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Llais 2023: First acts announced

Llais, our international arts festival, is back from 11 – 15 October with an eclectic programme inspired by the instrument that connects us all – the voice.

Discover the programme

The first wave of announcements includes Both Sides Now: Celebrating Joni Mitchell – an ode to the iconic performer performer featuring an incredible line-up of all female singers including Cardiff’s very own Charlotte Church, British singer Laura Mvula, multi-instrumentalist ESKA and Gwenno. The four formidable talents will be joined by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a world first orchestral performance of Both Sides Now. 

On top of this, Bat for Lashes will also appear at Llais, performing iconic hits from her five albums which awarded her three Mercury Prize nominations. 

The Unthanks will host a special all-day event featuring concerts, participatory events and performances from their critically acclaimed albums The Bairns, Here’s The Tender Coming and Last.

There’s more live music from Mariza, Qawwali Flamenco, The Staves, Tomos Williams and Angeline Morrison plus Battlescar, a virtual reality experience that will transport you to the punk scene of 1970s New York.

There will also be a packed schedule of free workshops and events across every space of Wales Millennium Centre plus a few extra acts that we’ll be able to share in the coming months. Watch this space!

This year’s festival has been co-curated by Gwenno, who received the Welsh Music Prize for her 2014 album release Y Dydd Olaf and her latest release Tresor (2022) was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. She'll be appearing on the Donald Gordon Theatre stage on the Sunday evening with a retrospective performance of songs taken from all three of her albums.

“It has been such a joy to curate this year’s Llais. I’m a proud Cardiffian and that was always in the back of my mind when thinking of performers and artists to join us. Cardiff is made up of a rich tapestry of cultures and languages that makes the city unique and truly part of the world, and, particularly the Docks where Wales Millennium Centre is situated, defines so much of our identity as people of this city, and it was a celebration of this that I was aiming for.

I hope this year’s Llais will inspire lasting conversations and most of all, be an utter pleasure for all who attend.”

Gwenno, Llais co-curator

At Wales Millennium Centre, we believe that the arts should be accessible for all so new for this year, we’ll be launching Pay What You Can tickets where you can apply for up to two events of your choice and pay what you can on a first come first served basis. Find out more about the Pay What You Can scheme here.

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