Posted on Friday 8th June 2012
Only Men Aloud
Over 10,000 people packed into beautiful Aberdare Park this bank holiday weekend for the first-ever Aberdare Festival.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council staged the event over two days, offering fantastic, free family fun including rock legend Mike Peters, X Factor and The Voice talent, children’s TV favourites Dick and Dom and enchanting storytelling inspired by internationally-loved author Roald Dahl.
There were also farmyard animals, duck driving, racing pigs, dancing dogs, street dancers, falconry, the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Sports Village, food, drink and incredible live music to thrill the crowds who came from far and wide.
Organised by the same team who have already brought celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo and the Six Nations Rugby heroes to the county borough at a Taste of Tonyrefail and will present Jessie J, Olly Murs AND Alfie Boe at next month’s Ponty’s Big Weekend, Aberdare Festival was a massive success.
As well as offering a free Bank Holiday event for those who live and work in the town, the event has also been a welcome showcase for Aberdare, which is currently benefiting from a multi-million-pound regeneration to create an historic yet modern town centre and visitor destination.
The sheer number of people who visited the town for the event over the two days will provide a boost to the local economy, showcasing what is on offer in Aberdare and beyond.
Cllr Maureen Webber, Cabinet Member for Council Business and Public Relations, said: “Thousands of people have flocked to Aberdare Park over the weekend to enjoy free entertainment and celebrate the Bank Holiday in style.
“The Council is delighted this event, which is in its first year, has been such a success and serves as yet further proof of our commitment to deliver a top-class programme of events that allow us to celebrate life in Rhondda Cynon Taf and showcase all we have to offer!”
Aberdare Festival boasted live music, arena shows, fun for all and specific children’s activities on both days.
The impressive music bill for Saturday featured exceptional music talent which included those local acts who have flown the flag for Rhondda Cynon Taf on the X Factor and The Voice. The line-up starred Rebecca James, Tom Richards, John Adams, Dai Faulkner, Lloyd Daniels and Jamie Archer.
The incredible Only Men Aloud concluded a fantastic afternoon of live music that day, but the top acts returned on the Sunday with Ladies Love A Super Hero – soon set to perform with McFly – Julia Coles, The Reason, Skacasm, 4th Street Traffic, The Boy Royals, Broken Vinyl Club and the legendary Mike Peters from The Alarm.
Family fun was provided on both days in the live arena, featuring Joseph’s Amazing Racing Pigs, Chantal’s Dance Fusion, Top Lodge Dancing Dogs, Street Wise Dance Group, Black Mountain Falconry, Stagecoach Art Theatre School and Runner Pack Ducks.
There were also food and drink, arts and crafts, a funfair, classic cars, model boats on the lake, a mini farm and storytelling workshops from the Roald Dahl Museum on both days, as well as the Rhondda Cynon Taf Sports Village, which inspired people to try new activities with exciting taster sessions with a climbing wall, inflatable bungee run, netball shoot out, fitness zone and Cardiff City Football Club.
Sunday was the day for the younger visitors to get involved in the famous comic capers of television favourites Dick and Dom, who had the crowd in roars of laughter with their antics, complemented by acclaimed clowns Sonny and Rainbow.
One mum who attended the event emailed the Council’s Events Team on her return from an enjoyable day on the Saturday to say: “This isn't something I would normal do, but thought you deserved a big pat on the back.
“I have just returned from the Aberdare Festival and thought I'd drop you an email to say what a wonderful day we've had.
“The children's area with the animals and entertainment was brilliant, the arena shows were wonderful and the music stage was absolutely fantastic, especially Only Men Aloud!.
“But I think what really stood out to me was how clean the park remained throughout the day, this gave me peace of mind when letting my little boy out of his buggy, how helpful and friendly the staff were at the gates, assisting with directing traffic and helping us to cross the road, and how well-organised the event was. You should be very proud of all of your staff who worked so hard today.
“Hopefully this will become an annual event which will become bigger and better each year."
View the Aberdare Festival Picture Special
Find out more about the fantastic programme of events still to come in Rhondda Cynon Taf on the What's On page