International Musical Eisteddfod


The word "eisteddfod" literally means "to be seated" and refers to the chair given to the winner of bardic competitions.

The eisteddfod symbol.
The symbol of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

After the second World War, a man from Llangollen had the idea of inviting young people from all over Europe to a musical competition which would not only promote pride in national and folk music, but which would also help to bring about peace and reconciliation. It took many years for his dream to reach fruition, but today the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod attracts competitors from all over the world. For a week this tiny town resounds to the sound of balalaikas and banjos, Siberian throat singing and Deep South spirituals, while young people in a wide variety of colourful national costumes parade the streets, look for souvenirs and strike up friendships.

I hope that the first film conveys something of the fun and excitement of the event. Should you happen to be in Wales during July, make sure you find out when it is and come to visit.

The second film suffers from the fact that it is full of movement and sound - a fatal combination for the compression techniques used for the Internet. I apologise for the quality, but hope you get a flavour of the event.

In the third you have a West Indian steel band that I came across performing in the street. I've no idea what they're playing but they certainly attack those oil drums with gusto!

Unfortunately there is no book available about the Llangollen Eisteddfod, so instead the "More info" option takes you to a quirky account of a walk through Wales in the early 1800s, which included a stay in Llangollen - and you simply must read about the Llangollen cat!