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Northop campus to host Gŵyl Gobaith music festival 2012

5 April 2012

Glyndŵr University’s Northop campus will once again play host to the hugely popular Gŵyl Gobaith music festival.

The festival, the premier outdoor music event in North Wales, will be hosted at the site in partnership with Deeside College from August 24.

Organised by opera star Rhys Meirion, this year’s festival will be headlined by stars including Hayley Westenra, while at yesterday’s official launch at Northop it was revealed Steps will close the event.

Lynda Powell, director of campus management and commercial services at Glyndŵr University said: “We are delighted to once again be hosting Gŵyl Gobaith at our Northop campus, in partnership with Deeside College.

“For us public events like this are a great opportunity to welcome the community of Flintshire and beyond in to the campus to see the higher education facilities on their doorstep.

“The line-up is fantastic and we are looking forward to a brilliant four days of entertainment.”

Rhys Meirion said: “I’m proud that we’re able to bring the festival to Flintshire for a 4th year. Businesses in north east Wales are struggling and it’s a difficult time for everyone, even the community. We hear so many examples of community spirit being eroded up and down the country and you wonder sometimes if anything good is happening. I’d like to think Gŵyl  Gobaith is that example of something good which is happening in the community. The festival is unique because of its community spirit and we’re delighted to have so many partners from the community on board.”

Phil Jones, of Airbus in the UK, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the event yet again but I’d like us to be seen as partners equally as much as one of the main sponsors. As a company we play an active role in the community of north east Wales as much as we can and we are thrilled to be involved with Gŵyl Gobaith.”

Glyndŵr University’s Andrew Price caught up with Rhys for an interview on what lies in store for this year’s festival.

AP: How important is the festival for North Wales?

RM: The festival is growing and it’s becoming a very important event for Flintshire. We’re now in to our fourth year and we’ve reached somewhere quite special. There are so many unsavoury things happening in the world at the moment and we feel that the festival is a beacon of hope for our community.

How significant is the involvement of Glyndŵr University?

The festival wouldn’t be taking place without the support of the university. It’s being held on their land and we’d probably have to find somewhere else if they hadn’t given such strong backing and infrastructure.

What does the festival bring to the music scene in North Wales?

The primary reason for Gŵyl Gobaith is to bring an international standard of music to the north east of Wales. In the wider context of things, it is the premier outdoor music festival in north east Wales and what makes it unique is it provides a fantastic platform for charities to raise vital funds. Clic Sargent, Wales Air Ambulance and HeadtoHeart are among those to benefit this year.

The announcement that Steps will close the festival on the August Bank Holiday came as a surprise addition for what is essentially a classical music festival. What is the thinking behind this?

We felt that because it’s a bank holiday Monday there was a day there to do something. The idea came up at our last committee meeting. Steps have local connections of course, with Lisa Scott Lee hailing from Rhyl, and they’ve recently reformed and created such a stir. It’s absolutely amazing to have secured them for the festival and we’re looking forward to seeing the field full to the brim when they take to the stage.

And finally – will you be joining Steps to sing when they take to the stage on the last night?

Haha, I’m doing a 210 mile walk in aid of Wales Air Ambulance in the days leading up to the festival so I’ll see how I feel after that!

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