Sesiwn Fawr 2023 will see Dolgellau welcome 42 bands this summer.
The lively, bilingual music festival attracts some of the Welsh music scene’s biggest artists, and will this year have 42 bands perform across 11 stages in various locations in Dolgellau’s town centre between 20 and 23 July.
This line-up includes an eclectic mix of folk, rock and world music, with artists including Dafydd Iwan ac Ar Log, Rusty Shackle, NoGood Boyo and the Scottish band Heisk (pictured below) amongst the artists performing on the festival’s main stage at the Ship Hotel.
The festival is organised by a committee of local volunteers.
Weekend tickets for this year’s Sesiwn Fawr sold out faster than ever, within less than a week of being released. However, some tickets for gigs at Tŷ Siamas and St Mary’s Church may still be available at sesiwnfawr.cymru.
True to its roots, various smaller stages in the town’s pubs and on the main square (Sgwâr Eldon) will continue to host performances on the Saturday afternoon.
Sesiwn Fawr 2023 will stretch over four days with a special concert at St Mary’s Church with Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog and The Wilderness Yet opening this year’s festival on Thursday evening, 20 July.
An evening of Jazz hosted by local musician, Richy Jones, will be held at Tŷ Siamas on Friday, 21 July.
Following the success of introducing this brand new area last year, the children’s village, Y Pentre Plant, will offer entertainment for children and families on Saturday afternoon with craft sessions, circus skills, puppets, face painting and much more.
Other events held at Tŷ Siamas on Saturday afternoon will include a panel discussion on political matters of importance to young people, Gareth Evans-Jones discussing his new book Cylchu Cymru, an opportunity to see and hear from the Tradd-od project, and a talk by Merfyn Wyn Tomos about his recent book which traces the history of Dolgellau pubs.
On Saturday night at Tŷ Siamas you can expect to enjoy performances from some of the festival’s main bands including Ynys and Los Blancos.
A second concert will be held at St Mary’s Church on Sunday, 23 July, with popular Welsh folk singer Martyn Joseph and triple harpist, Cerys Hafana.
Later that evening, to conclude the weekend festivities, there will be a comedy night at Tŷ Siamas with sets by Dan Thomas, Mel Owen, Caryl Burke, Steffan Alun, Hywel Pitts and Dan Griffith.
Melda Lois, a local artist that will be performing at this year’s festival for the first time, said: “I am extremely grateful to have the platform and the opportunity to experience the Sesiwn Fawr from a different perspective this year.
“Sesiwn Fawr is a musical calendar highlight here in Wales and having the opportunity to perform here after attending as part of the audience for several years is a very special thing.”
Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau’s committee chair, Guto Dafydd, said: “Our main aim as organisers is to build on the success of the festival from year to year.
“As a result of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Sesiwn Fawr last year, it was decided this year to launch three new stages around the town, move the stage of the rugby club to Tŷ Siamas to keep everything close to the town centre and hold a second gig in the church.
“We are determined to continue to maintain the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere around the Sesiwn Fawr, as well as offering opportunities for new and local artists alike.
“We as a committee are eagerly looking forward to inviting a new audience as well as old friends to Dolgellau.”
To see the full line-up, and for further information, visit www.sesiwfawr.cymru or go to Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau’s social media channels @sesiwnfawr / #SesiwnFawr #SFD23.