Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau details

Sibrydion at Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau. Photo: Chris Henden

Like so many festivals of some renown, Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau ('the big session') started tiny and grew through word of mouth.


Line-up 2008

  • Man
  • Catrin O'Neill
  • The Saw Doctors
  • Bedouin Jerry Can Band
  • N'Faly Kouyate
  • Rhian Mostyn
  • Huw Chiswell
  • Natacha Atlas
  • The Gentle Good
  • BandaBacana

In 1992 a group of "traditional music freaks" felt that their small corner of Gwynedd needed a music that would put the town on the musical map. "It was initially on a very small scale and tight budget" says Sesiwn Fawr's Ywain Myfyr.

The musical line-up was always intended to be as wide as possible within the 'world music' genre; it was so different and such a success that over the next 11 years the audiences became too large for the town's streets to handle.

In 2002 it was forced to move to a site just outside the town centre, and became a ticketed event rather than a free one. In excess of 5000 people now attend each of the days.

Public and critical acclaim has been effusive. FRoots magazine said of it, "A blast of an event that unites community, Sesiwn Fawr is the place to make discoveries and reaffirm your faith in live music," while it was voted Welsh Event of the Year by the Welsh Tourist Board in 2001.

The list of bands who have appeared on Sesiwn Fawr's numerous stages include Super Furry Animals, Cerys Matthews, Burning Spear, The Alarm, The Levellers, Capercaillie, Oysterband, Susheela Raman, Dick Gaughan, The Saw Doctors, Mozaik, Karine Polwart, Brendan Power and Shooglenifty.

World music bands such as Yat Kha, Sharon Shannon, Jazz Jamaica and numerous Welsh language bands have also appeared. "Pride and place on every line-up goes to our own Welsh bands," says Myfyr. Acts have included Anweledig, Meic Stevens, Bryn Fôn a Sobin!, Bob Delyn a'r Ebillion, Gwerinos, Frizbee, Ar Log, Meinir Gwilym, and Y Moniars.

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