A fun and innovative festival has been programmed by young people for young people, offering an experience of the arts in its richest and rawest form.
RawFfest is a four-day youth arts festival for Wales, taking place at the Wales Millennium Centre from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th April.
The aim of the festival is to promote and support work from young artists and performers, aged 14 to 25, by showcasing the best of youth arts today. This includes involving young people from ethnic minorities, young people with disabilities, and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
RawFfest’s programme will include performances and workshops of fashion, photography, circus, street dance, rap, music, poetry slams, TV, radio, film, comics and theatre.
Festival highlights will include Pulse, a high energy gala of some of the best youth dance companies, including Shelley Norton Dance School, Fusions Elite Motion Control Dance and Jukebox Academy.
Whilst No Fit State’s Youth Circus will bring their most promising young talent to perform Circus Mundi, celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus. This will be followed by Entrée, a magical new clowning show by Jose Pedro.
A range of music genres will feature throughout the festival weekend. On Friday, for the first time ever in UK Hip Hop history, an all-female line up will unite for a tour called Queens of Art. Curated by UK rapper Shay D, the tour presents Shay D’s new music, alongside female artists including DJ Ellie Prohan, Truemendous and Cardiff’s own Ladies of Rage.
Saturday will see a night dedicated to some of Wales’ most exciting new bands. The Pitchforks, who are set for big things throughout 2019 have already become a favourite of Radio 1 DJ, Huw Stephens. And for young people wanting a career in music there will be lots of workshops taking place.
The Glanfa Stage will be rocking with performances throughout the festival, including Paracetamol and Aerobic from Galeri, Caernarfon, and the Voices from Care Choir. Operasonic will also return to the festival, composed in just one day, professional opera singers will present an instant opera.
Eleven Welsh theatre companies will perform as part of the festival, including Aberystwyth Arts Centre Youth Theatre, Cwmni Ennyn Awaken Productions, Fio: Futures, Found in the Forest, Mess Up the Mess, Spectacle Youth Theatre, Hijinx’s Telemachus, and Volcano Youth Theatre. The themes explored will range from growing up as a rural teen, life without technology and the pressures of social media, to the sense of belonging to Wales.
For adventurous poets, RawFfest presents a Poetry Slam, hosted by Natasha Borton of Voice Box. Up to ten poets will compete, duelling with words until one emerges the winner. In addition, The RawFfest Poets Society will present the work of some of Wales’s brightest and boldest poets including Alice Swatridge and Chloe Wilson from North West Wales.
Jake Evans will return to the festival with a storytelling performance and a workshop for anyone who wants to learn about this ancient art; and Jannat Ahmed will lead a workshop on self-publishing across print, websites, blogging and podcasts. For young people interested in comic books, RawFfest will offer two workshops, one of which will be led by certified comic book obsessive Edward Lee, looking at format, technique and style.
Saturday will see The R.A.F.T.A’s – The RawFfest Academy of Film and Tea-Making Awards – which will be showcasing short films. For those feeling a little more active, there will be a workshop hosted by Flashing Blades – a stunt and combat team for film and television – on learning how to stage-fight safely.
The festival will end on Sunday 28th April with a number of events and workshops, including Hijinx’s Telemachus group, who will entertain attendees with a witty promenade performance. NoFitState Youth Circus will entertain the crowds outside Wales Millennium Centre, and those with an eye for fashion can watch the RawFfest Fashion Show, presenting garments made by emerging young fashion designers.
The final performance of the weekend will be by the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales, with some of Wales’ most talented and gifted young musicians.
When: 25th – 28th April 2019
Where: Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
£: Tickets cost £5 for the day, £10 for the day and evening, plus some weekend tickets at £20.
More info: www.rawffest.wales