This annual event is by day a stage to experience culture from across the world, and by night host to a star studded line up from across the spectrum – from jazz to indie-rock.
The International Eisteddfod was established in 1947, in an effort to celebrate international peace and the new found friendship across Europe in the difficult post-war era. The small Welsh town of Llangollen in North Wales created a unique combination of cultural performance and competitions for various titles throughout the week.
At the first Eisteddfod, Germany were invited to attend. They received a touchingly warm welcome from the audience, and were introduced as ‘our friends from Germany’. It’s stories like this one, from well before my time that recognise the political situations of history, and reinforce the meaning of the Eisteddfod to this day and its peace-promoting roots.
Fast forward to today and the Eisteddfod still maintains these core values of peace. Around 26 countries are welcomed to our picturesque home in Llangollen. From Albania to Zimbabwe, Canada to Indonesia and a whole host in between. Reading the list of participants is pretty exciting as your mind drifts off to far away countries such as Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana, whose performers will be on the stage in our hometown.
For me, the costumes are the most exciting part - the colour and meaning behind the traditional dress of the groups is a story in itself. Of course, this is topped with a performance of song or dance which you may never experience again in your lifetime. To say that you walk away feeling a total embrace of culture is an understatement! Whilst many people only come for the evening concerts, I would strongly encourage you to get here early and immerse yourself in the daytime atmosphere. It is a completely unique experience.
Whilst many people only come for the evening concerts, I would strongly encourage you to get here early and immerse yourself in the daytime atmosphere. It is a completely unique experience."
I always look forward to seeing familiar faces at the Eisteddfod again in July, and even more so we love to see new ones too. The event really is a unique cultural treat, transcending international borders and political situations. With a whole range of talent and stars too, there is something for all ages and backgrounds, and no excuse to not visit Llangollen at least once during the week!
After a roof-raising return in 2022, celebrating its historic 75th anniversary, Llangollen International Eisteddfod returns this year from Tuesday 04 – Sunday 09 July. The first full-length Eisteddfod since the pandemic, audiences can look forward to a new improved outdoor site, the annual Parade back, bigger and better than ever, and some exciting new competitions.
All this alongside the bespoke Evening Concert programme that includes Alfie Boe & Welsh of the West End, Guy Barker’s Big Band, Propellor Ensemble, a large-scale choral and orchestral classical performance and the finals of our most high profile international competitions.
Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is located in the idyllic mountain town of Llangollen in North East Wales, both within and outside of the magnificent 4,000 seat Royal International Pavilion.