This year has been a difficult time for the National Eisteddfod like so many other organisations, and at the council meeting on Saturday, Chief Executive, Betsan Moses and President, Ashok Ahir, looked back at the last few months and ahead to the next year
Ashok Ahir said, “2020 has been a tumultuous year for the Eisteddfod. We had to postpone the festival itself for only the second time in our history, and had to put an instant stop to our community work. This, of course was a disappointment to all our supporters across Wales and further afield, a great blow to our local volunteers, and to all of us involved with the Eisteddfod’s work in any way.
“However, rather than stepping back and doing nothing for a year, we were determined that people have a taste of the Eisteddfod, even during such a difficult and unusual time, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone when thanking the team for Eisteddfod AmGen and its great success. For three months, we had all kinds of events and activities across digital platforms and on programmes like Prynhawn Da and Heno, and we’re so proud to have been able to put this programme together to such a high standard and in such a short amount of time. It’s fair to say that the Eisteddfod went digital this year, and managed to fill some of the emptiness left by not being able to have a ‘real’ festival.”
Chief Executive, Betsan Moses, added, “AmGen worked extremely well, but we know that it wasn’t the same as being able to come together in Ceredigion. However, government guidelines and public health are paramount at a time like this.
“We’re so grateful to everyone for their support over the past few months, to all our committees for their help, especially at the beginning when we were still working through the effect of the decision to postpone the festival, and throughout the past few months. I’m pleased to report at the end of such as difficult year that AmGen was a great success. By the end of the three month programme, we’d managed to reach more people than ever before across a wider range of digital platforms – almost 4 million impressions and 173,000 engagements across social media – and our content was watched almost 600,000 times on facebook alone.
“And the figures are continuing to rise. It’s great that people have been going back to watch sessions online, on YouTube and on AM over the past few months. We’ve managed to reach thousands more people than ever before this year – the year when we couldn’t hold an Eisteddfod in its traditional form. People have watched our sessions across the world, and they’ve been people of all ages. It’s totally clear that there’s a market out there for our digital content, and we will be continuing to produce sessions, starting next Tuesday with the Adfent AmGen programme, which will run until Christmas.
“But although AmGen has been great , we’re all desperate to get together again. The Eisteddfod is one of the social highlights of the year, and we’re at our best with thousands of people having a wonderful time together in the August sun. We can’t wait to see everyone on the Maes when it’s safe for us to get together again, but in the meantime, we’d like to thank everyone for the support and kind words over this challenging year.”
Watch AmGen online and on the Eisteddfod’s channels on YouTube and AM, Adfent AmGen runs daily from 1 December until Christmas. For details, go to www.eisteddfod.wales/adfent-amgen.