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Cultural events and festivals

[Hay festival credit - Mary Perez -]

The Hay Festival 

24th May - 3rd June

The world’s most famous literary and arts festival. When Bill Clinton came to town he called it ‘the Woodstock of the mind’. Past programme events and performances crossed literature with cabaret, cinema, circus, comedy, environment, film, music, politics, science, screenwriting and visual arts. Children's Festival Hay Fever runs alongside the Hay Festival every year. 

Urdd National Eisteddfod

28th May - 2nd June 

Europe's largest youth arts festival, attracting over 14,000 competitors and 100,000 visitors, celebrates talent in dance, song, drama and science. 

How the Light Gets in 2018

24th May - 27th May

The Worlds largest philosophy and music festival takes place from 25th to 28th May. The festival has featured the likes of Nobel-prize winners Paul Krugman and Frank Wilczeck, and this year will have "the father of modern linguistics" Noam Chomsky is headlining the speaker bill amongst 150 debates and talks, and Hot Chip and the Orb are  just two of many many musicians to light up the event. 

Beyond the Border – the Wales International Story Telling Festival 

9th June - 10th June

An international festival celebrating oral tradition and bringing together storytellers, poets and musicians from around the world. Beyond The Border International Storytelling Festival is the largest event of its type in the UK. 

Artes Mundi

27th October 2018 - 24 February 2019

Held in Wales every two years and one of the largest visual art prizes in the world. The international prize celebrates and recognises artists across the globe. 

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

3rd July - 8th July

The International Eisteddfod, pictured above, has performers from more than 50 countries travelling to north Wales to take part in the competition. Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Lesley Garrett, Dennis O’Neil, James Galway and Montserrat Caballe are among the stars that have performed at the festival. 

Dylan Thomas Festival

The Dylan Thomas Festival in Swansea, talks, performances, exhibitions, readings and music with a Dylan Thomas theme. The festival takes place each year In Ocober / November at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.

National Eisteddfod of Wales

3rd August - 11th August

The Eisteddfod is a cultural, artistic festival; one of the largest festivals in Europe alternating between south and north Wales, attracting over 170,000 visitors, and 7,000 competitors. Although competition based, it is a plethora of different arts events - singing, literature, dance, theatre, rock music, and exhibitions. All events and competitions on the Eisteddfod festival site are through the medium of Welsh but translation facilities are readily available. 

The Machynlleth Festival

19th August - 26th August 

Each year in August the Machynlleth Festival takes place: a week of splendid music making by eminent performers.

Hearth Festival

4th - 5th February 

Gladstone’s Library Hearth Festival is held in February and November each year. The festival provides the opportunity to improve your writing, find out how to publish your novel, get hints and tips and find inspiration.

Festival of Voice

8th - 17th june

The Festival of Voice Cardiff is an international arts festival which aims to celebrates the voice in all its forms. The inaugural 2016 festival, was created to celebrate Wales’ famous connection with song and to celebrate the positive effects of singing. The Wales Millennium Centre also has a creative learning programme, to inspire new talent.


7th September - 9th September

Gladfest is a writing festival that brings together writers and readers in the historic setting of Gladstone’s Library. It features talks by internationally renowned and award-winning authors, creative writing workshops and events for young people as well as a craft fair and a bookshop.

Tenby Arts Festival 

22nd September - 29th September

This seaside event includes classic orchestral performances and jazz, Welsh choirs and soloists, sand sculptures and sambas and an increasingly strong participation of writers and performing poets. 

Cardiff Children's Literature Festival

21st April - 29th April

With over 50 exciting events to choose from, for toddlers to teens.

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