Categories Lifestyle

The 2024 Eisteddfod: Exploring the Festival’s Significance

Every year, tens of thousands of young people from all across Wales gather to celebrate Welsh language and culture at Europe’s largest travelling youth festival, Eisteddfod yr Urdd. The festival rotates to different locations across Wales each year and typically falls during Spring half term. This year, the festival is taking place in Maldwyn, Powys, from Monday, May 27 to Saturday, June 1.

Eisteddfod yr Urdd offers young people the opportunity to participate in over 400 competitions ranging from music, literature, and performing arts to hairdressing, singing, street dance, poetry, cookery, fashion design, puppets, arts, and crafts. Organized by the national voluntary youth organization, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the event welcomes competitors aged between eight and 25. Interestingly, this year has seen a record-breaking number of over 100,000 people registering to compete, the highest in the event’s history.

One of the iconic figures at the festival is Mistar Urdd, the Urdd mascot that first made an appearance in 1976. Adorned in red, green, and white, Mistar Urdd is a prominent part of the Urdd Gobaith Cymru logo and even has his own catchy song, “Hei Mistar Urdd.”

With expectations of over 100,000 participants at Eisteddfod yr Urdd, Llio Maddocks, Director of the Arts at Urdd Gobaith Cymru, expressed his delight in seeing such enthusiasm among competitors this year. The festival has served as a launchpad for many Welsh stars, as evidenced by Game of Thrones actor Iwan Rheon mentioning that his career started after a producer from Welsh soap opera Pobl y Cwm noticed his performance at the Urdd Eisteddfod in 2019.