Beyond the Border, Wales’ International Storytelling Festival has announced a special one-day online event to mark the occasion when the festival would have been taking place at Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire.
Reimagine: Beyond the Border Online will be a 1-day mini-festival on Saturday 4 July 2020, presented on Beyond the Border’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, with a mixture of free and ticketed live streams and pre-recorded storytelling and music in English and Welsh.
For over 25 years, Beyond the Border has been bringing stories and people together, from across Wales, the British Isles and the world, at an inspirational, biennial three day gathering. The 2020 event was due to take place from 3-5 July at the festival’s new home in west Wales, the National Trust’s Dinefwr Park, Under the theme of Reimagining our Futuresthe festival had already announced a packed programme of artists from across Wales and the world, including Welsh artists Catrin Finch, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Owen Shiers, Daniel Morden, Michael Harvey, Cath Little, Citrus Arts, Phil Okwedy and Mickey Price, as well as acclaimed international storytellers the UK’s Jan Blake and Ben Haggarty, Norway’s Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen, France’s Abbi Patrix, Sweden’s Linda Edsjö and special guests from Canada making their first visit to BtB Ivan Coyote, Marta Singh, Tamar Ilana and Demetri Petsalaki.
Artistic Director, Naomi Wilds said, “We’ve been so excited about our 2020 festival, to welcoming everyone to our magical new site at National Trust Dinefwr to enjoy a fantastic programme of stories, music and inspirational outdoor arts, but in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone involved, we had to take the reluctant decision to postpone to 2-4 July 2021. We’ve been so grateful for our audiences, our artists and our funders’ support with this, so this is our chance to say thank you and bring everyone together online to enjoy a treasure trove of stories with artists from across Wales.”
On Saturday 4 July, frequent festival-goers and newbies are invited to indulge in a programme of digital delights from home. Transform living rooms with bunting, get picnic’s ready, pack camping gear and tents and head in to the garden if the WIFI stretches, it’s time to relax, chill out and let the imagination run wild.
Starting from 10am Beyond the Border will present storytellers and musicians to transport audiences across the length and breadth of Wales, and even to Dinefwr. Through Facebook and YouTube, audiences will be able to watch free storytelling for families, including a session by Hand to Mouth Theatre Company; Welsh stories for families by Tamar Eluned Williams; and stories for Welsh Learners by Welsh Learner of the Year, Fiona Collins, Cardiff storyteller Cath Little and storyteller musician storyteller Guto Dafis. Plus short stories in the afternoon from storytellers Phil Okwedy and Lisa Schneidau, filmed near their homes.
For adults and older children Beyond the Border has curated three special ZOOM events on the theme of ‘Reimagining’, with performances from Dinefwr-based storyteller Ceri Phillips, Esyllt Harker Award winner Siân Miriam, musician Owen Shiers, storyteller Mair Tomos Ifans and festival favourite TUUP, plus a special online ceilidh experience from The Urban Folk Theory to round off the night. Tickets are £10 per booking, available through the Beyond the Border website with all contributions going towards paying artists.
Speaking about the online festival Naomi Wilds said: “Stories are more important than ever. They nourish us in challenging times – they hone in on what really matters, or provide some escapism so that we can take a break from the harsh realities of our world. Importantly, they help us, connect with each other and, crucially, help us imagine new ways ahead. Since the start of lockdown we’ve been sharing short stories online, running weekly support webinars and changing how we’ve been delivering projects to keep in touch with each other – this special online event helps us all look forward together.”
Further details about Reimagine: Beyond the Border Online can be found at beyondtheborder.com and social media channels Facebook and YouTube.