Hundreds descend on Machynlleth for South American Festival of Music, culture and ideas.

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

PART OF Mid Wales magically transformed into South America for the weekend.

Hundreds of people, many from South America itself, enjoyed the El Sueno Existe (the right to live in peace) festival in Machynlleth.

The festival celebrates the life and times of Victor Jara, a Chilean musician and leading light of the democratic movement, who was tortured and murdered by the fascist regime of General Pinochet, who took power following a coup in 1973.

This year the festival focussed on the music, culture and political situation in Ecuador.

Highlights included a performance by UK based Chilean band, Quimantu and Welsh language singer Dafydd Iwan, who was joined onstage by Peruvian Youngsters as he sang “Yr Hawl I Fyw mewn Hedd,” (The right to live in peace).

The song was originally written by Victor Jara and translated into Welsh by Dafydd Iwan.

Festival organiser Tony Corden explained: “It was very successful, everything hung together well.

“We had about 500 people who were here for the whole festival, many camping here.

“Many are South Americans who live in the UK, and they have described coming to Machynlleth as “magical realism”.

“The festival is about the music, culture and political outlook in South America and this time we focussed on Ecuador which has very progressive policies.

“Victor Jara symbolises the political movement that yearned for a better and fairer world.”

“Dafydd Iwan is a long time supporter of the festival and believes in the values of social justice, it was a really beautiful moment when he was joined on stage by the Peruvian youngster to sing “Yr Hawl I Fyw Mewn Hedd.”

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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