GWYL Gwion Bach. a brand new folk festival held in Meifod and Llanfair Caereinion over last week has been called a roaring success by organisers.

Dylan Penri, from Menter Iaith Maldwyn, who helped organise the festival said: “We are delighted that so many people were able to attend our workshops and folk gigs.

"As a committee we were keen to show everyone that our folk heritage should not be limited to the pages of books.

"Over the festival weekend it was great to see so many given the opportunity to have hands on experiences of learning our folk traditions.

"The clog dance workshop for example was epic, with 78 individuals, ranging in age from two to eighty two, all with clogs on their feet, learning traditional Welsh clog steps.

On Friday night, January 26, nine talented poets competed at the Cobra Rugby Club in Meifod for the G?yl Gwion Bach Stomp Chair.

During the event, that was co-organised by Cymdeithas Cynddylan Society, the crowd were treated to a variety of comical and profound poetry.

The chair was won by Rhian Davies form Moelfre who as it also turns out is one of the festival co-ordinators.

Rhian said, “I was delighted and shocked to win.

"I haven’t written any poetry since leaving school, many years ago.

"The people of Meifod obviously enjoyed my humour.

On Saturday, January 27, festival goers were entertained by a range of activities at various locations in Llanfair Caereinion, from a puppet show of the Tale Of Taliesin with storyteller Mair Tomos Ifans, Vagabondi Puppet Company and children form Ysgol Gynradd Llanfair Caereinion, to a lunch time gig with local folk band Teulu at Just3Drops.

Amongst the workshops held during the weekend were poetry sessions with Anni Ll?n, clog dance and folk dance sessions with Tudur Phillips, folk song and Cerdd Dant workshop with Arfon Gwilym and Sioned Webb and an instrumental folk tune workshop with Angharad Jenkins from the internationally renowned band Calan.

Customers at the Red Lion in Llanfair Caereinion enjoyed an evening of Welsh folk music, provided by lively and vibrant Welsh folk bands, Hen Fegin, Bwncath and Patrobas, before being encouraged to follow a procession led by the Mari Lwyd (The Gray Mare – a horse’s skull – and an old Welsh tradition associated with the New Year), through the town and down to the Institute for an evening of song and dance.

The weekend ended on a crescendo with a large Barn Dance and Noson Lawen at the Institute, where a feast of entertainment was provided by folk singer Siân James, Parti Cut Lloi, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Tudur Phillips, Anni Ll?n, Arfon Gwilym and Sioned Webb, young harpist Cadi Glwys, and the Dyffryn Banw Young Farmers Ensemble.

Nia Llywelyn of Menter Iaith Maldwyn added, “We would like to thank everybody who attended the festival, as well as all the bands and artists.

"They all played a part in making this a very special and unique weekend. We would also like to thank our sponsors, the Eisteddfod Powys Fellowship, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.”