The Wales Folk Awards celebrate and promote the music of Wales at its highest level. After such a difficult time for live music during the pandemic, the Awards are back in April 2023 to shine a spotlight on Wales’ musical achievements.
Launched in 2019, the Wales Folk Awards are a partnership between Trac Cymru, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, the Arts Council of Wales and significant individuals from the world of Welsh folk music.
In February 2023 the public were invited to send in their nominations for ten categories ranging from Best Group to Best Emerging Act. A Long List Panel of festivals, venues, media and folk organisers were then invited to select from these public nominations to create the shortlists. The shortlists then went forward to 6 independent judges representing the world of folk music, to decide the winners in each category.
The judging panel this year are –
- Stephen Rees, tradition bearer and musicologist
- Ywain Myfyr, Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau
- Naomi Saunders, Galeri Caernarfon
- Mick Tems, Folk Wales Online and Llantrisant Folk Club
- David Francis, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland
- Rhian Davies, Menter Maldwyn
The categories this year are –
- BEST TRADITIONAL WELSH SONG
- BEST ORIGINAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE SONG
- BEST ORIGINAL WELSH LANGUAGE SONG
- BEST INSTRUMENTAL TRACK
- BEST EMERGING ARTIST/BAND
- BEST SOLO ARTIST
- BEST ALBUM
- BEST LIVE ACT
- BEST GROUP
- WALE’S FOLK FAVOURITE
There will also be a Lifetime Achievement Award and a New Traditions Prize for the best new tune.
The winners will be announced at a glittering Awards Evening at the BBC Hoddinott Hall in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 20 April. The evening will include live performances from some of the winners, with BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru both broadcasting programmes recorded on the night.
Two Carmarthen craftsmen made the trophies – blacksmith Aaron Petersen and woodturner Rob Hopkins. Based on 18th century rushlight holders, each one is unique, and made of iron and locally sourced ash wood. The trophies have quite a folk family connection – Aaron’s father is blacksmith David Petersen who led the Welsh Delegation at Lorient Interceltic Festival for many years, and his nephew Sam is a member of Avanc, Trac Cymru’s Youth Folk Ensemble of Wales.
There is more on the inaugural Awards here 👇
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Tickets are now on sale, you can find the link to the tickets below 👇