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Digital arts festival to help raise funds for freelancers

Innovative online festival bringing people closer together in a time of social distancing.

Wales Arts Review to launch digital arts festival this weekend, Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March, to raise emergency funds for artists and freelancers who have had their income impacted by efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Sarah Waters. Photo credit: Charlie Hopkinson

Headline acts announced so far include Sarah Waters, Amy Wadge, Georgia Ruth, and No Fit State.

Line-up also to include Wales Book of the Year winner Ailbhe Darcy, Welsh Music Prize winners Adwaith, and Keeping Faith star Eve Myles.

The Wales Arts Review Digithon is a three-day online digital arts festival featuring content from some of Wales’ top musicians, actors, artists, writers, performers, producers, and arts organisations. The aim of the festival is to bring people from across Wales and the world together in a time of social distancing.

The programme is evolving, with artists across Wales submitting content that will create a vibrant, positive, and hugely creative space. The line up so far includes novelist Sarah Waters, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Amy Wadge, contemporary circus company No Fit State, singer-songwriter and harpist Georgia Ruth, Wales Book of the Year winner Ailbhe Darcy, Welsh Music Prize winners Adwaith, Electronic pop musician, producer and artist Ani Glassand Eve Myles, star of thriller tv series Keeping Faith.

Ani Glass. Photo credit: Carys Huws

The festival programme includes a series of different acts each hour, running from 12noon (GMT) on Friday 27 March until Sunday 29 March 2020.

This is a hugely challenging time for so many creatives, working on a freelance or self-employed basis. The Digithon is a unique opportunity to bring together some of the best artists and creatives from across Wales, creating a positive collaborative environment to showcase work. This is about continuing to create, against the odds,for audiences across Wales and the world.

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Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts at British Council Wales, said:

‘We are thrilled to be in support and solidarity with Wales Arts Review on this innovative programme of music, literature, film, performance and arts. It’s a very challenging time for so many, and we will continue to support the arts and cultural sector to collaborate and create artistic work for audiences. This is an unprecedented time where so many people across Wales, the UK and the world are feeling isolated, we hope that the Digithon will inspire, connect and enrich people’s lives.’

The Digithon will support the Wales Arts Review crowdfunder, that was launched to raise money for an emergency hardship fund for artists and freelancers who have been dramatically affected by the Covid-19. We recognise the impact that these measures have had and will have on the creative economy of Wales. All across Wales, the arts industry is underpinned by freelance and self-employed professionals and the necessary efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19 has had a crushing effect on the income of much of the creative industry’s workforce. The crowdfunder will provide an emergency fund that aims to help alleviate stress and anxiety during this time, while longer-term solutions are confirmed and announced. There has been an incredible amount of support for the community, raising nearly £3,000 within the first few days.

The full programme of events will be available on the morning of Friday 27 March on the Wales Arts Review website.