Daring to Dream charity launches Lleswyl festival 2024

Afro Cluster

Daring to Dream, the charity that supports the emotional health and wellbeing of patients in Wales, is holding its third virtual festival allowing those with life-limiting or chronic illnesses to enjoy a live-streamed night of music and inspiration.

Nearly half of all adults (approximately 1.2 million people) in Wales are estimated to be living with at least one long-standing, physical illness. Of those, the lives of more than half (approximately 800,000) are somewhat or severely limited by their illness, meaning most will never be able to see live music gigs or attend festivals.

Lleswyl 2024 will be held on 23rd February 2024 and is a free, inclusive festival to raise awareness of this huge community of adults across Wales. Daring to Dream’s vision is that Lleswyl is a catalyst for individuals and community groups to invite those living with physical illness to join with them in a Watch Party (either on line or face to face) to connect and share the fun of the night’s musical celebrations.

The free festival will be hosted by broadcaster Sian Lloyd, radio presenter Jason Harrold and musician Tumi Williams. The hosts will be BSL interpreted, with support from Wales Council for Deaf People, who are one of Lleswyl’s charities in the spotlight this year.

Lleswyl 2024 will bring together a string of talented artists for a fun-filled evening with music and dance performances.

The line-up for the evening features:

  • Afro Cluster
  • N’Famady Kouyaté
  • Samba Galêz
  • Bryony Sier
  • The Gentle Good
  • Rusty Shackle
  • Casi Wyn with Sinfonia Cymru
  • Band Pres Llareggub ft Eǟdyth Crawford
  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg Regional Partnership Board’s Hear Our Voices Band
  • Maddie Jones
  • Cat Razzell
  • Tobias Robertson
  • Sing With Us Choir (Tenovus Cancer Care)
  • The Warblers (Ray of Light Cancer Support)

Daring to Dream has established the wellbeing festival to raise awareness of the need to nurture patients’ emotional health during difficult times. Lleswyl (meaning ‘wellbeing festival’ in Welsh) will give those who cannot attend festivals and events in person due to illness, disability, or financial disadvantage the chance to enjoy a jam-packed programme of performances from the comfort of their own home, hospital bed, supported living community or care home.

The charity’s founder and chair, Barbara Chidgey, is encouraging people to hold Lleswyl Watch Parties where people can connect with adults who might have become isolated through illness.

She said: “We are so excited to be holding our third Lleswyl Festival. For one night only in February, Daring to Dream will broadcast world-class musicians into homes around Wales and beyond, to create the ultimate at-home festival experience. We have secured bands who are regulars on the festival circuit. However no one need worry about bad weather, poor catering, or the state of the toilets! And that’s what it so important about Lleswyl. It’s free, comfortable, and totally accessible to all and a great opportunity to connect with others.

“We believe that everyone has a right to have fun and enjoy amazing festivals but not everyone can get to concert halls, theatres, or music or festival venues. Supporting the emotional health of people who are physically impacted by illness is crucial. What better way to enjoy the very best music and party, than a free, fun-for-all virtual festival.

“This is our third Lleswyl Festival and each year it just gets bigger and better. Lleswyl Watch Parties are a great way to enjoy great bands, live interviews, inspirational patients, and the wonderful charities whose work and patient community we showcase. It will be live streamed on YouTube so why not invite people that you know who are living with chronic illness and share a fun evening together of food, music, and happiness. As long as you have access to the internet, it can be enjoyed by everyone, anywhere.”

Daring to Dream welcomes Bryony Sier for the first time to Lleswyl.

Bryony said: “I think it’s incredibly special to be part of such an amazing charity organisation like Daring To Dream. I’m always passionate about being able to use my voice and music to support a cause that is so close to my heart and am very glad indeed to be involved in Lleswyl 2024.

I have myself struggled with my emotional and mental health over the years. Recently, I was diagnosed with autism, at the age of 25. I very much want to raise awareness and reach people, through my songwriting, who have felt the way I have. So, thank you, Daring to Dream, for allowing me to share some of my stories as part of the festival”.

Darren Daniels, who talks regularly about living with kidney disease on socials media @ttkwarrior said: “Lleswyl is a magnificent concept and idea, that brings people together with a common love of music. There are no barriers or discriminations when you’re able to enjoy something in the comfort of your own home.”

You can get free tickets for the event here and Wales Millennium Centre is also supporting Lleswyl with its very own Watch Party, where you can watch the event screened live in their Cabaret Studio with drinks and food served at your table. Tickets for this are available here.