Merthyr Rising Festival 2014

Merthyr Rising

The Merthyr Rising Festival will be held on 31 May 2014, a date which marks the beginnings in 1831 of the original Merthyr Rising. The 1831 Rising was one of the earliest organised actions of industrial workers in 19th Century Britain and was sparked by anger against low pay, debt and appalling working conditions in the iron works and mines of the Valley town.The Merthyr Rising Festival 2014 aims to be a celebration of the town’s proud history of radicalism and creativity, providing a platform for discussion of the problems facing the people of Wales and the world – as well as being a great day out in the wonderful and historic town of Merthyr.The Festival will include speakers from a variety of progressive organisations, as well as providing a showcase for many talented artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers from Wales and beyond.

The festival features musicians such as the truly unique Welsh genius Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), as well as local rising stars Kizzy Crawford, Fingertrap and Delyth Mclean.Economist John Weeks (SOAS) will be speaking on the theme of ‘the Economics of the 1%’ at a discussion event in the afternoon called the Waun Common Assembly, named after the gathering place of the original 1831 Merthyr Rising. Local legend Jon Owen will show his new hit comedy film Svengali and the festival will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Miner’s Strike with a showing of Karl Francis’s powerful documentary Miss Rhymney Valley 1985. there will be performances from the Red Poets and Merthyr singer-songwriter Jamie Bevan. The Festival will be centred at Merthyr’s Soar Arts Centre.

Any organisation which would like to send representatives to the Merthyr Rising Festival will be promised a warm Valleys welcome and a great day out. If the organisation books a stall at the festival (Priced £10) they will also receive two tickets for the events in the day with John Weeks, John Ashcroft, Karl Francis and Red Poets and will also have their logo and website link included on the Partner Organisation list of the festival website and programme.Alternatively, if any organisation wishes to sponsor one of the events in the programme, or the festival generally, we can also organise ticket packages, as well as acknowledgement of their contribution on the website and at the event itself.

Programme 2014

10.00-11.30 Viv Pugh The Merthyr Rising of 1831

12.00-1.40 The Waun Common Assembly A discussion of alternatives to the politics of austerity with a keynote address by Prof John Weeks (SOAS, London), Author of The Economics of the 1%

2.00 – 4.00 Miss Rhymney Valley 1985 We commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Miner’s Strike with a director-hosted showing of the acclaimed documentary by Karl Francis.

4.30 – 5.30 Red Poets (featuring Jamie Bevan and Mike Jenkins) Music and Poetry from the Red Poets, who are celebrating their 20th Anniversary

5.40 – 7.40 Svengali Merthyr’s own Jon Owen presents a special showing of his new hit comedy in his home town.

8.00 – 10.30 Night of the Rising The Merthyr Rising Festival 2014 comes to a phenomenal conclusion with a performance from Super Furry Animals legend Gruff Rhys with support from local rising stars Kizzy Crawford, Fingertrap and Delyth McLean and a special preview of My Land’s Shore the new musical about the 1831 Merthyr Rising.


Full Day Ticket: £5
Svengali: £5
Night of the Rising Ticket: £15