Exciting and innovative new Welsh festival Gŵyl 2021 stretches over eight days and from the 8th to 12th March, the programme offers some exclusive and unique events. Presented by music-industry festival Focus Wales, this is a unique opportunity to listen to live panel sessions followed by live showcase performances. And on Thursday, Focus Wales 360° Sessions brings a new kind of performance to the online gigging experience (details below). The festival is set to close on a literary note on the 12th with a literature review.

The idea for Gŵyl 2021 was formed in spring 2021, when four Welsh festivals contemplated similar gloomy prospects for their festivals as lockdown began to bite. Focus Wales, Festival of Voice, Aberystwyth Comedy Festival and Other Voices Cardigan came together to discuss the creation of a collective cultural event that would showcase primarily Welsh creative talent. And so Gŵyl 2021 was born.

I asked the Focus Wales team about the Canada Sessions. “We’re really excited to be hosting musicians and music industry delegates from across Canada over the next three days as part of #Gwyl2021”.

“Artists from Wales will be meeting and engaging with Canadian music professionals during our industry ‘Accelerator Sessions’ and we will be enjoying streamed performances from artists put forward by our partner festivals of Breakout West, M Pour Montreal and Nova Scotia Music Week.“

Tune in for free at https://www.amam.cymru/focuswales on the 8th, 9th & 10th March

Artists from Wales will be meeting and engaging with Canadian music professionals during our industry ‘Accelerator Sessions’

The organisers ensured a wide range of music genres were covered. Plus film, comedy and showcases have all been included to make this a truly innovative multi media festival. Events were filmed in a range of venues in Wales, from Llangollen Town Hall to the Wales Millennium Centre, in order to recognise and acknowledge the importance of these precious spaces.

The festival goes international on Monday to Wednesday, offering the opportunity to listen to live panel sessions followed by live showcases. This programming is programmed by Focus Wales which takes place on 7, 8, 9th October 2021. Focus Wales is foremost a music-industry event that nurtures emerging talent from across Wales, taking artists up a level in their careers via reciprocal arrangements across the globe. This week offers a unique and exciting opportunity to see artists from Canada. All content is available to view on the AM app. It’s always exciting to get a ‘behind the scenes’ view of how the music industry works.

360° sessions On Thursday 11th Gŵyl 2021 introduces an intriguing, immersive and fun element to the online festival world. The Focus Wales artists have been filmed in 360°, singing one song each. Filmed in different locations, the 45-minute film brings a new dimension to the online concert experience, giving fans the chance to engage with Gŵyl artists on an extra level. Using your smart phone or headset, you can zoom around the space and have a bit of fun with it. Artists appearing at the 360° sessions include: 9Bach, Adwaith, N’Famady Kouyaté, Benji Wild, Cara Hammond, Kidsmoke, Islet, Gruff Rhys, Dani Rain and Bandicoot. Further details to come this week. Check on Thursday for up to date details.

There will be a literary review on the final day. More details will be released nearer to the time.

Gwyl 2021
Festival content available on the AM App. Also on YouTube
FOCUS Wales ; Festival of Voice, Other Voices CardiganAberystwyth Comedy Festival
Photography: Islet

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