Pontardawe pubs come to the rescue of popular festival
MUSIC is set to echo around the Swansea valley thanks to the support of public houses.
The annual Pontardawe Festival used to attract folk music fans from around the world before it fell on hard times and was eventually cancelled.
A scaled-down version was relaunched by the town's chamber of trade but that too has fallen on hard times this year.
Watch the Lau Gar Wales Lion Dance at last year's Pontardawe Festival:
However, the Pontardawe Inn, known locally as the Gwachel, along with other pubs in the town, has stepped in to fill the gap. Organiser Steve Tustain said: "Pontardawe has held a music festival every year since 1978. Over the past few years it has moved back into the centre of the town with the chamber of trade putting on acts outside the arts centre. This year, due to a lack of funding, it has been left to the pubs to keep the event. The programme kicked off last night and will continue until Sunday, and with seven venues and more than 50 acts playing there is plenty to pick from.
Mr Tustain added: "There's a lot of support for it and we get people coming from all over."
A spokesman for the chamber of trade said: "The usual summer festival that the chamber of trade organises will have to be scaled down this year. The grant usually received from the council has fallen victim to budget cuts. Although the Pontardawe Town Council has pledged their full support for a road train, we have failed in obtaining alternative funding support from elsewhere for the other provisions.
"We will be fully behind all the town venues in their entertainment provision. However, the parades, street market and street entertainment will fall victim to the lack of finance. We hope to find a way of re-instating a full festival for 2014."