Sorela a capella band with a mellow Welsh folk music

Sophie G-R

Experiencing the Eisteddfod

1 August 2015

It seems like we entered Tolkien’s fantasy world.

Vast green fields, countless hills and thick forest strikingly resemble the Shire, the home of the hobbits. After we conquered the hilly roads and went pass numerous flocks of sheep and cattle, caravans, tents and rows of cars appeared in the valley beneath. Eisteddfod, we are finally here!

As soon as I got off the bus, I saw musicians unpacking their instruments from the buses nearby.  People slowly approaching the entrance of the festival’s venue, the Maes. I was told that we would often hear the word “maes”, that refers to the actual festival location site. I might as well embrace it straight away!

A happy face welcomed me at the entrance. I could not understand the greeting in Welsh, but I could tell it was friendly. It was seconds before I heard more Welsh. I looked up and there were long lines of stands with different signs in Welsh. Like with most new things, I was looking forward to another adventure.

After a small introduction at our newly set-up news desk, we went to check out what was on offer at the Maes. After just a few minutes I ended up in a spacious, cosy tent. There was a sound check going on. It was a tent where the ukulele workshop takes place. ‘I am definitely coming back there,’ I thought.

Distant songs by a female a cappella group drew us to another tent. Welsh folk music was creating a heartwarming atmosphere for the audience in the tent. Being a guitarist for about 15 years now, I found great pleasure in the fact that music will be an essential element of Eisteddfod 2015. It is going to be an exciting week full of music.

I was not surprised to find out about Tolkien finding inspiration in Welsh language and culture to create his masterpiece trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. The Eisteddfod’s cultural buzz can really get to you. I am already glad to be here. Who knows, maybe this year’s Eisteddfod will inspire me too, and I will go on another adventure after my journey in Wales comes to an end in September.

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