The festival takes place during the anniversary of one of the very first organised uprisings by workers in 1831 known as the Merthyr Rising. The Merthyr Rising of 1831 was the violent climax to many years of simmering unrest among the large working class population of Merthyr Tydfil where it is believed that for the first time the red flag of revolution was flown as a symbol of workers' revolt.
Today we annually celebrate this symbolic event through a cultural festival of music, arts, political discussion and ideas during the anniversary of the events of 1831.
The festival, now in its fifth year has grown steadily, working closely with trade unions and the local community. Since our first festival in 2013 we have attracted audiences nationally with speakers and performers coming from around the world. They include Alabama 3, Teresita de Jesus Vicente Sotolongo – the UK Cuban Ambassador, George Galloway, David Rovics, Stereo MC’s, Francesca Martinez, Craig Murray plus many more.
The festival has been setup and run as a not-for-profit organisation with a constitution to support music, arts and creativity in the area and raise the profile of the town. The festival has no allegiance with any political party but has seen participation coming from members of Plaid Cymru, Labour, Liberal Democrats, The Communist party of Great Britain and Scottish National Party.
Our mission is to celebrate working class culture and encourage resistance to inequality through music, arts, culture, talks and debates whilst promoting Merthyr’s heritage and history both on a local and international level.