Tonight (12 May), the National Eisteddfod launches a new project, giving everyone a taste of the Eisteddfod over the coming weeks and months
AmGen will make elements of the Eisteddfod available for people to enjoy during these difficult times. AmGen is the Welsh word for ‘alternative’.
Announcing the project, Eisteddfod Chief Executive Betsan Moses said, "Like everyone else, we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to host the festival in Ceredigion this year. But we’re determined that everyone will have the Eisteddfod experience, albeit in a very different way, this year.
“The first week of August, when we had hoped to see everyone of the Maes in Tregaron, will see us holding the Eisteddfod AmGen. We’ll be announcing more details over the coming weeks. We’re pleased to be working with a number of partners to achieve something that will be similar to elements of the Eisteddfod, but presented in a very different way.
“Over the past few weeks, we've been going through the Eisteddfod archive, discussing with a large number of partners and coming up with new and original ideas that will hopefully appeal to our audience. We, like everyone else, have had to think about our work in a completely different way, and it has been an interesting experience putting together a programme that will, hopefully offer something for everyone.
“But you don't have to wait until August to start enjoying all kinds of content from the Eisteddfod. From Monday 18 May, AmGen will run at least one activity a day, using a wide range of platforms, and working closely with the press and media across Wales.
“We’ll publish the weekly AmGen programme every Friday, with many activities appearing on Eisteddfod social media platforms and others on platforms such as Zoom and AM.
"From workshops offering a taste of unique Welsh arts such as cynghanedd and cerdd dant, to weekly scientific experiments for children. With a chance to enjoy iconic lectures from recent years, live music sets and activities for learners, AmGen's weekly programme will feature the same eclectic mix as a visit to the Maes.
“We’ll also broadcast key events from time to time, giving people a taste of projects like Encore and the Tŷ Gwerin. We’re keen to collate everything for publishing on the Eisteddfod website and You Tube channel afterwards, so we’ve got a record of the activitie for people to enjoy again over the next few weeks, and so that we future archive this unique perioed for generations to come.
“Not everyone uses technology, so we’ll be working with the press and media across Wales, to ensure that everyone has access to the AmGen project. Working regularly with programmes such as Heno and Prynhawn Da, the audience at home will be able to enjoy aspects of the project, and we will develop specific elements to appeal to different audiences.
Welcoming the AmGen project, Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, said, “Wales’ events will be greatly missed this year, especially the National Eisteddfod that attracts hundreds of thousands of people to a different location every year to celebrate our vibrant language and culture.
“The National Eisteddfod, like many other events, is having to innovate for 2020 and today have announced a new initiative - Eisteddfod AmGen – as an alternative to their usual week long event. The online event will provide us all with an opportunity to take part and watch weekly competitions and activities - I hope as many people as possible will take advantage to enjoy the unique and lively experiences on offer.”
Betsan Moses added, “We’re also looking forward to running some activities specifically for our supporters in Ceredigion and Llŷn and Eifionydd, the areas local to the next two festivals. We’ll be discussing various ideas with the local committees to ensure that AmGen's content appeals to these areas. It’s also a chance for us to get back into our grassroots community engagement work in a completely different way.
“But like the Eisteddfod itself, AmGen is a national project, so we want people from all over Wales and beyond to be able to join us for our varied activities during this difficult time. At the end of the project, our aim is to have inspired and entertained our audience, creating new and alternative products in a completely different way.
“We look forward to starting the project and announcing our first programme at the end of the week. So look out for AmGen over the next few days and weeks, and if you have any ideas for other things you would like to see, please get in touch!”
AmGen's first programme will be announced on Friday 15 May, with activities starting on 18 May.