24th - 30th August 2021

40th Llandrindod Wells 40th
24th - 30th August  2021

Llandrindod Wells

I will always remember a line in Morte D’Arthur by Alfred Lord Tennyson "The old order changeth yielding place to new.”
In 1982, the first year of the Victorian Festival there was an introduction of smaller and cheaper electronic gadgets to the market such as the first CD player. On the other end in Europe, there was an invasion in Falkland by Argentina, which in turn led to a serious war between Argentina and the British over the Island. Consequently, the British took victory in the Falkland war after a long battle. 1982 also saw the death of Princes Grace at the age of 52 after sustaining serious injuries when the car she was in plunged off Mountain Road. Stephanie, her daughter, who was also in the same car suffered serious injuries but survived. Soviet leader, Leonid I. Brezhnev, died at the age of 75, which led to the 68-year-old Yuri V. Andropov being chosen as the successor. This was the year that Michael Jackson’s career was at its peak. He released the famous Thriller and it sold a record 25 million-plus copies making it history’s biggest-selling album. Contrariwise, John Belushi takes a drug overdose and dies at the age of 33. Cats, the longest running play on Broadway, also opened in 1982.
But Llandrindod Wells changed too!
In 1981 a small number of residents floated the idea of a ‘Victorian Festival’ this idea took seed and in 1982 the first Victorian Festival took place.
2021 is the 40th anniversary of the Victorian Festival, but the festival has seen huge changes, since 2010 it has suffered financial problems as grants became smaller and smaller and expectations became higher and higher, the Town Council are the only people that still support us. We have to raise money ourselves through the good graces of some of our supporters.
The pioneers and devotees that the festival attracted grew older and many have passed away into that Victorian utopia in the sky.
As the old order changed, the new generations had little or no interest especially in the 21st century, all they could do was remember the Festival when they were young, when it was at its peak, instead of wanting to keep the dream alive they found new interests in front of monitors playing online games and complaining about the rise and fall of the Festival rather than become involved, they complained not knowing that financial problems and their own lack of interest caused the decline; we can only provide sufficient events that we can afford.
Will the Festival survive, sadly I think not, there is no interest in it anymore; the probable reason being that councils and touristic bodies, although giving the impression that they care, only play lip service to it, this coupled with the lack of interest in the town can only, unless something is done eventually fade away.
This year’s festival will be our 40th, and unless interest is revived could be the last, with nothing to replace it.
I urge everyone, residents, local businesses and shops to ‘get behind us’ and not let the festival die; let's try, if this is to be our swan song to make it memorable. Please contact us and get involved.
Due to health reasons this will be my last one as Festival Director, but I want to see it come back to life and remain a large part of the town heritage.