The National Eisteddfod of Wales is the country’s largest cultural event and takes place annually during the first week in August at a different location each year. This year’s renewal took place in Cardiff Bay where more than 160,000 people attended the event, enjoying a richly diverse programme centred on the arts. Featuring music and literary competitions, lectures, meetings, gigs, trade stands and stalls, drama productions, street theatre and gastronomy, the National Eisteddfod has it all. In its customary format, the event is located on a single field site, with adjacent camping but this year, owing to its urban location, the organisers chose a number of venues around the Cardiff Bay area in which to host its constituent parts, with campsites situated in a park location around four miles away. Every edition of the Eisteddfod is a logistical challenge but this year’s event was particularly demanding.
Cardiff-based events specialist 11th Hour has been a regular supplier to the Eisteddfod in the past and this year provided more services than ever to help ensure that this huge event proceeded smoothly and efficiently. The 11th Hour team worked closely with the organisers in advance of the event, designating project managers to design and supply detailed drawings and plans for each of the sites to be serviced. The focal point of the outdoor events was the Llwyfan Y Maes main stage, located in the Oval Basin area of the Bay but 11th Hour’s responsibilities also extended to the large campsite at Pontcanna fields. Over 500 man hours went into the planning and execution of the company’s operation for the Eisteddfod.
11th Hour erected a 10m x 12m Prolyte CLT stage in the Basin and supplied power and distribution, including all cable (and cable ramp) to the stage and the wider site, stage lighting, catering for the requirements of traders and other suppliers in the area. An 11th Hour site manager was on hand throughout the event, including build and break days, to supervise the technical teams. At The Oval Basin site, the company also delivered fuel management. Further afield at the campsite, 11th Hour supplied power, more than 800m of festoon lighting and electrical sign-off for all site electrics.
11th Hour business development manager, Jason Venables reflects on the company’s growing involvement with Wales’s largest cultural event: “It’s fantastic to be so heavily involved with such a special event, particularly here in our home city. We’ve been a regular supplier to the National Eisteddfod over the years and it’s clear that the organisers are happy to place their trust in our ability to meet an increasing range of demands. We look forward to discussing the organisers’ requirements for next year. We’ve enjoyed working on a number of important home-grown events this year, not least the prestigious and logistically challenging Hay Festival for which we were the lead production company. Later this month we’ll be taking on another large scale project in the Bay in the shape of the UK Rescue Organisation’s National Challenge, which will present a completely different set of requirements. The 11th Hour calendar is always packed with events but our growing team and a reliable network of trusted partners sees to it that nothing is beyond our capacity.”