For 21+1 years, Trac Cymru has been working to ensure that the Welsh folk traditions can survive and thrive in future years by helping audiences to discover and enjoy our country’s amazing traditional musicians. The charity continues to develop accessible opportunities for the public to encounter Welsh artists at all stages of their careers.
When Trac Cymru originally founded Ty Gwerin at the Eisteddfod, we staged free performances that gave artists such as Gwenan Gibbard, Tornish, and Stacey Blythe the opportunity to reach the widest possible audience. When Ty Gwerin later moved into the Yurt, stage-managed by Trac Cymru, it became established as the go-to spot at the festival to hear the up-and-coming folk artists, as well as to enjoy legendary performers such as Dafydd Iwan, who is one of our charity’s Patrons.
At our Big Experiment/Arbrawf Mawr weekend we also featured performances from exciting younger bands like Calan and Vri, as well as showcasing the talents of many of the nation’s finest tradition bearers including Arfon Gwilym and Sioned Webb, Stacey Blythe, Oli Wilson-Dickson, Stephen Rees and Huw Roberts, and many others. This exciting amateur video below charmingly captures the superb fiddling of Stephen and Huw at one such event 👇
In our special experimental projects such as Dros y Ffin and 10 Mewn Bws, the outstanding young professional artists created new brilliant music, as well as revisiting the traditional repertoire, that was then showcased to the public at many venues and festivals in Wales and beyond.
Through our partnership with Tafwyl festival and Focus Wales, Trac Cymru has helped folk music to reach new audiences, including performances by Alaw, Elfen, Morfa, Yr Hwntws, and the National Youth Folk Ensemble of Wales, Avanc. In previous years we also helped programme the Calan Mai celebrations at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and at Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum.
Part of our strategy to encourage new fans to fall in love with traditional music has been to provide taster workshops for festival-goers to have a go for themselves, learning from skilled artists such as the harpist Bethan Nia and clog dancer Tudur Phillips.
Our plans to celebrate the milestone 21st anniversary of Trac Cymru in 2021 were put on hold thanks to the coronavirus, but we have continued with our mission to support even more people to develop their own special connection to our amazing national music. Please support us by sharing these stories with your friends and colleagues, and join us in posting your own happy memories about Welsh folk music on social media #TRAC21, and you can help us fund our work by making a donation today.