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Travelling Around Wales for Music Festivals

Published by Chad Milford

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When talking of music festivals in The UK, typically the usual ones which are mentioned are Glastonbury and Reading. Yet there are several others that are less widely-known which can be found in sleepy yet picturesque Wales. While not so famous, they are worth exploring while enjoying the gorgeous surrounding scenery. Here are a few, possibly not so-well-known festivals to be found in Wales.

The Green Man Festival – Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons, Wales

This festival takes place in Glanusk Park, underneath Sugar Loaf Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is a four-day event hosting over hundred acts across five stages. It began in 2003 as a day event that attracted a mere three hundred people. After eight years of running, it has now morphed into a four-day festival which attracted ten thousand people at its 2008 event.

Brecon Jazz Festival – Brecon Beacons

And in the actual town of Brecon itself, for one August weekend a year, the streets are abuzz with music with the Brecon Jazz Festival. The event began in 1983 on the tiny budget of one hundred pounds as an attempt to increase the small town’s ‘ARTS’ focus. From that step it grew into being an integral part of the town’s identity with many world musicians making the journey. In 2009 it became part of the Hay Festival as well as being funded by Arts Council of Wales.

Cardiff Mela – Cardiff Bay

This unique festival’s focus is run by a voluntary committee formed in 2007. It is essentially a massive, outdoor multicultural festival that celebrates Asian culture in particular dance and music. It is Wales’ largest single-day multicultural festival. The 2009 event attracted over 14,000 visitors and it is expected that this year’s crowd will be even huger.

Cardiff Big Weekend – Cardiff

Organised by the Cardiff Council as part of the Cardiff Festival, it has been running since 1995. For three days, participants can enjoy live music, street theatre, open-air theatre, children’s entertainment and a funfair. At the end of each night, it concludes with a fireworks display. The festival has a strong blend of popular, well-established and new events around the city centre as well as Cardiff Bay. The Friday night’s emphasis is usually Welsh bands; past acts include Stereophonics and The Alarm.

There are many festivals to enjoy including various Eisteddfods, but these ones listed are those that are both long-standing and popular. Much of the emphasis seems to be on both old and new acts with a Welsh celebratory flair.

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