Major new bilingual festival in Wales
Friday 29 June – Sunday 1 July
Leading names from literature, music and comedy will come together in west Wales this summer for the Dinefwr Literature Festival, the first bilingual festival of its kind.
The festival promises to keep eyes, ears and minds buzzing all weekend, with over 100 events celebrating all aspects of the spoken word – from leading authors from Wales and beyond to rappers, comedians, cult musicians and up-and-coming talent. Set in the stunning surroundings of the National Trust’s Dinefwr Park & Castle, with its 18th century parkland and medieval deer park, the festival offers a stunning backdrop for those looking for an escape from the daily grind.
Lleucu Siencyn, one of the festival’s directors and Chief Executive of Literature Wales, comments: “Now that summer’s finally here, we’re all thinking about booking our weekend breaks and festivals. The Dinefwr Literature Festival, held in one of the most beautiful areas of the UK, will give you more for your money than almost any other festival. This is a festival with everybody in mind – families, music fans, readers, writers and those who love the great outdoors.”
National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke will open the first day of the festival in an event with leading Welsh poet Paul Henry and award-winning poet and writer Philip Gross.
Literature events continue with the inimitable Howard Marks, with his one man show ‘An Audience with Mr Nice’, lyrical artistry from POETica, a group including Mr Phormula, the Welsh beat boxer, rapper, producer and BBC Radio 1 regular and an exclusive family-friendly performance with the Brautigan Book Club, inspired by cult writer Richard Brautigan’s poem Please Plant This Book. Welsh speakers can enjoy a conversation between Welsh Children’s Poet Eurig Salisbury and writer Tom Anderson as together they search for new surfing terms in the Welsh language.
Kids and adults alike will be entertained by an exploration of science and the fiction of time travel and alien biology with author Mark Brake and rapper Jon Chase in the Science fiction of Dr Who. Before bed, children will be regaled with stories by Horatio Clare and Tom Anderson as part of the festival’s nightly Naughty Boys’ Storytime.
Night owls will then be treated to an evening of live music. Super Furry Animals’ front man Gruff Rhys will be headlining on Friday night, alongside a performance from The Staves, who will have just returned from supporting Bon Iver’s US tour.
Early risers can take time out by painting watercolours of local birdlife with cult illustrator Matt Sewell. A little later in the morning, lovers of literature and landscape can also join travel writer Horatio Clare as he leads a walk exploring the relationship between nature and writing.
Other literary highlights on Saturday include former UK Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion talking about Silver, his new sequel to Treasure Island, and Dylan Thomas’ granddaughter Hannah Ellis appearing at the festival in conversation with his biographer Andrew Lycett.
For those wanting to learn more about Welsh culture, journalist Jasper Rees will be chatting to writer and poet Tony Bianchi on the subject of Identity. Continuing the theme, Neil Ansell will also be reading from Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills and music writers and producers Iestyn George, Dyl Mei and Owain Llŷr will talk about the Welsh music scene.
Kids can join creative workshops with the Hunga Munga collective, learn how to make pizzas in a wood fired pizza oven with Taste from the Fire and find entertainment in the form of the fabulously bearded children’s writer Philip Ardagh and Wales’ first ever Young People’s Laureate Catherine Fisher. Fans of Philip Pullman can check out the chapter-heading vignette prints from His Dark Materials, as part of the Fantastical Beasts exhibition in Newton House.
In the evening, there will be comedy from Josie Long followed by a music and performance salon hosted by The Brautigan Book Club, featuring H. Hawkline, Gruff Rhys, Martin Carr. Topping off the entertainment will be a musical performance from visionary rock musician Julian Cope.
Sunday begins with songs from Jeb Loy Nichols, dubbed the ‘high priest of country cool’ by Rolling Stone Magazine. Later on, the day gets louder as Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer and producer Ghostpoet, singer-songwriter Emmy the Great and Welsh chart-toppers Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog take to the stage. Any budding Welsh rappers can also take part in a rapping and beatboxing session with Ed Holden, Aneirin Karadog and Rufus Mufasa.
Wendy Cope, one of the nation’s favourite poets, will be performing before lunch. Plus, The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess will be speaking to Pat Long about his new book, Telling Stories, as part of Caught by the River’s programme of music and talks.
Stimulating conversations in the afternoon include Gillian Slovo, president of English PEN, talking to Swansea University’s Dr Tom Cheesman on Welsh PEN and conflict writing. Kids will be kept busy by Small World Theatre, as it re-enacts the tale of The Fisherman and the Mermaid with a giant puppet and flock of bicycle powered seagulls. If that wasn’t enough, there will also be illustration and poetry workshops, as well as nature walks with the Wildlife Trust.
Both weekend and day tickets are available for the festival. Adult Weekend passes are £65, with a discount for National Trust and Literature Wales members. Adult Day Tickets start at £25; children under 5 go free, and weekend and day tickets for children aged 6-16 are £10 and £5 respectively. Camping tickets are an additional £20 per tent for a maximum of four people sharing.
For further information and for media accreditation contact:
Jane Acton or Katy MacMillan-Scott at Four Colman Getty
Tel: 0870 626 9000
E: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
A full list of the performers taking part in the weekend can be found below:
Andrew Motion; Alistair Reynolds; Andrew Lycett; Anthony Jones/Write for Word; Archie Miles; Atinuke; Brautigan Book Club: including Ianthe Brautigan; Byron Vincent ; Caca Milis Irish Cabaret; Catherine Fisher; Caught By The River (talks): Richard King, Robert Penn, Tim Burgess, Neil Ansell, Pat Long, Matt Sewell; Claire Keegan; Coracle Theatre Project; David Crystal; David and Helen Orme; David Rees Davies & David Greenslade; Deborah Kay Davies; Elen Caldecott; Gillian Clarke; Gillian Slovo; Hannah Ellis; Hazel Walford Davies; Honno Event: Honno Classics with Jane Aaron and Kirsti Bohata; Horatio Clare; Howard Marks; Hunga Munga; Iain Sinclair; Ifor Thomas; In Chapters (Richard James, John Williams); Jackie Morris; James Attlee; Jasper Fforde; Jasper Rees; Jenny Sullivan; Jeremy Strong; Jez Alborough; Joe Dunthorne; John Harrison; John Osborne; Lucy Caldwell; Lucy Christopher; Luke Wright; Mab Jones + Jam Bones (feat. Rhian Edwards, Liam Johnson, Sue Hamblen, Susie Wild, Nicholas Whitehead and Jack Pascoe); Mark Blayney; Mark Brake and Jon Chase; Mike Parker; Molly Naylor; Nat Segnit; Pascale Petit; Paul Henry; Peter Finch; Phil Carradice; Philip Ardagh; Philip Gross; POETica (feat. David J, Martin Daws, Mr Phormula and Huw Vaughn Williams); Prys Morgan (brother of Rhodri Morgan); Rob Lewis; Robert Minhinnick; Sally Spedding; Small World Theatre; TheAbsurd - Sophie McKeand; T James Jones; Tishani Doshi; Tom Anderson; Tom Cheeseman; Tyler Keevil; Wendy Cope; WNO Max
Alun Cob; Aneirin Karadog; Catrin Dafydd (Bragdy'r Beirdd); Ceri Wyn Jones;
Dal dy Dafod; Daniel Glyn; Dewi Prysor; Dyl Mei; Ed Holden; Eurig Salisbury; Gareth Potter; Glyn Wise; Huw Aaron; Iestyn George; John Davies; Llyr Edwards; Mererid Hopwood; Osian Rhys Jones (Bragdy'r Beirdd); Owain Llŷr; Owen Martell; Rhys Iorwerth (Bragdy'r Beirdd); Ruth Evans (Rufus Mufasa); Steve Eaves; Stwnsh; T James Jones; Tony Bianchi
Anna Barratt; Lewis Wright; Penny Hallas; Katharine Bujalska; Philip Pullman; David Rees Davies; Jackie Morris
John Hegley; Simon Munnery; Josie Long; Tom Wrigglesworth; Celia Pacquola; James Acaster; plus rising star comedy set (names TBC)
Julian Cope; Gruff Rhys; Georgia Ruth; The Staves; Jodie Marie; Steve Eaves; Jeb Loy Nichols (with Caught By The River); H. Hawkline, Martin Carr (Brautigan Book Club); Ghostpoet; Emmy the Great; Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog