Created in 2016, RawFfest is a 4-day youth arts festival for Wales taking place in Wales Millennium Centre from 25 April – 28 April 2019. A fun and innovative festival, RawFfest is programmed by young people for young people and offers an experience of the arts in its richest and rawest form. The aim of the festival is to promote and support work from young artists and performers aged 14 to 25 by showcasing the best of youth arts today whilst providing pathways for young participants to develop. This includes involving young people from ethnic minorities, young people with disabilities, and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The festival is programmed by ‘PlaceMakers’, a team made up of a dozen diverse young people from a broad range of backgrounds who curate, plan, produce, event manage, fundraise, budget and market the festival each year. One of the festival’s goals is to empower young people by giving them a voice, allowing them to build on their self-confidence as well as leadership skills.

RawFfest’s programme includes performances and workshops of fashion, photography, circus, street dance, rap, music, poetry slams, TV, radio, film, comics, theatre and a whole lot more. All performances and exhibitions taking place at RawFfest will be by young people (aged 14 – 25), with many masterclasses and workshops led by experts, emerging artists and some by young people themselves. Tickets cost £5 for the day, £10 for the day and evening, plus some weekend tickets at £20. Although RawFfest is aimed at young people, 14 - 25 years, it welcomes audience members of all ages through its doors throughout the long weekend.

Here are some of the Festival Highlights, if you fancy getting involved: 

  • Opening Night: On Thursday 25 April Pulse: Youth Dance Showcase will kick everything off with a high energy gala with youth dance companies; then No Fit State's Youth Circus celebrates 250 years of circus with Circus Mundi and lastly Entrée, a magical new clowning show by Jose Pedro will close the evening. 
  • Musical Highlight: Queens of Art, an all female Hip-Hop line up on Friday 26 April including DJ Ellie Prohan and Cardiff's own Ladies of Rage. Saturday 27 April sees The Pitchforks, Al Moses and Young Garbo take centre stage and WMC Glanfa stage will be rocking throughout the festival with Paracetamol and Arobic from Galeri and the Voices from Care Choir. Operasonic, lead by professional opera singers and created in one day will produce an incredible instant opera. There'll also be a whole host of workshops for young people wanting a career in the music industry - get involved! 
  • Theatre Highlights: Eleven Welsh theatre companies will show that theatre is thriving in Wales and will explore themes ranging from growing up as a rural teen, life without technology and the pressures of social media, to our sense of belonging to Wales. Read about the line-up here. 
  • Literature Highlights: RawFfest presents a Poetry Slam for anyone to get involved as well as showcasing the work of some of Wales' brightest and boldest poets. Jack Evans returns to lead a storytelling performance and workshop and Jannat Ahmed will lead a workshop on self-publishing across print, websites, blogging and podcasts. There'll also be two workshops focusing on comic books creation. 
  • Film Highlights: On Saturday, the festival host The R.A.F.T.A’s - The RawFfest Academy of Film and Tea-Making Awards which will showcase exciting short films, including an industry Q & A. 
  • Radio Highlights: Radio Platfform will be broadcasting throughout the festival, with playlists featuring work by some of our performers, interviews and news updates. Plus an opportunity to attend a workshop where young people make their own short radio demo.

The festival weekend ends on Sunday 28th April with a number of great events and workshops. Hijinx’s Telemachus group will entertain attendees with a witty promenade performance. NoFitState Youth Circuswill entertain the crowds outside Wales Millennium Centre. Whilst for those with an eye for fashion can watch the RawFfest Fashion Show which will present garments made by emerging young fashion designers.

The final performance of the weekend, on Sunday afternoon 28 April, will be by the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales, with some of Wales’s most talented and gifted young musicians.

To see RawFfest’s full line and for ticket information, visit www.rawffest.wales

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