Project’s support for festival

23 May 2017

Merthyr Rising festival logo

A Cardiff University engagement project is once again supporting a major community festival which celebrates the heritage and history of radicalism in Merthyr Tydfil.

The Merthyr Rising event – billed as a festival of music, art and ideas - runs from 26-28 May at Penderyn Square and Redhouse in the town.

The Strong Communities, Healthier People project is sponsoring a series of lively debates – known as the Waun Common Debates - involving topical economic and cultural issues.

Radical history of the town

The aim of the debates is to use the radical history of the town to stimulate discussion of social and political issues.

The debates commemorate the spirit of discussions held near Dowlais during the Merthyr Rising, one of the earliest organised actions of industrial workers in 19th century Britain.

More than 2,000 workers from Merthyr and Monmouthshire gathered at Waun Common in May 1831 to petition the King for reform following anger over low pay, debt and poor working conditions.

Speakers this year include Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell; economist Steve Keen; writer and journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza; and lawyer, journalist and campaigner Peter Stefanovic.

Dr Mike Berry, School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies, will be on a panel hosted by broadcaster and filmmaker Ross Ashcroft on the subject of fake news. It takes place at Red House on Penderyn Square on Saturday 27 May between 12:15 and 13:00.

The festival also features many notable bands and performers including Stereo MCs, Alabama 3, Pretty Vicious and The Sandinistas.

Strong Communities, Healthier People is one of the University's five flagship engagement projects, otherwise known as its Transforming Communities programme.

The University is working with Welsh Government and communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.

Learn about the latest project developments, direct from our project team.