Arts and cultural events across Wales are looking forward to welcoming back visitors in person over the coming months as organisers switch back to live audience performances.
Many of these home-grown events have had funding support from the Welsh Government through Event Wales.
According to latest figures from 2019, events supported through Event Wales attracted 200,000 visitors to Wales which generated £33.35 million in direct economic impact/net additional spend into Wales and supported more than 770 jobs in the wider tourism economy
The team behind FOCUS Wales are preparing for their 11th edition of the event between the 5th and 7th of May. The event has grown from strength to strength, and this year 250+ artists will fill out a variety of spaces and music venues around Wrexham, using 20 stages, and hosting a full schedule of interactive industry sessions, arts events, and film screenings, throughout the festival.
FOCUS Wales Co-Founder, Neal Thompson is looking forward to this year’s event, and sees how it’s been possible for an event rooted in Wrexham to achieve international recognition, he said:
“This year’s Focus Wales will be more special than ever, given what we’ve all been through, and also helps build upon the excitement around Wrexham’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025. With Welsh Government support we have been able to not only survive but progress develop and, in May, will deliver our best line up yet.”
Dubbed as the feel good event of the year, The Big Retreat, Pembrokeshire will take place in the tranquillity of the Lawrenny Estate from 3 to 6 June and has been voted one of the 'Top 5 Wellbeing & Adventure Festivals' by The Guardian. Amber Lort-Phillips, organiser of The Big Retreat Festival, said:
“The Big Retreat is set to offer visitors the very best in feelgood experiences in a beautiful setting in June this year. With the help of Welsh Government funding, we will provide three unforgettable days in which to relax, reflect and re-boot – the perfect way to enjoy wonderful Welsh surroundings ”
With its centenary year coinciding with the year that crowds and competitors return for the first time since the pandemic, the Urdd will be looking forward to welcoming everyone to one of Europe’s largest youth festivals, the National Urdd Eisteddfod, which will be held in Denbighshire during May half-term of 2022. Events Wales funding will help support Gŵyl Triban plans, a ‘festival within a festival’, scheduled for the final weekend of the Eisteddfod.
Held successfully in 2021 as part of the series of “pilot events”, as the sector returned to operation, Tafwyl returns to Cardiff Castle this year at full tempo, with a free weekend of festivities to celebrate the Welsh language and culture, including music, discussions, events, market and food.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“Wales’ home-grown events enrich the arts and cultural offer in our communities, provide a platform for emerging Welsh talent and often provide the basis for an event that goes onto gain international recognition for Wales. Our widespread support for cultural events, alongside our support of sporting and business events, helps us sustain a balanced portfolio of events across Wales.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to indoor and outdoor events across Wales and to see them visiting other attractions and regions as part of their stay. We recognise that it has been a hugely difficult period for the events sector and that there are still major challenges to overcome. However, with support such as the Cultural Recovery Fund from the Welsh Government which has provided more than £108 million of financial support to the cultural, creative, events and sport sectors, the sector can hopefully begin to plan ahead with more optimism.”