Final preparations are underway for the return of an iconic full length international festival since the pandemic.

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the Parade of Nations is also coming back with a colourful cavalcade of competitors through the streets.

The event was cancelled in 2020, went online in 2021 and there was a much-reduced live festival last year.

Thousands of singers and dancers from around the planet will be heading for Llangollen and an extension has been added to the famous international pavilion to increase capacity to 4,000 seats in the canvas-covered auditorium.

Also back will be the spectacular floral display with the theme "country garden" at the front of the pavilion stage, created by dedicated volunteer flower growers and arrangers.

The Leader: Jane Williams, chair of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Floral Committee, with Mair Thornton, secretary, and Michelle Williams, vice-chair. Jane Williams, chair of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Floral Committee, with Mair Thornton, secretary, and Michelle Williams, vice-chair. (Image: Mandy Jones)

Llangollen Eisteddfod was founded in 1947 in the aftermath of the Second World War. It begins on Tuesday, July 4, and the competitions and concerts continue until Sunday, July 9.

It will be a special occasion for Eisteddfod Executive Producer Camilla King who took up her role last year but will this time preside over the event in its full, traditional format.

She said: “There is going to be so much going on with bands playing, a dedicated kids’ area and three performance stages, including the Globe Stage for a wide variety of music, as well at the Globe Food Court which celebrates the cuisines of eight different countries.

“There’s also the Amphitheatre showcasing our international performers and the Dome for acoustic music, talks, panel sessions and readings while elsewhere there will be free workshops in floral art, sound bath sessions, yoga, belly dancing, beginner’s Welsh, salsa and much more.

“It all takes place on a self-contained site which is safe and secure and just an easy walk into Llangollen and with secure dedicated festival car parking nearby for just £5 a day.”

Over the years the festival has grown into one of Europe’s premier music and dance events.


It has attracted cultural icons like Dylan Thomas who visited for the BBC 70 years ago and whose famous radio broadcast about the Eisteddfod is being recreated to mark its 70th anniversary.

A reading from actor, writer and director Celyn Jones will be the centrepiece of a mini programme of events to celebrate Thomas’s 15-minute masterpiece on the BBC’s Home Service – tragically he was to die just a few months later in New York.

That same year the late Queen Elizabeth also attended the Eisteddfod shortly after her Coronation. Two years later the late great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, began his international career at Llangollen as a member of a choir from Modena.

The week’s highlights include a concert starring Alfie Boe and musical theatre supergroup Welsh of the West End on the first night of the Eisteddfod on Tuesday, July 4.

The Leader: Llangollen EisteddfodLlangollen Eisteddfod (Image: unknown)

Wednesday will see The White Flower: Into The Light, a concert of remembrance for the fallen of Sarajevo and Ukraine, featuring the NEW Sinfonia orchestra with soloists from Bosnia, Wales and Ukraine, with the centrepiece formed by Karl Jenkin’s much loved work, The Armed Man.

The popular procession of international participants and celebration of peace takes place on Thursday, followed by Flight, a new mixed-media dance, music and theatre work by visionary artists Propellor Ensemble, inspired by migratory patterns in nature and humanity.

On the Friday night Guy Barker’s Big Band will take the stage with Strictly Come Dancing singer Tommy Blaize.

Saturday features the blue riband event, the Choir of the World competition for the coveted Pavarotti Trophy, and also Dance Champions and the Pendine International Voice of the Future 2023.

There is a new look to the final day of the Eisteddfod on Sunday with an all-new live final which sees rising vocal stars battle it out to claim the title Voice of Musical Theatre, and Cân i Llan, a new song-writing competition for unsigned acts aged 14-22, providing a platform for emerging voices in contemporary popular music.