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Gŵyl Lên Llandeilo Lit Fest draws its biggest crowd

A LITERARY bonanza for the Carmarthenshire town, Gŵyl Lên Llandeilo Lit Fest saw crowds return in record numbers to Llandeilo, in

With 1350 tickets sold across 3 days, the annual event grew this year by two-thirds, drawing fans of the written and spoken word from across South and West Wales.

Dafydd Iwan, Kate Humble, John Devereux, Alun Ffred, Siôn Rowlands and an evening of urban myths and legends were the weekend’s big crowd pleasers, with tales of hiraeth, sport, crime, politics and more.

The festival’s largest programme of Welsh-language sessions to date featured many of Wales’ homegrown literary stars, including National Eisteddfod prize-winning poet Sioned Erin Hughes and writer and broadcaster Myfanwy Alexander.

Highlights included the festival’s first dedicated children’s event in the town’s newly refurbished Yr Hen Farchnad. Talks and workshops at Kids Fest at the Lit Fest were led by award-winning Wales-based children’s authors like Children’s Laureate for Wales Alex Wharton and Jonny Duddle.

Aardman Animations led popular model-making and animation workshops alongside an array of free creative activities for families.

This year’s festival broke new ground by embarking on a schools’ programme that delivered writing, poetry, performance and illustration workshops for 320 children across five of Llandeilo’s nearby primary schools.

Kate Glanville, Gŵyl Lên Llandeilo Lit Fest Co-Chair said, “Stories and literature have such a big role to play in inspiring the next generation, and so we wanted this year’s festival to offer a broad programme that everyone could enjoy.”

The Lit Fest also played host to thought-leaders, historians and journalists who shared reflections on some of the big issues facing the people of Wales.

Gŵyl Lên Llandeilo Lit Fest founder and Co-Chair Christoph Fischer said, “It’s just so brilliant to see Llandeilo’s literature festival go from strength-to-strength as we draw more crowds to our small town each year. As well as hosting some of Wales’ celebrated writers like Owen Sheers and Bethan Gwanas, we’re also seeing a growing appetite for discussions about civic issues that matter to people across our communities.

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“With so many literature festivals seeing an unfortunate decline in numbers, we’ve worked hard to stay relevant and accessible so we can continue to foster an appreciation for Welsh literature and storytelling in all its forms.”

Festival attendee Llio Davies, said, “Llandeilo Literature Festival is a very interesting and wonderful event in many ways. The great variety of events is such a worthwhile celebration of our Welsh literature, as well as having wonderful creative workshops for children of all ages. Also, the opportunity to listen to a variety of live music! It is also a pleasure to visit different venues in Llandeilo to see these events, and to support local businesses.”

Gŵyl Lên Llandeilo Lit Fest is organised by volunteers, supported by Menter Dinefwr and funded by the Heart of Wales Line Community Grant Scheme and the Literature Wales’ Inspiring Communities Fund. The children’s programme received funding from Llandeilo Town Council, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Ten Towns Event Fund and the UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund.