Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 08:44 UK

Sesiwn Fawr 2011 relaunch 'to go back to Celtic roots'

Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau
The festival's debts have been cut, the public meeting heard

One of Wales' premier music festivals has come to an end as "big rock" event but could be re-launched with a Celtic and world music focus, say supporters.

The annual Sesiwn Fawr in Dolgellau, Gwynedd, was last held in 2008 before difficulties, including wet summers, forced left it with £58,000 debts.

A public meeting heard fund raising had cut the debt to £20,000 and backers aim to start a low-key event in 2011.

Organisers also hope to stage a smaller event on a weekend in July this year.

The public meeting was held at Tŷ Siamas in Dolgellau on Thursday night.

The event was told the debts of the defunct festival had been reduced since it was last held two years ago.

Any revived event would be more community based and would have a more Celtic flavour, the meeting was told.

'Festival format'

Ahead of the meeting, festival secretary Ywain Myfyr said: "We're looking to change the festival format to go back to our roots and go back to our world music and folk roots.

"Hopefully we can develop it as a community event, within the whole community, putting different things on during the festival week whether that's sporting, literary or whatever.

"I think the days of the Sesiwn Fawr as a big rock event are over to be honest."

Plans for a smaller event on the weekend of 16-17 July are in the pipeline.

Bethan Gwanas, one of the festival directors, said debts had been amassed previously because bad weather on consecutive years had hit attendances.

"It was going really well until we had terrible rain one year after the other. People still came but not in the same numbers," she said.

'On the map'

"We're slowly getting rid of the debt and getting ourselves back on our feet."

She added: "It would be very sad to see it not carry on because we really did put Dolgellau on the map."

Businesses in the town said they would warmly welcome the return of the festival.

Angela Lanz, joint owner of the Royal Ship Hotel, said: "We definitely noticed when it wasn't on last year.

"We have the TV crews staying with us so that was obviously missing last year, as well as the bar takings.

"They come from all over for it, they come from everywhere."

Performers that have appeared at the festival, which was established in 1992, include Super Furry Animals, Cerys Matthews, The Alarm and The Levellers.

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