The Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Arts Council of Wales today announce the return of Gŵyl Cymru Festival for 2023. The ambition is to put football and creativity at the heart of our communities and for sport and the arts to showcase what’s best about Wales, whether it’s on the international pitch, or at grassroots level.
A range of creative events across Wales will build on the success of last year’s Gŵyl Cymru Festival, a collaboration between FAW and Arts Council of Wales. Gŵyl Cymru was one of the many initiatives supported by the Welsh Government’s Partner Support Fund, with the aim of celebrating the Cymru’s men’s team in the FIFA World Cup and to deliver a lasting legacy in Wales.
This year, Gŵyl Cymru will go on tour to some of the biggest festivals in Wales. From the Hay Festival to the National Eisteddfod, from FOCUS Wales to Green Man, football and the arts will be celebrated with gigs, comedy, theatre, poetry and talks. There will be appearances from the worlds of football and culture including musician Dafydd Iwan, acclaimed writer Darren Chetty, electro-pop musician Ani Glass, performers from the Welsh Ballroom Community, and National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa.
This is however just the start of a long-term partnership between FAW and the Arts Council, with other plans in the pipeline to encourage artists and arts organisations to engage with, and be inspired by football in Wales.
Whoever you are and however you identify, the FA of Wales and Arts Council of Wales aim to celebrate the creativity and diversity of the Red Wall of supporters – Wal Goch – and amplify our arts and culture to the world.
Noel Mooney, Football Association of Wales CEO, said: “The upcoming Gŵyl Cymru Festival tour is a great example of the positive legacy that has been created by Cymru’s participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
I am very pleased the FAW will continue its valued partnership with the Arts Council of Wales. Together we will utilise the power of football to further spotlight the incredible talent we have across Wales through pop-up events at our much-loved national festivals, which showcase the very best of our country and our culture.”
Dafydd Rhys, Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales, said: “I’m delighted that Arts Council of Wales is able to continue with the exciting partnership with the Football Association of Wales. As organisations, we share common values of inclusivity and celebrating our languages and our communities.
The opportunity to work together last year under the Gŵyl Cymru banner allowed us to introduce new audiences to Welsh arts, culture and language. Making the arts relevant to the everyday lives of the people of Wales is central to our mission, and our partnership with the FAW will enable us to take our shared love of arts and football far and wide.”
Ani Glass, musician, said: “Music and art have always been central to the footballing experience, from the singing on the terraces to the home-made flags and banners, they’re all part of the same language. And it’s this sense of community and camaraderie that football culture generates that keeps drawing me further into the world of this beautiful game. So it’s really exciting that the FA of Wales and Arts Council of Wales are continuing to work together, and I can’t wait to be part of the Gŵyl Cymru events at festivals this summer.”
Darren Chetty, writer, said: “It’s fantastic to see FAW and Arts Council of Wales continue the successful relationship that produced Gŵyl Cymru – Welsh arts and Welsh football are essential parts of a thriving, diverse Welsh culture with the ability to bring people together.”