Collecting the old and new at the National Eisteddfod

As the National Eisteddfod settles on the parks of Cardiff for the first week in August 2008, Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales will celebrate the occasion by exhibiting material that was collected on Maes B in Flintshire, 2007.
1938 Cardiff Eisteddfod from the air.
1938 Cardiff Eisteddfod from the air. Glamorgan Cricket Club's SWALEC Stadium now occupies this location.

'Maes B' is the mischievous (but loveable) little brother to the main event, where the youth of Wales light camp fires, party, dance and rock, meet mates or even discover the love of their lives.

The Museum's Curator of Contemporary Life recorded the experiences and stories of 24 people for the Sound Archive of St Fagans National History Museum, and commissioned Bwcibo.cyf to create a short film to be shown in Oriel 1, also at St Fagans.

This was an experiment in contemporary collecting — St Fagans is famous for recording oral histories of the past, but was it possible to record events as they were happening? Furthermore, was it possible to capture the atmosphere and energy of a rock concert, and convey that in a gallery or on a website?

You decide. After reading some of the quotes recorded on this page, and after viewing the short film, you can contribute by leaving a comment below.

What do you remember from past Eisteddfods?

Magi Dodd
Aberystwyth 1992. First Eisteddfod, thinking I was well cool, me and the girls, a can of slightly warm cider...I was sitting there, enjoying, and my mother came over, with the dog, in gold shoes. [Magi Dodd]
Guto Brychan
Watching Fietnam in the Coliseum [Porthmadog 1987]. Wales' worst band, but an experience and a half! [Guto Brychan]
Alan Gwynant
Ruthin 1973. Camping in a tent in the middle of a roundabout in Ruthin, with no showers or washing facilities for a week. [Alan Gwynant]
Nia Thomos
When I was around five, I ran away from my mother...and I couldn't find her for ages, and that was very traumatic for me. [Nia Thomos]

What does the Eisteddfod mean to you?

Lara Catrin Huws
A chance for the Welsh to come together in one large field to sing in a pink pavilion, and a chance to appreciate how lucky we are. [Lara Catrin Huws]
Steffan Evans
Competing by day, enjoying by night! [Steffan Evans]
Eifion Perkins
A chance to meet Welsh people, and because I work in the Gorlan (food tent run by a Christian Organisation), it's a chance for me to share my faith in Jesus Christ with others, and to help out by selling food and stuff to them. [Eifion Cynddylan Perkins]

Documentary music video 'Maes B 2007'

A record of a day at the official youth field in Flintshire and District National Eisteddfod, 2007.
[Video: bwcibo.cyf]

Documentary music video 'Maes B 2007' - a record of a day at the National Eisteddfod's official youth stage in Mold, Flintshire, 2007. [Video: bwcibo.cyf]

Article Date: 1 July 2008

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Glossary

Eisteddfod
A Welsh festival of literature, music, and song.

Maes B
The centre point of the Eisteddfod to the youth of Wales, giving the young people from across Wales the opportunity to socialise through the medium of Welsh.

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