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The Urdd commits to improve Eisteddfod accessibility and ensure a festival for all

01 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Maes Eisteddfod yr Urdd Site

Urdd Gobaith Cymru has committed to ensuring that the National Urdd Eisteddfod will be a more accessible festival for competitors and visitors in future.

As a result of a new partnership with Disability Arts Cymru and theatre company Taking Flight, the Urdd strives to improve the accessibility of its artistic events, including the Urdd Eisteddfod festival’s site, which attracts 76,000 competitors every year.

To help put improvements in place, the Urdd is searching for young members to join its new Accessibility Forum, with support from the Arts Council of Wales.

The aim is to attract individuals between 16 and 25 who can share experiences or expertise in the field of disability and accessibility to the arts, to work with Urdd Eisteddfod Organisers, gain work experience in organising events, and ensure that the festival’s site and activities are accessible and inclusive, in line with the ‘Urdd for All’ strategy.


To kickstart the partnership, the Urdd Eisteddfod’s staff have received disability access and inclusion training by DAC and will receive BSL and inclusion training from Taking Flight. In collaboration with partners, the Urdd will create resources and information packs for blind and D/deaf visitors. The Urdd will also be working closely with ‘Attitude is Everything’, an organisation that helps improve disabled people’s access to live music events.

Llio Maddocks, the Urdd’s Director of the Arts says: “As a part of our partnership with Disability Arts Cymru and Taking Flight, we are committed to improving accessibility and access to our arts events, including the Urdd Eisteddfod site.

“The Urdd Eisteddfod is a cultural highlight of our Welsh calendar, and festivals deserve to be enjoyed by all. As well as developing and adapting the Eisteddfod Maes, we also want to ensure opportunities for disabled, D/deaf, and neurodiverse artists to perform and lead in our arts provision.

“We encourage everyone who wants to be part of the Accessibility Forum to join us and look forward to working together to ensure the Urdd’s arts experiences continue to evolve and grow.”


Owain Gwilym, Disability Arts Cymru’s Executive Director: “We are very proud to be part of this important partnership and look forward to seeing one of Wales’ most important cultural organisations and events work with young disabled and/or Deaf voices to develop accessibility and inclusion.”

Steph Bailey-Scott, Taking Flight’s Access, Inclusion and Participation Manager: “At Taking Flight access and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re very much looking forward to working with the Urdd to engrain access into its Eisteddfod. It’s vital for young people, whether Deaf, disabled, neurodivergent or non-disabled, to start expecting access as the norm, to be prioritised, and to have those equal opportunities without any barriers.”

Information about the new Accessibility Forum can be found on the Urdd Eisteddfod’s website, where there’s also a form for individuals aged 16-25 to fill to be a member of the Forum.

The 2024 Urdd National Eisteddfod will be held in Maldwyn (Montgomeryshire) between 27 May and 1 June. It will be the first time since 1988 that the Urdd Eisteddfod has visited the area, and it will be held on the fields of Mathrafal Farm by Meifod.

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