RawFfest - Youth Arts Festival




  • promoted and supports artswork from young artists and performers aged 14-25 years.
  • was anchored at an arts venue with satellite locations in urban environments and reached out to rural areas.
  • increased participation in the arts for young people who were in the driving seat throughout. This included representation on the steering group, curating the festival, working as apprentices, and being trained as volunteers.
  • offered a programme over 4 days (Thursday to Sunday).
  • explored opportunities for skills exchange and social interaction. The festival was a vehicle to train young people in arts practice and in an in-depth immersive experience.
  • was sustainable, accessible and affordable to young people in Wales. The festival was bilingual and inclusive, actively seeking diversity in all its aspects.

The journey began at a youth arts conference in 2012 when young people called for more opportunities to celebrate their work. In 2013 the Arts Council of Wales (ACW) commissioned Arad Research to test whether there is demand for a new festival and if there is a gap in a market. The answer to both questions was ‘yes.’ In 2014 ACW commissioned Ceridwen to write a feasibility study with a group of a dozen young people from all over Wales. The young people travelled to festivals in Wales, England, Scotland and Norway. This festival is the result of the proposals of all those young people in 2013 and 2014.

In 2015, five organisations came together to make the festival a reality: Arts Development UK as the Governing Body, Youth Arts Network Cymru (YANC), Newport Live, Venue Cymru and Wales Millennium Centre.

2016 saw our first festival at the Riverfront, Newport. Click on this link to see a short film made by Arron and Tara, two of our young Creative Industry Place Makers. Venue Cymru hosted RawFfest in 2017 and the 2019 festival was at at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.