheerer Punjabi Dancers

On Tuesday 7 July, to open the week, there will be a special message from LIME’s patron, HRH The Prince of Wales. It continues a long relationship between The Prince of Wales and the International Eisteddfod, which he has visited three times. During the most recent visit in 2015, The Prince was famously coaxed into dancing with members of a Punjabi bhangra group from Nottingham, the Sheerer Punjabi Dancers, as he waved off the traditional Parade of Nations.

On Thursday 9 July, as part of the festival’s traditional ‘Peace Day’, online audiences will be treated to the premiere of a Global Peace Message. The main feature will be a relayed spoken word performance of a specially commissioned poem, Harmoni a Heddwch, written by Mererid Hopwood. Those taking part in the message include LIME President Terry Waite plus children from Ysgol Rhostyllen, St Giles School Wrexham and Ysgol Dinas Bran. The online premiere will also present the first performance of a new piece of music, sung by Wrexham soprano, Elan Catrin Parry, with words by Hopwood and music by Edward-Rhys Harry.

Edward-Rhys Harry, Artistic Director of LIME, says “We are delighted to open the week on Tuesday with a message from HRH The Prince of Wales. With Tuesday traditionally being our Children’s Day, we will also have the online premiere of our Children’s Day Message of Peace, elements of which will be included in our Global Peace Message on Thursday.

This is the first time we have ever done anything like this and we are all so excited to be able to share it online with our international community. It has been amazing to have Mererid Hopwood create a new poem for us that has captured the essence of our festival, and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of others who have given their time to help us create Llangollen Online. We feel very humbled and grateful and hope people enjoy the ‘flavour of Llangollen’ this year.”

Mererid Hopwood is a Welsh poet, who in 2001 became the first woman ever to win the bardic Chair at the National Eisteddfod, the Crown in 2003 and the Prose Medal in 2008. She was the Bardd Plant (Children’s Poet) in 2005. Nes Draw, her first collection of poetry won the 2016 Wales Book of the Year Welsh Poetry category and was selected to the Wales Literature Exchange 2016 Bookcase. She is currently Professor of Languages and the Welsh Curriculum at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Over the past 4 weeks, people have been voting via Llangollen.TV for their favourite performances and moments from the last 25 years, from footage showcasing performers from 57 different countries and well over 10,000 competitors. Tens of thousands of people have voted in five categories and the winners will be announced live on S4C’s daily show Prynhawn Da as well as on Llangollen.TV every day during what would have been Llangollen 2020’s ‘Eisteddfod Week’ from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 July.

The week will also include the Young Peacemakers Awards, in association with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), an online premiere of the Children’s Day Message by Chris Dukes with local school children from Ysgol Bryn Collen, Llangollen and St Joseph’s Catholic & Anglican High School, Wrexham, and competitor messages from across the globe.

‘Eisteddfod Week’ will culminate in a 90 minute documentary on S4C on Sunday 12 July at 7.30pm, featuring some of the most memorable moments from the past 25 years.

Audiences can relive Llangollen 2019 with a special broadcast of last year’s highlights programme to be shown on BBC TWO Wales on Sunday 12 July at 6.30pm.

*****

Key Moments for the Week
Online Premiere: Children’s Day Message – Tuesday 7 July at 11am on YouTube/Website
Young Peacemakers Awards: Thursday 9 July on Website
Online Premiere: Global Peace Message – Thursday 9 July at 11am on YouTube/Website
Online Vote Winners: S4C’s Prynhawn Da, Tue-Fri, 2pm, Llangollen.TV Tue-Sat , 2pm
2019 Highlights – BBC TWO Wales, Sunday 12 July 2020, 6.30pm
Special Documentary – on S4C , Sunday 12 July 2020 at 7.30pm

Free to view across the follow digital platforms

Llangollen.net
Llangollen.TV
YouTube/Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod
S4C/ S4C Click

Volunteers’ Week: Sue

As part of Volunteer Week, we are featuring a story each day from a volunteer, where they share their experiences of Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

(more…)

International Eisteddfod announces Llangollen Online

#ConnectingtheWorld
1 June – 11 July 2020

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME) is delighted to announce Llangollen Online #connectingtheworld, which will be free to view and runs from today until 11 July, to ensure we are staying home together but continue to promote a connected international community during the current difficult times.

In March, the International Eisteddfod announced the postponement of 2020’s festival due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Determined to give an International Eisteddfod experience, it was clear that there needed to be some way for our international community of participants, performers, visitors and volunteers to stay connected and come together through these hard times.

LIME Artistic Director, Edward-Rhys Harry said: “It felt vital to bring our global community together to share music and dance and of course, continue a message of peace and harmony. Normally at this time of year, our staff, volunteers and local community are working full speed to deliver the festival, and we have also had lots of messages from overseas participants telling us how much they are missing us and the experience. So in some way we wanted to be able to connect and share on a different platform this year as best we can.”

From today (1 June) working in collaboration with media partners, Rondo Media, audiences will be able to watch competitions and vote online for their favourite moment via the Llangollen.TV platform. The archive footage will be presented in five categories: Mixed, Chamber and Youth Choirs; Single Voice and Barbershop Choirs; Children’s Choirs; Folk Groups and Choirs; and Adult and Youth Dance. Vote winners in each category will be announced daily during Eisteddfod week (7-11 July).

Gareth Williams, Rondo Media said “Over the past few weeks, we’ve been going through the Eisteddfod archive which includes 25 years of footage showcasing performers from 57 different countries and well over 10,000 competitors. In 2019, leading up to Eisteddfod week, we held an online voting competition to find the Choir of the World Champions. It proved to be hugely popular and so we knew there was appetite amongst our core International Eisteddfod audiences for something similar. We have also been working with S4C for many years to share the International Eisteddfod with audiences beyond Llangollen and across the whole of Wales. Combining online competitions with the documentary felt like a good way to give a Llangollen Eisteddfod experience with a difference during these difficult times globally.”

During Eisteddfod week, audiences can look forward to new content to complement the archive footage. This includes Heddwch a Harmoni: Byd gwâr yw ein byd o gân, lines by renowned Welsh poet, Mererid Hopwood, which focus on the Eisteddfod’s founding principles, namely the aim of bringing international communities together in peace and harmony.

Edward-Rhys Harry said, “There is a whole host of activity surrounding this, on Tuesday, the Peace Message will be children and youth-centric, so will, in effect, replace the Children’s Day message this year. The Thursday message will be centred around several major events: a message from our President Terry Waite, the new commission by Mererid Hopwood, who will help narrate this, along with a number of our volunteers, children and other participants, and a song of peace and hope.”

Voting opens today on Llangollen.TV and closes on 30 June 2020. More details of the programme and events will be released over the coming weeks.

 

Llangollen Online  – presented in partnership with Rondo Media 

Llangollen.TV 2020 is sponsored by Linguassist