Organisers of one of Europe’s largest youth festivals have announced that the Urdd Eisteddfod will move from its planned location – Machynlleth – to Meifod in 2024.

The fields of Mathrafal Farm, which also hosted the National Eisteddfod in 2003 and 2015, have been chosen as the location of next year’s Urdd Eisteddfod.

It will be the first time since 1988 that the Urdd Eisteddfod will take place in Montgomeryshire.

County Times: Mathrafal Farm, near Meifod, hosted the National Eisteddfod in 2003 and 2015.Mathrafal Farm, near Meifod, hosted the National Eisteddfod in 2003 and 2015. (Image: None)

In a statement, Eisteddfod yr Urdd organisers said: “Meifod will be the home of the Maldwyn Urdd National Eisteddfod in 2024.

“We’re looking forward to our visit already, and our members and volunteers in Maldwyn are all working hard to welcome us to the area.”

Machynlleth was announced in 2019 as the location of the popular festival which sees more than 15,000 children and young people under 25 competing during the Eisteddfod week in various competitions such as singing, dancing, performing and art.

Speaking in 2019, Urdd chairman Dyfrig Davies said Machynlleth was a good choice because the town was situated at the “centre of Wales”. However, the coronavirus pandemic delayed Montgomeryshire’s turn to host the event by two years.

News that the Urdd Eisteddfod will move 30 miles away to Meifod in May and June next year has disappointed some people in the Machynlleth area who were looking forward to having one of Wales’ largest cultural festivals take place in the town. Others have questioned why the town was announced as the hosts when a location was not secured.

Glantwymyn councillor Elwyn Vaughan said: “The initial intention was to look at Machynlleth and Dyfi Valley area as a potential location but due to restrictions in land availability, there wasn’t a suitable site. Therefore, the decision was taken to take it to Mathrafal where it proved a success with two previous National Eisteddfod.

“Ideally, Machynlleth would be the location, but you can’t make up land or suitable place that doesn’t exist. After all it is a Montgomeryshire eisteddfod not just Machynlleth and it’s there to boost the local economy and Welsh language communities.

“You need 100 acres of flat, dry land without any problems with power lines restrictions for temporary buildings and that simply does not exist in Machynlleth itself.”

Cllr Vaughan added: “It does highlight to think strategically in the long term in Montgomeryshire for a site that could be utilised for the Urdd and the National Eisteddfod whenever they want to come to mid Wales. It would be a long-term plan to boost culture in the area.”