An online taste of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is to be staged this summer.
In a bid to stay connected with worldwide audiences following the cancellation of this year's festival in March due to the coronavirus crisis, it will host a free-to-view web event entitled Llangollen Online #ConnectingtheWorld.
Between June 1 until July 11 viewers will be able to vote for their favourite archive footage from previous festivals going back over the past 25 years.From today, working in collaboration with media partners Rondo Media, the eisteddfod will be screening the classic footage and asking people to vote for their favourite moment until the end of the month.
The archive material will be presented in five categories: Mixed, Chamber and Youth Choirs, Single Voice and Barbershop Choirs, Children’s Choirs, Folk Groups and Choirs and Adult and Youth Dance.
Vote winners in each category will be announced daily during what was due to be eisteddfod week from July 7-11.
During that week audiences will be able to see new content to complement the archive footage.
This includes Heddwch a Harmoni: Byd gwâr yw ein byd o gân, lines by renowned Welsh poet, Mererid Hopwood, which focus on the eisteddfod’s founding principles to bring international communities together in peace and harmony.Eisteddfod artistic director,Edward-Rhys Harry said: “It felt vital to bring our global community together to share music and dance and of course, continue a message of peace and harmony.
"Normally at this time of year, our staff, volunteers and local community are working full speed to deliver the festival, and we have also had lots of messages from overseas participants telling us how much they are missing us and the experience. So in some way we wanted to be able to connect and share on a different platform this year as best we can.”
He added: “There is a whole host of activity surrounding this. On Tuesday the Peace Message will be children and youth-centric, so will, in effect, replace the Children’s Day message this year.
"The Thursday message will be centred around several major events - a message from our president Terry Waite, the new commission by Mererid Hopwood, who will help narrate this, along with a number of our volunteers, children and other participants, and a song of peace and hope.”
Gareth Williams, Rondo Media said: "Over the past few weeks, we've been going through the eisteddfod archive which includes 25 years of footage showcasing performers from 57 different countries and well over 10,000 competitors.
"In 2019, leading up to eisteddfod week, we held an online voting competition to find the Choir of the World Champions.
"It proved to be hugely popular and so we knew there was appetite amongst our core international eisteddfod audiences for something similar. We have also been working with S4C for many years to share."
The Welsh Government recently announced funding for Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to help with business continuity through 2020, including planning and preparation for the 2021 events.
Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: “The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is one of Wales’ signature summer events and I’m delighted that we’ll still be able to get a digital experience this year.
"The innovation and creativity shown by our events and creative industries sector has been excellent - and is allowing people from across the world to come together and provides a platform to share and celebrate during these unprecedented times.”