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Crime fiction festival and contemporary circus coming to Wales in 2023

04 Jan 2023 3 minute read
The Circus Village will arrive in Swansea this year

A brand-new festival showcasing the rising stars of Welsh crime fiction and a world renowned circus is heading to Wales this year.

Gwyl Crime Cymru Festival is Wales’ only international crime fiction festival, profiling new Welsh crime fiction writers alongside bestsellers and household names from the UK and abroad.

The event was held digitally in 2021 and 2022 but this year will mark the very first live edition.

Aberystwyth, which is already well known as the home of crime TV series Y Gwyll/Hinterland, will be the home of the festival which is planned for 21-23 April 2023.

The festival’s aim is to establish a world-class, international crime fiction festival for Wales that will develop new Welsh crime writing talent and promote artistic life in and beyond Wales.

Alis Hawkins, Chair of Gwyl Crime Cymru, said: “The organisers of Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival – until now an online-only festival – are thrilled that support from Event Wales will now allow us to stage Cymru’s first ever international crime fiction festival in Aberystwyth in April 2023.

“We’re delighted that the need for such an event has been recognised and we look forward to delivering the event in April.”


Along with the crime fiction festival, Swansea is set to host a world-renowned contemporary circus and both events will receive funding for their development from Event Wales.

The Circus Village is led by the internationally acclaimed NoFit State Circus and will welcome around 200 UK circus artists for a programme of collaborative professional development in South Wales.

The Circus Village was first held in 2021 and building on the success of this, 2023’s participants will live, work and create together in a purpose-built site with three Big Tops, culminating in a public celebration and 3-day Circus Festival in April 2023.

The event will welcome audiences onto the site and into the Big Tops to see new work created by participants of The Circus Village, alongside NoFit State’s current touring production, SABOTAGE.


Tom Rack, Artistic Director, NoFit State Circus, said: “Three Big Tops, four different shows – Swansea will have never seen anything like it.

“It will be an epic finale of an epic project.”

Continued funding has also been agreed for FOCUS Wales, an annual music industry multi-venue festival, utilising 20 stages across a variety of venues and locations in Wrexham.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “I’m delighted that we’re able to support the development of these home-grown cultural events which will be exciting additions to the cultural event calendar in Wales.

“They will give a great platform for skills and talent development as well as providing even more reasons for people to visit Wales in 2023.”

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