Everything You Need to Know About Eisteddfod 2023

    Everything You Need to Know About Eisteddfod 2023

    Will you be attending Eisteddfod this year? Held during the first week of August each year, the travelling festival known as the National Eisteddfod celebrates Welsh arts, language and culture. What is Eisteddfod? It is an inclusive and welcoming event, attracting thousands of Welsh speakers, Welsh learners, and those who do not speak the language. There is bilingual information available, as well as translation services in the Pavilion, and there is even a centre for learning Welsh on the Maes (the festival site). So, what can you expect from this festival? It is primarily a competitive event, but in recent years it has grown to a level that matches some of the best festivals in the UK. This year, this amazing natural showcase for music, dance, visual arts, literature, original performances, and more, will be held in North Wales.

    Where is Eisteddfod 2023?

    The location for this year’s Eisteddfod is Boduan, Gwynedd, LL53 6DT. The site of Garn Boduan, an Iron Age fort in this historic village, was meant to host the festival in 2021, so it is very exciting that this long-awaited event is finally occurring.

    What is on this year?

    The scope of events is incredible, with nearly every type of activity you can imagine.

    • The Pavilion is the focal point of the festival. This 1,700 seat pavilion serves as the main stage, honouring some of Wales’ leading writers, musicians, performers, and poets. The competitions range from acting and dancing to poetry and prose, with solo singers and large choirs, and everything delivered in Welsh. After dark, star-studded theatre shows, cabaret, and orchestral pop gigs take the stage.
    • Mas ar y Maes is a partnership between the LGBTQ+ community, Stonewall Cymru, and the Eisteddfod. One of the highlights will be Pink Party: This Ballroom, presented by the Welsh Ballroom Community and Qwerin, is a queer take on folk dancing. Other events include Q&As, varied performances, readings; everything from light entertainment to deep discussions.
    • Gorsedd of the Bards are ceremonies that are truly spectacular. Under the Archdruid’s leadership, award-winners in certain top categories reveal their identities, backed by Druids dressed in white, blue, or green robes that indicate their ranks. The top two poetry prizes are the Cadeiro (Chair) and the Coroni (Crown), and winners are honoured with a range of performances that include a floral dance by local children. It is a fabulous spectacle not to be missed!
    • Maes B is the after-dark little brother of the Eisteddfod. Located a stone’s throw from the main site and aimed at a younger audience, this event features the best Welsh pop, rock, indie, and hip hop bands. DJs take to three stages to perform until 3:30 am, making this a peak experience for many young people. Some of the performers from years past include Adwaith, HMS Morris, Breichiau, Hir, and Eädyth.
    • The Welsh language surrounds you at Eisteddfod. An immersive experience, this is the perfect place to learn and practice a few Welsh phrases, even though you will enjoy the festival just as much if you are not a Welsh speaker. At Maes D, (D stads for Dysgwyr, which means “learners”) you can chat with friendly experts in the language. However, simultaneous translation is available free of charge for the main Pavilion events and many of the other events around the maes.
    • Welsh food and drink are showcased in the street food area. Here, you will find vegan food, burgers, pizza, and more. Look for Welsh beer, cider, and wine at the Syched bar, and Welsh gin and spirits at the Gin Bar.
    • Stages around the festival hold plenty to entertain. Y Babell Lên (literature), Theatr y Maes (theater productions), Tŷ Gwerin (folk music), Encore (opera and classical), and Llwyfan y Maes will keep you entertained, and you can see over 60 of Wales’ best artists and bands.
    • Family fun is abundant at Eisteddfod. The kids will love Pentre Plant, an area where children are encouraged to imagine. Tug of war, den building, and street theatre performances await you, and the Science and Technology Pavilion is full of experiments, demonstrations, and games designed to take learning out of the classroom. In almost every tent, you can sit back and relax while your children are entertained.
    • Art exhibitions in Y Lle Celf offer an important platform for the industry. A national celebration of visual arts and architecture, this exhibition features some of Wales’ leading artists, and past winners include Elfyn Lewis and Shani Rhys James. You can also find hundreds of trade stands and stalls exhibiting on the maes, including crafters who display and sell their handiwork at Artisan.

    Where can I stay to attend Eisteddfod?

    You can, of course, book a caravan or tent pitch at the festival. However, Together Travel has far more luxurious Eisteddfod accommodation available, just four miles away! On the stunning Llyn Peninsula, our unique collection of modern apartments and cottages await you. Whether you are traveling as a couple, family, or large group, we have the perfect property for you, complete with sea views and coastal charm. Our gorgeous, self-catering holiday homes include convertedbarns, full of character, a traditional Welsh farmhouse, and contemporary cottages and apartments. Full of every modern convenience, situated in stunning natural surroundings, our properties at Nature’s Point will offer you a relaxing respite from the festival, near enough to pop back over whenever you choose. There is even an EV charger onsite, for our guests’ convenience.

    How much are tickets?

    Ticket information for this year’s festival has yet to be released. However, you can stay tuned to the Eisteddfod General Ticket Information page for updates and more information.

    Why is the Eisteddfod important to Wales?

    This roving festival celebrates the rich linguistic and cultural heritage of Wales through competitions, events, and activities. Unique throughout Europe, it is of great importance to Wales not only because it promotes the Welsh language, but also because it is a time-honoured part of Welsh heritage. The festival origins can be traced all the way back to 1176, when Lord Rhys invited musicians and poets from around Wales to perform at his castle in Cardigan. Today, the festival draws about 150,000 visitors each year. Eisteddfod translates to “sitting” and it comes from the tradition of awarding hand carved chairs to the best musician and poet at the festival. This custom, in which a carved chair symbolizes “a seat at the Lord’s table”, is continued in the present-day Eisteddfod, as is the “Crowning of the Bard” ceremony. The tradition of the Eisteddfod became less popular in the 18th century before enjoying a revival in the 19th century. With the establishment of the National Eisteddfod in 1880, the festival became a regular annual event at different locations across Wales. It is an important part of Welsh heritage, and a wonderful way to show off the rich Welsh culture.

    Who won in 2022?

    The Eisteddfod is such a wide-ranging event, with such a broad display of talent, that the list of winners each year is lengthy. Last year, the Daniel Owen Memorial Prize went to Meinir Pierce Jones, the Science and Technology Medal to Robin Williams, and the Sir TH Parry-Williams Memorial Medal to Geyn Nicholas, of Llanpumsaint. The Welsh Learner of the Year was Joe Healy of Cardiff, and Eiry Prince won the W Towyn Roberts Scholarship. Gold Medal award winners were Featherstone Young, London for Ty Pawb, Wrexham, for Architecture, Natalia Dias for Craft and Design, and Sean Vicary for Fine Arts. The Richard Burton Prize went to Cedron Sion, the Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize to Lisa Dafydd, the Llwyd o’r Bryn Memorial Prize to Sion Jenkins, the David Ellis Memorial Prize to Ceri Had Roberts of Denbigh, the Prose Medal to Sioned Erin Hughes, Rhigwm, and the Musician’s Medal to Edward Rhys-Harry. The Crown Winner was Esyllt Maelor, Gwres, and the Chair Winner, Llr Gwyn-Lewis, Traeth. Congratulations to all the winners, and we look forward to seeing who wins this year!

    We hope that you will check out the Eisteddfod this year, and enjoy a bespoke luxury vacation on the Llyn Peninsula with Together Travel while you are at it! No matter what the festival or event, whenever you are traveling in the UK, Together Travel Co. is here to bring your holiday dreams to life. All across the UK, we have luxurious, comfortable, unique properties in beautiful locations.. Find out how we can make your trip amazing by contacting our expert concierge team at +44(0)1625 416430 or emailing us for more information.