Are you lost? Find yourself - or just find a jolly good time - at one of these intimate, boutique Welsh gatherings.
Llandeilo Literary Festival, April
During this four day festival, visitors can enjoy readings, discussions, workshops and literary talks across the historic town of, Llandeilo. Venues include the Ginhaus, Horeb Chapel, Eve’s Toy Shop, Fountain Fine Art Gallery, The Little Welsh Dresser, Igam Ogam, The Hangout, Mimosa Art Gallery, The Cottage Inn and the Angel Inn.
Find out more at https://llandeilolitfest.org/
The Laugharne Weekend, April
This music and literary gathering in the small West Wales town of Laugharne has become infamous for its musical performances and alternative list of authors. Laugharne is best known for its connection with Welsh writer Dylan Thomas, and this three-day festival continues to celebrate the creative spirit with dynamic line-ups - 2019 year welcomed Tracey Thorn, Gruff Rhys, Hollie McNish and Dr John Cooper Clarke, amongst many more.
Find out more at https://www.thelaugharneweekend.com/
RawFfest is the vibrant and innovative youth arts festival for Wales, planned and programmed by young people for young people aged 14-25. Expect dance, music, spoken word, visual art, photography, theatre, circus and ambitious exhibitions on contemporary themes.
Hay Literary Festival
Hay-on-Wye, 23 May-2 June
There's nothing quite like the Hay Literary Festival. It's a true celebration of books, storytelling and creativity. At this year's festival, award-winning novelists, travel writers, Pulitzer Prize winners, children's authors, broadcasters, performers, thinkers, pioneers, artists and innovators will appear at talks, debates, performances and readings over the nine day programme. Evening entertainment comes from Jimmy Carr, Stacey Dooley, The Gipsy Kings, The Waterboys and many more.
Although Hay is better known for the Hay Festival, HowTheLightGetsIn shares the same weekend but showcases different talent. The theme for 2019 is ‘Tribal Truths and New Wisdom’, and will see 30,000 visit the verdant site on the banks of the river in Hay-on-Wye for a programme of talks, music and entertainment. This year’s line-up includes Anna Calvi, British Sea Power, The Correspondents, Saul Kripke, Helen Lederer, David Aaranovitch, Anna Soubry, Phil Wang, and many more.
The Big Retreat Wales, May
Head to Lawrenny in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for a long weekend of relaxing and re-energising. The Big Retreat is a feel-good festival, in every sense of the word. With an impressive line-up of more than 200 events including wellbeing classes, workshops, cookery demonstrations, spoken word, bushcraft, music and even rum and gin, everybody has a chance to discover a new hobby, rediscover an old one or simply discover the beauty of Lawrenny itself
Unearthed Festival, 21 - 23 June
Unearthed Festival aims to create a space where people of all backgrounds can come together peacefully and share knowledge, skills, conversations, laughter and dance. The philosophy of the event is about the expansion of consciousness. Expect a mind-altering experience.
L Fest, 19 - 21 July
L Fest describes itself as the UK's only lesbian music, arts and comedy festival, and is a place where women celebrate and come together, feel safe and included, to make new friends or just to feel comfortable. L Fest is family friendly with workshops and games and a dedicated children's programme, and is held in Llandudno.
The Big Cwtch, 30 - 31 August
A magical, feel good festival that combines music, food, and fun. Enjoy creative kids activities and workshops, a wellbeing sanctuary, paddleboarding, a crafts village, artisan stalls and a lot of big cwtch festival fun across the whole site. Line up for 2019 tbc ...
Find out more at https://www.thebigcwtch.com/
Between the Trees, 31 August - 1 September
If your ideal festival is an intimate event held in the beautiful sand dunes of Wales, head to Between the Trees in Candleston Park, near Bridgend. Between the Trees brings you an encounter with nature, music, art & natural science - and it all happens in the middle of ancient Welsh woodland by the sea!
Gladfest, 6 - 8 September
Gladfest brings together award-winning, internationally-renowned and breakthrough writers for a wonderfully eclectic weekend. In case you haven’t heard of the location, Gladstone’s Library is a residential library dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups. It is Britain’s only Prime Ministerial library (founded by PM William Gladstone himself). Following Gladstone’s death in 1898, the Library became the national memorial to his life and work as well as one of the few Grade I-listed buildings in North Wales.
The Good Life Experience, 12-15 September
Set on the Hawarden Estate of 19th century Prime Minister William Gladstone, the Good Life Experience festival is the brainchild of broadcaster and performer Cerys Matthews and husband Steve Abbott, along with farmers and authors Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. Its broad remit is to help people go in search of the good life, but this loosely translates to them delivering music, food and drink, authors, workshops and plenty of chances for outdoor exploration. It’s a great family friendly (and dog friendly!) way to see out the summer.
Iris Prize Festival, Cardiff, 8– 13 October
Cardiff International Film Festival
Cardiff, 24 to 27 October
Cardiff International Film Festival takes place in the historic Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay. Festival patrons include Welsh Hollywood actors Matthew Rhys and Michael Sheen. Submissions come in from all over the globe and categories include animation, features films, documentaries, Welsh language films and short films. The festival is open to the public, so head to Cardiff Bay for some glamour and glitz Welsh-style!