One of Wales’ most famous sites is set to get a spectacular makeover which will be unveiled this week, with the return of the country’s premier folk art festival.

Llangollen’s international Eisteddfod is to make a return this weekend, having been called off in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the celebrations the town’s bridge will be covered in a patchwork specially commissioned for the festival that will be unveiled at 10am on Friday.

The world famous festival sees artists from around the globe come to the small Denbighshire town on the banks of the Dee to perform traditional music and dance to thousands of Visitors.

Llangollen sees 35,000 visitors to the eisteddfod during the week long celebration, due to take place from Saturday July 9 to Monday July 11.

In the past famous stars such as Luciano Pavarotti, James Galway and Ladysmith Black Mambazo have performed at the festival.

Betsan Moses, interim chief executive of the Llangollen Eisteddfod for 2021, is leading the plans to create a programme to connect with both new and existing audiences, after last year’s event was postponed.

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She said: “The Llangollen eisteddfod was founded on the idea of bringing peace and this year’s cultural programme expresses what it stands for; peace, creativity and togetherness.

"We’re looking forward to sharing a varied and inspiring programme of events online this year, with an array of world-class performers across musical and artistic genres and exciting new commissions to delight both existing and new audiences across the globe.

“The beautiful town of Llangollen, which normally sees up to 35,000 visitors during the Eisteddfod, will also play host to the visitors that come to see the transformation of Llangollen Bridge into a giant artwork by Luke Jerram, clothed in a patchwork of fabrics from around the world.”

This year’s digital Llangollen Eisteddfod will feature videos of the world premiere performances, many filmed in the town itself.

On Saturday night, there will be a performance of Tangnefedd, a new choral piece by composer Paul Mealor, by a mass choir, some appearing digitally from across the world and others on stage in the pavilion where the Eisteddfod is usually staged, just outside the town.

As part of the celebrations the town’s bridge will see a new art installation by the world-renowned artist Luke Jerram. He will be covering the Grade 1 listed Llangollen bridge with a patchwork of fabrics representing Wales and countries that usually attend the Eisteddfod.

The event will also feature a new musical composition exploring the peace message, that is an eisteddfod tradition.

It will be created by artists including the  internationally renowned harpist and composer Catrin Finch, beatboxer and rapper Mr Phormula, British Asian musician Kuljit BhamraEliza MarshallLee House, amongst others.

This installation will be in place for people to see from July 9 until August 5.

People living locally, in Wales and around the world are invited to explore the programme, free of charge, at https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/.

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