CROWDS returned for the first live music event, with an audience, in Wales since March 2020 at Cardiff Castle on Saturday. 

The Tafwyl festival, which showcases Welsh language acts, welcomed 500 people to the venue it has made its home since it was first launched in a pub car park in 2006. 

The festival was chosen as one of the Welsh Government's Covid test event series, welcoming parties of between four and six people to enjoy live music and street food.

As well as the live audience, the festival was watched by a global audience online on the AM website; with people tuning in from Argentina, Italy, Germany and Canada, among other countries - and viewing figures exceeding last year’s numbers.  

There were two stages, curated by Cardiff nightclub Clwb Ifor Bach, featuring 17 artists  - with Ani Glass, Gwilym and Geraint Jarman among those performing. 

“It was a pure pleasure to share this amazing experience with the audience here. It’s days like this that remind me of the power music has to bring people together. Diolch Tafwyl for the opportunity,” said singer Ani Glass who became the first artist to perform live to the audience at Tafwyl 2021. 

Other highlights included the launch of the first LGBTQ+ podcast in Welsh, 'Esgusodwch fi?' (excuse me?), a panel talk on body confidence organised by Mari Gwenllïan; and a panel discussion about identity and Welshness led by Seren Jones. 

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Manon Rees-O’Brien, chief executive of Menter Caerdydd, the city’s Welsh language promotion agency which organised the event, said: “After an extremely challenging time for all it was wonderful to see people enjoying a bit of normality again, and celebrating the glimmer of hope for the events industry and the arts.  

“Thanks go to the Welsh Government for choosing our festival as one of their pilot events. All of this would not have been possible without our amazing funders, sponsors, partners and contributors - so a big thank you to them and everyone who has joined us. We’re looking forward to welcoming a larger audience to Cardiff Castle in 2022.” 

The National Wales:

Crowds at Tafwyl picture Huw Evans Agency

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “Tafwyl has become a well-established and much adored part of Cardiff’s events calendar. The innovative digital festival last year was very welcome, but nothing can beat live music, and I am delighted that the Council is able to support Menter Caerdydd in making that a reality, as part of the Test Event Programme. 

“I am looking forward to the safe return of a packed schedule of events in the city in the not too distant future, welcoming visitors to our great city, and feeling that sense of vibrancy and excitement once again on the streets of Cardiff.” 

 All of the performances are available on demand via AM's digital platform, and  highlights will be shown on S4C at 9pm on Thursday May 27.