The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME) is delighted to announce Llangollen Online #connectingtheworld, which will be free to view and runs from 1 June until 11 July, to ensure we are staying home together but continue to promote a connected international community during the current difficult times.

In March, the International Eisteddfod announced the postponement of 2020’s festival due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Determined to give an International Eisteddfod experience, it was clear to organisers that there needed to be some way for its international community of participants, performers, visitors and volunteers to stay connected and come together through these hard times.

LIME Artistic Director, Edward-Rhys Harry said: “It felt vital to bring our global community together to share music and dance and of course, continue a message of peace and harmony. Normally at this time of year, our staff, volunteers and local community are working full speed to deliver the festival, and we have also had lots of messages from overseas participants telling us how much they are missing us and the experience. So in some way we wanted to be able to connect and share on a different platform this year as best we can.”

From 1- 30 June, working in collaboration with media partners, Rondo Media, audiences will be able to watch competitions and vote online for their favourite moment via the Llangollen.TV platform. The archive footage will be presented in five categories: Mixed, Chamber and Youth Choirs; Single Voice and Barbershop Choirs; Children’s Choirs; Folk Groups and Choirs; and Adult and Youth Dance. Vote winners in each category will be announced daily during Eisteddfod week (7-11 July).

Gareth Williams, Rondo Media said "Over the past few weeks, we've been going through the Eisteddfod archive which includes 25 years of footage showcasing performers from 57 different countries and well over 10,000 competitors. In 2019, leading up to Eisteddfod week, we held an online voting competition to find the Choir of the World Champions. It proved to be hugely popular and so we knew there was appetite amongst our core International Eisteddfod audiences for something similar. We have also been working with S4C for many years to share the International Eisteddfod with audiences beyond Llangollen and across the whole of Wales. Combining online competitions with the documentary felt like a good way to give a Llangollen Eisteddfod experience with a difference during these difficult times globally.”

During Eisteddfod week, audiences can look forward to new content to complement the archive footage. This includes Heddwch a Harmoni: Byd gwâr yw ein byd o gân, lines by renowned Welsh poet, Mererid Hopwood, which focus on the Eisteddfod’s founding principles, namely the aim of bringing international communities together in peace and harmony.

Edward-Rhys Harry said, “There is a whole host of activity surrounding this, on Tuesday, the Peace Message will be children and youth-centric, so will, in effect, replace the Children’s Day message this year. The Thursday message will be centred around several major events: a message from our President Terry Waite, the new commission by Mererid Hopwood, who will help narrate this, along with a number of our volunteers, children and other participants, and a song of peace and hope.”

The Welsh Government recently announced funding for Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to help with business continuity through 2020, including planning and preparation for the 2021 events.

Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: “The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is one of Wales’ signature summer events and I’m delighted that we’ll still be able to get a digital experience this year. The innovation and creativity shown by our events and creative industries sector has been excellent - and is allowing people from across the world to come together and provides a platform to share and celebrate during these unprecedented times.”

Voting is open now on Llangollen.TV and closes on 30 June 2020. More details of the programme and events will be released over the coming weeks on social media.