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Lleswyl- our hugely successful inclusive festival at home

At the end of November, Daring to Dream, celebrated the success of our first inclusive festival-at-home experience for those with chronic illness, as well as for those who are well.

Lleswyl: The Daring to Dream Festival was live-streamed, free of charge, to bring the festival experience to everyone, including those living with a chronic illness or disability. As a charity we were also raising awareness of the need to support the emotional health and wellbeing of those living with long term illness.

Lleswyl was our first festival-at-home experience, but it certainly won’t be the last after the success of the event!

Welsh music icons Calan, the Root Doctors and Afro Cluster performed on the night, getting everyone singing and dancing, while co-hosts Sian Lloyd, Afro Cluster front man Tumi Williams and radio host Jason Harrold were engaging and uplifting.

Though it was not the aim, many festivalgoers donated to the charity during the event to say thank you, and the money raised will help Daring to Dream transform three more Patient, Relatives’ and Quiet Rooms in the University Hospital of Wales’s (UHW) Cardiothoracic Directorate. (The charity has received a grant from The National Lottery for these three rooms; the additional donations have allowed us to provide even more facilities such as wall mounted smart TVs in every room.)

Barbara Chidgey, Founder and Chair of Daring to Dream, said: “We had such a successful evening at Lleswyl it really was heart-warming. Organising a four-hour production from start to end and covering all costs was already a feat in itself, but most importantly we raised awareness of the need to support the emotional wellbeing of patients with long term conditions, and provided those patients, and many other people, with a fun, accessible night.

“We’ve received so much incredible feedback from patients, families and friends alike, and are already looking forward to Lleswyl 2022.”

Innovate Trust, a charity that supports disabled people, was proud to share Lleswyl live through their Insight app. The app has provided people with disabilities across the UK with a new way to meet people, maintain contact with friends and access hundreds of events and activities in an accessible, free format. This has been even more important during the pandemic.

The Lleswyl festival provided an entirely new experience for its members as it was their first-ever live-streamed music event.    

Ashley Bale, Innovations Manager and Developer of the Insight App for Innovate Trust, said: “Lleswyl 2021 brought people together in an immersive celebratory experience, and for some members it was their first experience of a live music festival.

“It was incredible to see members coming together to share the experience of the motivating, inspirational and uplifting evening, delivered in a first-class, fully inclusive way. Lleswyl truly demonstrated the power of music, bringing people together in a way that can inspire. We can’t wait for Lleswyl 2022.”

Juliette Llewellyn, a musician living in Cardiff who has a chronic illness, joined the Lleswyl festival after becoming aware of it via social media posts. She said: “As a songwriter, I love seeing live music, but living with chronic illness means that going out socially is difficult and, at times, impossible.

“Attending Lleswyl helped me reconnect again. It was invigorating hearing artists and bands I had been unable to see for a few years and others that were new to me. It was also joyful to share the evening with friends and family.

“Acknowledging and including the chronic illness community with such a high-quality production and presentation helps us feel valued within society. A big thank you to Barbara Chidgey and Daring to Dream for putting chronic illness (and Welsh music) on the map.”

Find out more about Lleswyl 2021 here:


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