Merthyr to rise again – festival announces its return
The Merthyr Rising festival is to take place next year – after a two year enforced hiatus.
It will also return with a fresh new format with the aim of aim of encouraging larger crowds, more cultural participation and engagement with the local community.
Previously staged across a single weekend, the festival – named after the Merthyr Rising of 1831 – will now be split into two separate weekends.
The first festival element will be a cultural, arts and ideas festival staged around Merthyr town centre. From June 10 -13, this event will follow the tradition of talks, debates, workshops, and culture. The event aims to encourage more participation from visitors and engagement with the broader community and local businesses.
The second-weekend event June 17 -19 will comprise a three day concert music festival known as ‘The Rising’, which will take place at Cyfarthfa Park to a potential attendance of 5,000+ per day.
The festival had been previously staged ay Penderyn Square in the town centre, and organisers say making the move has been a difficult decision.
However, after discussions with event safety advisors, it was suggested a move would allow the festival to be more financially viable under new legislation post-pandemic.
Festival organiser Lyn Williams said: “The spirit of the Rising will always be at Penderyn Square but with every problem presented is an opportunity.
“After the suggestion of moving, we feel that Cyfarthfa Park could be an amazing venue. It’s an amazing asset for the town that has so much potential, and it will make things logistically easier and financially viable.”
Spirit of the festival
He added that Penderyn Square would still remain an essential part of the festival, with a symbolic red flag march proposed at the site during the festival next year.
‘We’ll ensure that the spirit of the festival is at its core and our new model will allow us to attract people to debates and talks where in previous years they would clash with the music and entertainment,” said Lyn.
“With two separate weekends, we have the opportunity for more participation in the cultural aspect of the festival, and there’ll be designated weekends to celebrate our town and enjoy ourselves.
“Our town deserves to have an entertaining gathering every year to celebrate our working-class identity and heritage. It’s been evident from previous years that Merthyr Rising has become an important local gathering for the town. It’ll also provide a much needed economic impact in the local area.”
The event has previously seen performances from the likes of The Farm, The Alarm, Stereo MCs, The Sugarhill Gang, Black Grape, and Cast.
Organisers say they are looking to expand the musical offering given the increased capacity Cyfarthfa Park brings.
“With more significant capacities, it’ll also mean bigger acts,” added Lyn. “The organisers have already begun negotiating with more prominent international acts, that would be a huge draw locally and nationally.”
Early bird tickets will be available along with payment options for attendees to pay in affordable instalments. Also, during The Rising weekend, camping and glamping options will be available at the park.
Further festival updates and ticketing information will be coming soon.
Keep updated via the Merthyr Rising Facebook page.