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Welsh icon Dafydd Iwan to perform and lead march at 2023 Newport Rising Festival

18 Oct 2023 2 minute read
A torchlit march at the previous Newport Rising Festival

The Newport Rising Festival, the city’s annual landmark celebration that remembers the Chartist uprising of 1839, is set to return next month.

Organised by Our Chartist Heritage, the festival will be returning for its sixth year.

Welsh icon Dafydd Iwan will be performing at the Riverfront Theatre on Friday 3 November before leading the march through the city the following day – the 184th anniversary of the Newport Rising.

The event commemorates the Chartists and Newport rising of 1839, which saw 3,000 Chartists march through the city in the struggle for better voting rights.

Democratic ideals

Their efforts resulted in a bloody clash in central Newport in November of that year, when Chartists attempted to liberate several of their imprisoned comrades from the Westgate Hotel, only to be fired upon by soldiers. At least 22 people lost their lives in the pursuit of democratic ideals.

The festival serves as a tribute to their sacrifice and is a celebration of Newport’s heritage and political past.

The torchlit march on Saturday 4 November is a central feature of the festival, retracing the steps of the Chartists through the city centre, concluding at Westgate Square where Dafydd Iwan will perform for the attendees.


The Newport Rising Festival is known for its commitment to accessibility, with many events offered for free or on a ‘Pay What You Want’ basis. Over the years, it has expanded to include discussions and films, reflecting its dedication to addressing contemporary issues whilst honouring the past.

A new city centre unit will be opened during the festival, serving as a hub for heritage and community activities. This space will facilitate collaboration among various groups and individuals.

The festival will be a commemoration and a celebration

The Newport Rising Festival is open to everyone and will see a weekend of music, films, talks, and the renowned torchlit march.

As well as being a commemoration, it will be a celebration of Wales’ past, present, and future, embodying a community that continues to evolve and unite.

For more information and tickets visit:

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