If you’ve come to this blog via the front page of my website, you’ll know that I was recently a guest at Llangwm Literary Festival.
For those of you not familiar with the geography of West Wales, Llangwm is on the beautiful Cleddau estuary in Pembrokeshire.
It’s a small town. Probably smaller than my hometown, Newcastle Emlyn, which means it has fewer than 2000 inhabitants. And it seems to me that pretty much every one of them must have been associated with the festival in one way or another, either as attender, volunteer, organiser or provider of services.
You might expect what seems like a little, local festival to be a bit, well, amateurish and shambolic. But you’d be totally wrong. Llangwm litfest has only been running three years but the organisers have really got it taped. The event is publicised really well in both the physical and digital worlds, they pay their presenters (as per Society of Authors recommendations – you’d be amazed how many festivals don’t – even some of the big ones) and they look after you like royalty when you’re there. The volunteer stewards were welcoming and chatty, the guy doing audio-visual stuff was very accommodating (I didn’t need much but he was prepared for a full-scale presentation with all the bells and whistles you could imagine), the official photographer took some lovely photos (see below) and everybody from box-office to bookshop to snackbar was just lovely.
I had a delightfully engaged audience who laughed and gasped in all the right places and, when I asked if I could take a photo of them (because there were a lot of them, not the three people and a dog an unknown like me might expect) not only agreed but started clapping (again) so that the photo would be an action shot. So kind!
I’ve been to quite a few festivals now, large and small, and all of them have been enjoyable and worthwhile but I can honestly say that, so far, Llangwm holds the prize for most charming and delightful.
I had an absolute ball and when I opened my laptop the following morning I was greeted by the tweet below which made me feel even more chuffed.
Many thanks to Michael Pugh and all his team and congratulations on a fabulous event