Organisers predict record breaking National Eisteddfod
The Chairman of the Executive Committee for the National Eisteddfod has said that this year’s festival is set to break all kinds of records.
Hundreds of people came to Ysgol Glan y Môr, Pwllheli on a dark, cold night in November 2019 to formally invite the Eisteddfod to Llyn and Eifionyddand and they immediately set about organising and raising money.
Michael Strain said: “The enthusiasm was contagious as we were expected to organise an Eisteddfod within just 18 months. But of course the pandemic came and put a stop to it for two years.
“Although the organization had calmed down in the Clo Mawr days the enthusiasm was still there and when we were freed from the restrictions we were off once again. And it promises to be an Eisteddfod that breaks all kinds of records.”
He said that the Eisteddfod district stretches from Ynys Enlli in the west to Beddgelert in the east and Abergwyngregyn in the north with Llyn and Eifionydd in the middle.
“A huge thank you to all residents for their tireless work over the past four years organizing, rehearsing, raising money and for all other contributions – big and small – in order to realize the dream of holding the National Eisteddfod on the fields of Plas Bodfel, Boduan ,” said Mr Strain.
By the spring of this year the financial target of £400,000 had been reached and money continues to be received. At the end of June the Local Fund had reached £487,831.
Ashok Ahir, President of the Court of the National Eisteddfod said: “The dedication of the people of Llyn and Eifionydd to developing and promoting the language and culture of our nation is as strong as ever.
“Certainly, it has been evident in the patient and determined way in which they have gone about raising money, creating a buzz and supporting the preparations for the Main Festival next week.”
He said that last year had been a very challenging time for organisations that organise an event like the National Eisteddfod.
“We have had to make difficult decisions along the way but without the exceptional efforts of the Chief Executive, Betsan Moses and her small team of staff and volunteers it would be one of us experiencing the enjoyment of our nation’s main festival this year,” he said.
Mr Strain is confident that large crowds will come to the Maes next week.
“You only have to look at the Caravan Park. Within a few days of the website opening every site was sold. A local farmer has managed to get planning permission to place 350 caravans on his land so there will be 1,800 caravans within a mile to the Maes. That’s not a caravan village but a city!” he said.
He added that all stands were booked and hundreds of volunteering sessions were filled.
“Within a few weeks of the volunteering portal opening, over 1,400 individual sessions had been filled.
“The Eisteddfod is now a National Festival of what is good in Wales but competitions are still at the heart of it all and I am extremely proud so many have registered in the various competitions creating a wonderful atmosphere.
“I also understand a high number of entires were received for the Crown and the Chair and 40 people applied for the Learner of the Year award,” he said.
But the one factor that the organizers have no control over is the weather and Mr Strain hopes heavy rain won’t fall next week.
“There was wonderful weather in 1955, the last time the Eisteddfod came to this part of the world, and it was described by one reporter as the “Pwll-Haul Eisteddfod”. We can only hope that the weather will mean that we break another record,” he said.
Liz Saville Roberts MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and President of the Eisteddfod added: “Llŷn and Eifionydd is a remarkable area with a wealth of history and culture associated with it and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to show the magnificence of the area to the people of Wales.
“Especially after the difficult time we’ve had with Covid, people are going to have fun fashion and it will be great to see so many young and old people here enjoying it.
“Thanks must go to the various landowners in the area for their cooperation with the Eisteddfod, and also to Gwynedd County Council for their thorough work in preparing the application.
“The area has been raising brass since the beginning of 2020 and there have been a great many activities planned. The efforts of communities throughout Llŷn and Eifionnydd and beyond must be praised for their hard work. There is a warm welcome for people from all walks of life all over Wales and beyond in Moduan!”
The Eisteddfod is being staged from Saturday, August 5 until August 12. More details online at eisteddfod.wales
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