Coronavirus: Urdd youth festival goes virtual with Eisteddfod T

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Media captionVideo entries involving more than 4,000 children were uploaded ahead of Eisteddfod T

The Urdd’s first ever virtual Eisteddfod will begin later amid coronavirus lockdown.

This year’s annual Welsh language youth festival of literature, music and performing arts was due to be held in Denbighshire but had to be cancelled.

Eisteddfod T, which is being broadcast on S4C and BBC Radio Cymru, has seen new competitions introduced such as lip synching and impressions.

Video entries involving more than 4,000 children have been uploaded.

Llio Maddocks, one of the organisers, said planning the event has been “hard work”.

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Eisteddfod T

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Over 4,000 children have submitted their entries for the virtual festival

“We’ve been reliant on internet connection in the most remote areas of the Welsh countryside, so that’s been a challenge in itself,” she said.

“We’ve also been reliant on the website, and for people to join in and upload their videos.

“Just trying to reach people whilst the schools have been closed has also been a challenge.

“But the reaction from parents has been fantastic.”

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The Urdd Eisteddfod was held in Cardiff Bay last year

But being forced to postpone the full festival this year has been costly, according to the event’s temporary director Sian Eirian.

“Cancelling any eisteddfod will obviously have a financial implication, but there is also a disappointment that we’re not in Denbishire,” she said.

“The Urdd has had to cancel a lot of events. But we’re concentrating on going back to Denbighshire in 2021.”

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Eisteddfod T

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Eisteddfod T is being broadcast on S4C and BBC Radio Cymru

A studio has been set up in the Urdd’s campus in Cardiff and the main ceremonies will be held daily as usual.

One of the judges, singer Gwawr Edwards, said: “It’s been wonderful seeing so many children competing.

“There were some new competitions this year, and I think that has probably reached a new audience and children who might not usually compete at the Eisteddfod.

“Who knows, they might continue competing every year.”

BBC News

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