The 2018 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod runs from Tuesday-Sunday, July 3-8.
The evening concert line-up features performances from Alfie Boe and Van Morrison, colourful and inclusive daytime activities and a star-studded Llanfest, the International Eisteddfod’s very own mini-festival, headlined this year by Kaiser Chiefs.
This year's Eisteddfod will also pay tribute to nine 100th anniversaries focusing on the areas of music, world events and the community throughout the week.
Themed activities each day will examine the perspectives of women, soldiers and the collective nation.
Throughout the week on the field there will be live performances from emerging bands, musicians and street performers from across the globe, as well as activities to entertain children in the Kids Zone plus food, drink and local craft stalls.
There will also be an exciting range of outreach events including concerts at St Collen’s Church (1pm Tuesday – Friday), preliminary competitions in Llangollen Town Hall, performances in the new Centenary Square (Tuesday – Saturday) ahead of its rededication on Sunday 8th July and a vibrant display by dance competitors in Riverside Park, Llangollen (Saturday 7th July, 2pm).
Tuesday 3rd July
Children’s Day will open
the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, this year welcoming almost
3,700 visitors from 55 schools across the country.
opening day, which is exclusively for schools, will feature the fantastic
musical CACAN (CAKE) by Theatr Clwyd and their young company
(aged 4 – 16), performances from myriad international competitors and the
delivery of the Peace Message from Ysgol Dinas Brân.
and created by young people from the region in partnership with Theatr Clwyd, CACAN (CAKE) is a bilingual mini musical which explores what peace
means to them and asks the question, is achieving peace a piece of cake?
year’s Peace Message, written by Christine Dukes for the third
consecutive year, marks the centenary of the end of World War One and tells the
tale of sightings of the ‘Angels of Mons’ who were reputed to have appeared to
both allied and German forces in their time of need. Concluding with a peace
song called Peace at Last written by
Christine and composed by Elen Mair
Roberts, Chair of the Music and Staging Committee of the Eisteddfod, the
performance remains a poignant reminder of the message at the heart of the
Throughout Children’s Day sponsor, NSPCC Cymru Wales, will take to the
World Stage to talk PANTS to young visitors, with their friendly dinosaur,
Pantosaurus (10am – 3pm). As well as entertaining and informative talks, there
will be activities for children to learn Pantosaurus’ five easy rules for
day of Llangollen 2018 will also see the first official use of Centenary Square ahead of its
rededication on Sunday 8th July. Performances are planned from
Tuesday – Saturday.
Evening Concert: Alfie Boe (pictured above) in Concert
The Eisteddfod will celebrate the tenth year of its award-winning
Inclusion Project. Facilitated by a grant from the ScottishPower
Foundation, the performance is once again set to capture the hearts of
festival audiences (Atkinson & Kirby Globe Stage, 10am; Pavilion, 2:30pm).
Reflecting the diversity of
society and the International Eisteddfod’s ethos of promoting understanding and
acceptance though music and dance, five groups will present their own short
performance before coming together to perform the finale piece, a specially
commissioned based on the groups’ thoughts on the theme SEND a Message.
This year the
participating groups are Ysgol Tir Morfa,
a community special school in Rhyl
that caters for pupils aged 3 – 19 years with a wide range of additional
learning needs; specialist school, St
Christopher’s in Wrexham, Derwen on Tour (DOT), a group of Creative Studies students from Derwen
College, Gobowen, Shropshire, who
offer Makaton sign, song and dance performance and workshops; Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn from Denbigh, North Wales’ regional centre
for autism education, and the Theatretrain
Regional Choir from Mold.
the competitions will be the International
Voice of Musical Theatre competition, where aspiring musical theatre
performers will sing for the opportunity to take the
prestigious title and win an all-expenses paid trip to perform at the Gold
Coast Eisteddfod in Australia.
The Aroha Junior Choir from India will compete in the Children’s
Folk Song competition, making them the first Indian choral group to ever perform
at the International Eisteddfod, while festival favourites, Mother Touch Dance Group from Zimbabwe will take to the stage to
compete in the Children’s Folk Dance contest.
Evening Concert: The Classical Collection
* The Cantorian/Sirenian singers.
of the Pendine International Voice of the Future
Competition, which aims to advance the career of young singers, will entice the
audience with breathtaking performances as they compete for the prestigious
title and a share of the £10,000 prize fund, which has been donated
by Pendine Park and the Bryn Terfel Foundation for the second year in a row.
the judges deliberate on the finalists’ performances, the Llangollen
International Musical Eisteddfod’s Music Director, Vicky Yannoula, will take to the piano alongside acclaimed pianist Peter Jablonski. The pair with treat
audiences to a moving collaboration, featuring well-known and much-loved
pieces. The two-pianos extravaganza will begin with a performance of some of the
most iconic pieces from Tchaikovsky’s The
Nutcracker Suite arranged by Nicolas Economou, followed by Yannoula and
Jablonski’s performance of Fêtes from
Nocturnes by Debussy (arranged by
Ravel) and Lutoslawski’s utterly thrilling Paganini
will be rounded off by an uplifting performance from the Cantorion Sirenian Singers, a 50-strong mixed voice choir based in
North Wales. The first ever Welsh choir to win the Choir of the World trophy at
the International Eisteddfod in 1998, their repertoire will include favourites
such as Y Tangnefeddwyr, Elijah Rock and Hobed O Hilion.
* Special guests: Calan
Day President: Olwen Williams OBE (in
recognition of the 70 anniversary of the NHS)
Competitions will gather pace on the field, with
the Strings Guzheng Ensemble from Guangdong, China, take to the stage for
the Instrumental Ensemble. Following its inauguration
into the competitions programme in 2017, the International Acapella Group category returns bigger a better, with
groups from India, Canada, Wales, England and the USA engaging in an exhilarating vocal
contest for one of the festival’s newest accolades. New for 2018 in the
competitions is the Vocal Solo 16 – 19
category, furthering the festival’s commitment to providing a platform for
talented young musicians.
At 3:30pm in the Pavilion there will also
be a special presentation of a donation by The
Friends of the Eisteddfod to representatives of the International
Eisteddfod. This year’s donation is a milestone as it the highest ever
presented in one year and takes total donations since the Friends were founded
in 1973 to more than half a million pounds.
Evening Concert: International
Celebration with special guests Calan
competitors and special guests from across the globe will unite on Thursday 5th July, promising
an immersive sea of vibrant colours and eclectic sounds, as they weave through
the audience with their giant flags in the captivating Procession of the Nations.
evening will explore the International Eisteddfod’s unique founding values of
sharing music, dance, peace and friendship, with children from Ysgol Dinas Brân presenting a message of
goodwill to the world in the delivery of the 2018 Peace Message, ahead of
festival President, Terry Waite CBE’s
heartfelt welcome message.
second part of the show, the winner of this year’s Rotary International Peace Award, sponsored by Typhoo Tea, will be revealed and celebrated for its contribution to
the furtherance of peace and understanding.
show will be brought to a conclusion by award winning band, Calan, who will set feet tapping with
their contemporary and quirky interpretation of Welsh folk music. The
five-piece band come with accordion, harp, guitar, fiddles and Welsh bagpipes,
to entrance the audience with their beautiful and haunting melodies.
Friday 6th July
The International Parade (4:30pm)
processes from the Pavilion down through the town of Llangollen and then back to
the Eisteddfod site. Spectators are invited to follow the celebration and join Bands on the Field until
7:45pm for £1. Bands performing on the three outdoor stages from 5:30pm
include, The Herbert Spliffington
Allstars, Billy Bibby & the Wry
Smiles, The Cazadors, Ceidwad Y Gân and Ragsy.
and Dance will dominate the competitions on Friday, with global competitors
participating in the Traditional Folk
Dance Group, Choreographed/Stylized
Folk Dance Group, Adult Folk Song
Choirs and the Open Folk Solo (Vocal).
Evening Concert: An Evening with Van
Morrison (pictured below).
Day President: Lord Hague
will be a special joint performance by non-competitive choirs KorRey from Iceland and Manchester
Community Choir (12:15pm, The British Ironworks Amphitheatre). Originally a
traditional church choir, Kor Reyðarfjörður (KorRey for short) has expanded into
a community choir of 21 singers, aged from 24 to 70. The choir has built a
relationship with the Manchester Community Choir, who encouraged them to apply
to perform at the International Eisteddfod this year.
competitions will also build up to their exciting climax, with the hotly
contested Mixed, Open and Male Voice Choir competitions and the enthralling Cultural Showcase contest taking place
in the Pavilion during the day.
NSPCC Cymru Wales will also be back at the
festival with Pantosaurus the
friendly dinosaur, this time in the Harmony Centre, to teach children how to
stay safe from abuse and share materials for parents and guardians to help get this
simple safety conversation started at home.
2pm the Dancing in the Street
competition will take place in the riverside park in town, with adjudication on
the Ampitheatre stage at 4pm – in this competition the watching public are able
to indicate their favourite group and this ‘vote’ will be noted by the
Evening Concert: Choir of
the World with special guests Red Priest (pictured below).
the international choral competition competing for the titles of Choir
of the World 2018 and the Pavarotti Trophy. Those
taking part in the dance categories will participate in the Dance
Champions of the World 2018 finals.
instrumental group, Red Priest, will
also contribute to the excitement of the evening as the International Eisteddfod’s
Day President: Julia Baird (sister of John Lennon, in celebration of the 50th
anniversary of The Beatles animated
musical fantasy comedy film Yellow
* The Kaiser Chiefs.
Kaiser Chiefs will
be headlining on the main stage at Llanfest,
supported by renowned pop rock band The
Hoosiers and nineties icons Toploader,
following an exciting day of rock, pop and indie performances from emerging
bands and brand new talent on the outside stages.
Club Liverpool will host its first ever pop-up stage, with myriad
of performances by their world-class resident musicians covering the
countless artists that have graced The Cavern Club stage over the years. Other
performers include rising star from Llangollen, Jack Found, alt-rock ensemble Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles, Staffordshire
indie/rock band Camens, 70s/80s classic rock cover band, Destination. They will be joined by West Kirby based neo folk rock singer Lucy Mayhew, who currently
recording her debut EP, folk/rock singer Ben Roberts and
Wrexham-based singer/songwriter, Luke Gallagher, who returns to play at
this year’s Llanfest with his nostalgic blend of Mod/60s/90s tunes.
* Tickets can be
booked online at www.llangollen.net or
via the box office.