Latest: Welsh festival defends language policy amid rapper controversy
NBS Webdesk

The National Eisteddfod, a renowned Welsh festival, has faced criticism for excluding rapper Sage Todz from performing due to his use of both Welsh and English lyrics. 

The event upholds a strict Welsh language-only policy, while Todz presents his music bilingually. Taking to Twitter, the musician announced his withdrawal, citing the language policy as the reason, stating his songs had too much English.

Ashok Ahir, chair of the Eisteddfod’s ruling board, defended the decision, emphasizing the festival’s purpose to perform, compete, and discuss exclusively in Welsh. Ahir stated it was Todz’s choice to perform in English and bilingually.

The festival organisers condemned the racist remarks aimed at Todz and expressed deep sadness over the social media comments. Born in Essex and residing in North Wales, Todz began his official music career in 2020.

Last year, he collaborated with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to remake a famous Welsh protest song. Social media has seen calls to review the language policy, while others defend it as a celebration of the Welsh language.

The week-long National Eisteddfod, held annually in August, attracts 150,000 visitors, 6,000 competitors, and 250 stalls. Its origins date back to 1176, with the modern version established in 1861.

This year, it will be held in Llŷn ac Eifionydd, Gwynedd. Ahir emphasised the festival’s efforts to make the Welsh language more accessible. He stated that performing, competing, and discussing exclusively in Welsh is the festival’s main purpose. 

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