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UK’s first Wellness Festival designed for queer, questioning and curious women

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THIS June sees the launch of Out & Wild, the UK’s first Wellness Festival designed for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary. This new and innovative event, celebrating an often-under-represented part of the LGBTQIA community, is being launched to mark the 50th year of Pride.

Out & Wild has been designed to be an inclusive, safe and supportive space to explore new activities and experiences and embrace nature. While the primary focus is on queer, questioning and curious women, the event actively welcomes supportive allies.

Out & Wild features a range of wellness and experience -themed activities including:

● Entertainment, food and drink (music, comedy, DJs, food, bars and stalls)

● Wellness and workouts (including yoga, tai chi, pilates, dance, breath-work, ice baths, massages, meditation and mindfulness)

● Sport (including 5 aside football, guided hikes and runs)

● Out in the water (including wild swimming, paddle boarding)

● Spoken Word and Interactive workshops (including book readings, poetry, foraging, outdoor pursuits, nature, sustainability, crafts)

Polly Shute, co-founder of Out and About LGBTQ, who will be hosting the festival explained: “We are delighted to host the first ever Out & Wild Festival in a stunning location in Wales overlooking the River Cleddau. Our three-day event is packed with experiences, and has been designed specifically to facilitate shared connections, something which our community is crying out for in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

“The response we have had to date has been incredible! From the quality of the sponsors and partners coming on board to the range of experiences taking place, and the talent that will be performing – not to mention the support we have had from the Welsh Government, which has awarded us a three-year grant as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ friendly nation in Europe. We are also proud to have Pink News Group on board as our media partner, the world’s most read and watched LGBTQ publication.

“We are excited to be able to offer three days packed with amazing experiences, all designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those that are non-binary.”

The event will be taking place across the three days and nights in Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire, from 10-13th June 2022. First release of early bird tickets have sold out. Second release of early bird tickets are now available to purchase from £120 (excluding booking fee), for three nights from the Out and Wild website.

Key acts and experiences

Wellness and Workouts

Out & Wild is delighted to welcome Luisa Bradshaw White, ex Bad Girls, Holby City, This Life and EastEnders actress who runs LuluOm. Luisa, who trained as a Breathworker in 2002 who will be delivering sessions focused around Soul Breathing.

She explained: “Since my early 20’s I have been on a path of self-discovery taking me all over the world. Breathing at festivals alongside hundreds of other heart-led people in Australia, in waterfalls in Bali and ice baths in the UK!

“I have studied with pioneers of Breathwork including Christabel Zamor, Sondra Ray, Foster Perry and Diana Roberts. As well as leading Breathwork retreats and workshops in the UK and Morocco and working with private clients. I am so excited to be sharing Soul breathing with you. It is hugely transformational, and the breath is powerful medicine”

Music and Comedy

Out & Wild are committed to supporting new and existing female and non-binary talent and are delighted to be partnering with The F-List Directory of UK Female+ Musicians.

We are also keen to promote Welsh talent. We will be announcing acts in the next few weeks.

Vick Bain, Founder of the F List explained: “We are super excited to be working with Polly and the team at Out and Wild, which is a festival set up with exactly the same values we hold; equality, inclusion, respect, and fun! With most festival stages women are in the extreme minority, if present at all, Out and Wild is such a fantastic idea – women rocking on the stages and women rocking in the fields; brilliant!”

Every night DJs will lead silent sets so attendees can dance in the moonlight, overlooking the Cleddau River. Out & Wild is also collaborating with the legendary Club Kali and Mint Events.

Spoken word and Workshops

Zaina Arafat – Award winning LGBTQ Arab- American fiction and non-fiction writer. Author of novel, You Exist Too Much, which won a 2021 Lambda Literary Award.

Annie Garthwaite – Acclaimed historical writer, her book, Cecily, was lauded by Waterstones as best book of 2021.

Workshops will be focused around the core festival areas and also include sessions on sexual health and sexual empowerment.

Sport

Our sport area will be curated by the Director of Pride Sports, Lou Englefield and will include a 5 aside football pitch and tasters of different sports for attendees to sample. There will also be guided walks, runs and hikes.

Lou Englefield explained: “I’m delighted to be an Ambassador for the Out & Wild Festival. During my time as Chair of Pride Cymru one of our pillars of ambition was to showcase Wales to the world. Promoting our creative talents and highlighting our amazing Welsh products, whilst supporting local businesses and the economy to thrive. I am thrilled to see Polly and her team adopt the same ethos and enthusiasm for Wales and join us all in our ambition to make Wales the safest and most inclusive country in Europe for our Queer communities.”

Out in the Water

Laura Owen Sanderson is a cold water swimmer and the founder and director of WE SWIM WILD who, with the support of a grant from HydroFlask’s Park for All Campaign, will be delivering water safety sessions, wild swims, candle lit starry night swims and environmental talks at Out & Wild. Laura is a firm believer in using adventure activism to highlight issues in the environment.

This year Laura is swimming just under 1000km back to back across all of the U.K National Parks to test for micro plastic pollution. Laura recently won Wales Business Woman of the year for her work at We Swim Wild.

Bars and Foods

Out & Wild will be working with local drinks and food brands to make sure festival goers experience a real taste of Wales. We will have a full bar and pop-up food stalls.

Out & Wild are also delighted to be supported by Club Soda, who will be manning an alcohol-free bar and delivering mindful drinking sessions – to ensure we cater to all tastes.

The venue

Out & Wild will be hosted at Lawrenny in Pembrokeshire, situated at the edge of Pembrokeshire National Park on the site of a former Guardian newspaper’s top 5 Adventure and Wellbeing Festival, The Big Retreat. The main site, which once featured a 19th century castle, overlooks the River Cleddau and was the birthplace of the ‘National Parks’ concept.

Our ethos

Out & Wild has been designed for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary. It is a festival of experiences, with dozens of activities taking place across the three days and nights covering music, comedy, wellness, sport, wild swimming, spoken word, poetry, and interactive workshops.

Out & Wild is proud to support both existing and new female and non-binary artists and acts from across the UK who are often under-represented at festivals. We are working with The F-List Directory of UK Female+ Musicians to ensure we secure only the very best talent.

Key messages

● Out & Wild is the UK’s first Wellness Festival designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary.

● While the primary focus is on queer, questioning and curious women, we actively welcome supportive allies.

● Out & Wild is a festival of experiences designed to facilitate the creation of meaningful connections among an often-under-represented part of the LGBTQIA community.

● Out & Wild is proud to be able to provide a platform to queer female and non-binary talent – as well as welcoming local Welsh performers.

● Out & Wild is proud to have been awarded a three-year grant by the Welsh Government as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ friendly nation in Europe.

Spokespeople

Co-Founder – Polly Shute

Polly has spent the last 10 years working on LGBTQI events, including being on the Board of Pride in London up until 2018. A former Marketing and Fundraising Director, working within the commercial and not for profit sector, Polly is a Partnership and Inclusion Consultant and has worked with clients such as The Royal Society of Medicine, Women in Sport, Brentford FC and is part of the EW Group – Full-Service Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy (theewgroup.com).

Polly is a Chartered Institute of Fundraising award winner and was recognised as a leader in Profit for Purpose at the 2019 UK Sponsorship Awards. As part of her D&I focus, Polly was recognised in top 20 LGBT+ leaders list by Outstanding and The FT in 2018 and was on the Pride Power List in association with the Guardian in 2019 and 2020. Polly sits on a number of inclusion committees and is a Director of Trans in the City.

Co-Founder – Becky French

Becky is a veteran of the Royal Air Force, serving abroad on numerous occasions. Upon leaving the service she transitioned into the private security sector where she specialised in operational and event security. Becky’s work involved planning the security architecture for teams in international high-risk countries as well as planning the security for internationally recognised sporting events. Becky is a keen sports woman, having played golf for both the Royal Air Force and Combined Services teams. She also played a lot of squash and rugby during her time in the RAF.

Wellness Curators – Rachael Capper and Isabella Beni

Wellbeing gurus Rach and Issy are behind LGBT FIT, a judgement-free, safe space where people can log on, work out and be part of a like-minded community. Both have been on their own separate journeys of self-acceptance, self-discovery and healing. Together, they have over 16 years’ experience in helping people with all thing’s fitness, nutrition and mindset.

Music and Comedy Curator – Sarah Maslen

Sarah lives on the beach in Llanelli, Southwest Wales. She is part of the Senior Leadership Team of YMCA Swansea and the Deputy CEO of LGBT+ Cymru Helpline. She is a solo Mum to three young children, and they spend as much of their time outside – and wild – as possible, with their ponies exploring and having adventures. She is also a director of Trans in the City. Sarah is passionate about inclusion and empowering others.

Taster of Sport Curator – Lou Englefield

Lou is a founding Director of Pride Sports, a UK LGBTIQ+ sports development and inclusion organisation. Lou has been a leading voice on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport & physical activity for more than 10 years. She has directed the international Football v Homophobia campaign since 2012, is Vice Chair of the FARE Network and is Co-Chair of Pride House International. Lou presents and speaks on issues of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport and physical activity globally and has ensured that Pride Sports has become a leading authority in the field, at the forefront of insight, policy, and practice.

Spoken Word Curators – Zoë Berryman and Nicola Cottington

Zoë is passionate about all things literary. She works for a charity providing supported learning and activities for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues, something she is very passionate about. She is also the co-chair of the DIVA Book Club together with Nicola Cottington. Nicola is a Chief Operating Officer at an NHS Trust in the East of England.

She also runs the Cancer Survivors Book Club.

Ambassadors

● Bobbi Pickard – CEO of Trans in the City

● Lu Thomas – Ex Chair of Pride Cymru

● Rachel Ashe – Founder Mental Health Swims

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Entertainment

Two processions and a week of celebrations as Carmarthenshire welcomes Eisteddfod yr Urdd 2023

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THIS weekend Carmarthen will be a wash of red, white and green as schools and communities join together to celebrate the Urdd Eisteddfod’s Carmarthenshire 2023 Proclamation Event.

After a three year wait, the people of Carmarthenshire are ready to welcome Urdd Gobaith Cymru to the county to mark the start of Carmarthenshire’s 2023 Urdd Eisteddfod year. 

Ahead of each Urdd Eisteddfod, a Proclamation Event is held by the hosting county to mark the start of their Eisteddfod year.  Traditionally the Proclamation Event is a day of celebration as schools and local communities join together for a procession within the hosting county.  But Carmarthenshire are determined to make their mark.  Over the next week, two processions have been arranged as well as a range of activities as the local Urdd Eisteddfod Working Group offer an opportunity for everyone to join in the fun.

The first Proclamation Event will be held this Saturday (17 September) as thousands of children and young people take part in a procession through the town of Carmarthen.  The procession will start at 11am.  After the procession, activities and family events will be held at the park including a variety of stalls, sports activities, dancing and live entertainment. 

On Saturday (17th September) at 8pm, there will be a gig with Fflur Dafydd and Einir Dafydd at Clwb y Cwins, Carmarthen, as well as special Cymanfa Ganu at Gellimanwydd Chapel, Ammanford at 6pm on Sunday.

For the first time ever, Carmarthenshire’s Working Group have organized a second parade in Llandovery to close the festival on Saturday 24th September – the hosting town for the Urdd Eisteddfod in May 2023. 

Amid all the activities, there will also be an opportunity to capture a photo on the Mistar Urdd Selfie Bench.  As part of the Urdd’s centenary celebrations, the Mistar Urdd Selfie Bench is travelling to a variety of locations across Wales and has even attended the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham!

Carys Edwards, Chair of the 2023 Urdd Eisteddfod Working Group said:

“For the first time ever a second parade will be held to close the Proclamation Event on Saturday 24th September in Llandovery.  We want to ensure that every child and young person in Carmarthenshire has an opportunity to be part of this special festival.

“Excitement is growing across the county as we get closer to welcoming the Urdd Eisteddfod in 2023.  We look forward to celebrating the Urdd Eisteddfod’s announcement, and welcoming Urdd Gobaith Cymru to Carmarthenshire over the next week.”

Siân Eirian, Director of the Urdd Eisteddfod thanks the local volunteers:

“Organizing and hosting a Proclamation Event or an Urdd Eisteddfod is no small task.  On behalf of the Urdd I would like to thank the Carmarthenshire 2023 Working Group, the children and young people and all the volunteers in their communities for their dedication to host the 2023 Urdd Eisteddfod. The whole team have been busy fundraising and organizing activities to host the 2023 Urdd Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the Carmarthenshire Urdd Eisteddfod Proclamation Event and see all the children and young people in the area march – not once, but twice – during the event. Of course, we will also be publishing the Eisteddfod’s 2023 Competition List, which will be an exciting syllabus for Urdd branches throughout Wales.”

For more information about the Urdd Eisteddfod 2023 Proclamation Event, visit the Urdd Gobaith Cymru website or follow the Eisteddfod yr Urdd Facebook page.

For more information, please contact Eleri Roberts, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Communications and Publications Manager on 07976 330361 or email eleriroberts@urdd.org.

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Entertainment

Cruise Culture returns to Carmarthen Showground 

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(Credit - CruiseCulture)

WALES’ biggest modified and performance car show is returning to the Carmarthen Showground on August Bank Holiday Sunday 28

The show has now been running since 2014 and after a two-year break due to Covid-19 they are finally back!

There is a huge variety of cars on display from Modified, Performance, Supercars, Old School Classics, Vintage & American Cars. 

Growing year on year, Cruise Culture now welcomes over 40 club stands, so there is something for the whole family to enjoy. 

There will also be a funfair and children’s attractions at the show with a variety of food stalls selling burgers, pizzas, noodles, sweet stalls and ice cream vans.

There is an indoor section with highly modified cars on display and an outdoor show and shine area.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service will be doing an RTC Demo, along with a wide variety of their road safety vehicles and fire engines to look at.

Expect an action packed day with:

– Ultimate Indoor Show Hall

– Outdoor Show and Shine

– A huge variety of Car Club Stands

– Trade Village (Indoor and Outdoor)

– Main Entertainment Stage with Competitions, DJ’s, Live Music

– Car Competitions

– Funfair/Children’s Attractions

– Team SWG

– Mid & West Wales Fire Service Displays 

The Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show will also take place, as the team of riders perform breathtaking jumps and stunts.

 It is a show not to be missed! Jamie has ridden in the Nitro Circus and featured in a recent Top Gear episode for the Eddie Kidd Top Gear Special!

Tickets are just £6 Per Person if you pre book, or £8 Per Person at the gate with under 12’s being free!

You can pre book tickets online at http://www.cruise-swansea.co.uk

This is a show not to be missed and has a great atmosphere and plenty to do throughout the day.

For more information, visit their Facebook page – Cruise Culture, or their Instagram @Cruise_Culture.

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Entertainment

Open-air theatre returns to Pembrey Country Park this summer

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ALFRESCO theatre is returning to Pembrey Country Park this summer.

Theatrau Sir Gâr is hosting an exciting programme of outdoor theatre shows at the country park from August 11-23.

‘Theatrau Sir Gâr yn y Parc’ includes a varied line-up of family entertainment including two Proms in the Park events, comedy clubs, children’s theatre, live music from The Welsh Whisperer, an evening of classical music with Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion plus two amazing tribute acts, Shape of You – The Music of Ed Sheeran, and Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show plus much, much more!

A temporary outdoor stage will be created at Pembrey Country Park especially for the event. No seating is provided and instead audiences are invited to bring their own outdoor chairs or blankets to sit on as part of this open-air theatre experience.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John said: “We are delighted to bring this outdoor theatre experience to Pembrey Country Park once again this year for both local residents and visitors to enjoy.

“With a variety of shows to choose from, there really is something for everyone. And what better way to enjoy some live entertainment than in the beautiful surroundings of the country park.”

The full line-up includes:

• August 11, 7.30pm –  Rhys Meirion with Sioned Terry

• August 12, 7.30pm –  Carys Eleri: Discorét

• August 13, 12pm / 2pm / 4pm – Dance in the Park

• August 14, 2.30pm – Family Prom in the Park

• August 14 , 7.30pm – West End Prom in the Park

• August 16, 7.30pm – Welsh Whisperer a’r Hambon Band

• August 17 & 18, 11.30am & 2.30 – The Rascally Diner

• August 19, 7pm – Shape of You – The Music of Ed Sheeran

• August 20, 11.30am & 2.30pm – The Great Insect Games

• August 20, 5pm – Kids Comedy Club

• August 20, 7.30pm – Comedy Club (adults)

• August 21, 12pm & 3pm – Picnic in the Park. With special guest appearance from, Hey Duggee!

• August 22 & 23, 10.30am – 4pm – The Curious Case of Aberlliw (interactive family trail).

• August 23, 7pm – Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show

Book tickets online at www.theatrausirgar.co.uk or call the box office on 0345 226 3510.

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