Gigs Cantre’r Gwaelod – a new charity organising musical gigs in Aberystwyth – thanks to opportunities offered by Community Leadership Academy.

In partnership with Theatr Felinfach, Cered established a Community Leadership Academy in 2016 with the main aim to develop leadership skills and capacity in the community. One that has benefited from the project is Steffan Rees from Aberystwyth. He says;

“I was lucky enough to have a place on the Community Leadership Academy in 2016, a scheme supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. It was an intensive course to develop the skills, awareness and knowledge of young people in Ceredigion to lead projects in their communities.

As an enthusiastic follower of the Welsh language music scene, I felt that Aberystwyth had become quiet without regular Welsh gigs for some years and that someone needed to do something. With the help of my mentor from the Community Leadership Academy, Owain Schiavone from Y Selar magazine I decided to start Gigs Cantre’r Gwaelod. With the help of the Academy, I began the small charity with its own constitution and bank account before staging a relaxing Sunday afternoon gig at the Bandstand in Aberystwyth. We’ve received great feedback from that gig and we are continuing to try to develop the Welsh music scene in the area. We welcome anyone who wants to offer help and join the crew!”

Steffan also works with Cered, Ceredigion’s Welsh Language Initiative, and they continue to support the Welsh language music scene in many different ways. Steffan continues;

“Cered is very enthusiastic about trying to develop the Welsh music scene in Ceredigion. In recent years, they were one of the partners in setting up Gŵyl Crug Mawr near Cardigan, they have organised gigs and hosted a number of rock workshops in schools across the county. They are currently working with Gŵyl Nol a Mlan and Gwersyll yr Urdd Llangrannog to create “Y Band”, a group of local children who want to play in the festival in July.

 There are two gigs organised especially for the St David’s Day weekend – Fleur de Lys, Mei Emrys and Bwca in Lampeter and Lleuwen Steffan and Blodau Gwylltion in Aberystwyth. Six primary schools in the Aberystwyth area will also perform the songs they co-composed during rock workshops during the St David’s Parade in Aberystwyth.”