Update – Beyond the Border Festival 2-4 July 2021

Thank you to all our friends, ticket holders and soon to be ticket holders for waiting so patiently the last year to find out whether BtB will go ahead in 2021.

We are now less than two months away from the festival taking place at our new home at NT Dinefwr.

While we are doing everything possible to prepare and plan for the festival in July, in Wales we are still subject to the approval of live outdoor events going ahead. We do not know when that will be approved, and we hope to have more guidance in the next few weeks.

While we are seeing restrictions reduce here in Wales, safety and wellbeing for our audience, artists and staff is paramount. We want to enjoy coming together and sharing stories in a way that is safe and within COVID restrictions here in Wales.

We are working with our partners, staff, Welsh Government Events, Carmarthenshire Council and many other people all working hard to try and bring this event together. We are taking guidance from UK and Welsh Government and listening to Public Health Wales on what we will be able to do at the festival site.

We want to be clear on what we are able to do at the festival this year. If BtB goes ahead in July, in these extraordinary circumstances, it will be one of a handful of cultural events taking place in the early part of 2021, and you will be part of a limited number of people to experience a live event.

You can still buy day tickets and tickets to our virtual festival from 24 May. More information about our programme below.


We can now tell you more about what to expect from our programme. We have programmed 50+ artists across the weekend at NT Dinefwr.

Our theme of ‘Reimagining, Reawakening’ inspired us to bring many of the UK’s finest storytellers and musicians together with international guests appearing digitally – Ivan Coyote, Marta Singh and Tamar Ilana from Canada – plus music from Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, Will Pound, Cynefin and Don Kipper, with stories from Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden, Cath Little, Tamar Eluned Williams, Ben Haggarty, Michael Harvey, David Ambrose, TUUP, Guto Dafis, The Devil’s Violin, Peter Stevenson, Ailsa Mair Hughes, Fiona Collins and Amy Douglas.

Special highlights will include a new commissioned Storytelling Adventure ‘Stars and their Consolations’ by award-winning Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden with composer Sarah Lianne Lewis, including an outdoor version looking up at the night sky. There will be Storytelling Experiments by Tim Ralphs and Tamar Eluned Williams offering invigorating new approaches to stories and ballads. New Directions is an opportunity to hear solo pieces from artists at BTB for the first time including Sarah Liisa Wilkinson, Phil Okwedy and Saul Jaffe and fresh New Voices Chandrika Joshi, Kestrel Morton and Ceri Phillips, share the fruits of their recent mentoring with BtB.

Outdoor Storytelling journeys offer atmospheric pathways into woodlands, animated by stories embedded in the landscape and evocative artworks, plus we’ve a rich programme of story walks inspired by Dinefwr’s history and natural beauty, with Lisa Schneidau, Malcolm Green, Ceri Phillips and others. Citrus Arts bring their Covid safe circus skills and lantern making, and the Tiny Tales tent shares stories for under 8s, and there’s still more to be announced!


We know some of our audiences and artists won’t be able to travel. We can still be a part of our event…online. We are creating a Virtual Festival from 26 June to 10 July. The programme will include a mix of ticketed live and pre-recorded events. Tickets will be on sale from 24 May, programme will be announced on 7 June.

We want you to help us, and help create a space which we can all come together safely too. After a turbulent year it will be a joy to escape to an open space full of stories.

You will be part of an exceptional and unique experience that will be talked about for years to come.

We will be keeping you posted as soon as we hear anymore updates from the Welsh Government over the next few weeks. Thank you for being so patient and supportive of what we do.

Naomi Wilds (Artistic Director) & Sandra Bendelow (Festival Manager)

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