Crowd events for festivals, sport, theatre and business will be trialled in Wales over the next four weeks to help plan the easing of the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

The series of nine pilot events will help the Welsh Government decide on when and how to safely allow larger gatherings of people later this year.

Wales’ next easing of restrictions is expected on Monday, may 17 with the reopening of indoor hospitality along with cinemas, theatres and museums, with the country’s seven-day infection rate the lowest in the UK at 8.8 cases per 100,000 people.

On Tuesday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the trials would bring the lifting of further restrictions “one step closer”.

Rodney Parade, home of Newport County (Nigel French/PA)Rodney Parade, home of Newport County (Nigel French/PA)

“It’s been a long and difficult 18 months for the events industry in Wales, for event owners, those who depend on the sector for the work, and for those who long to see the return of live events to Wales,” he said.

“As we look at lifting the coronavirus restrictions in Wales we have worked closely with event organisers to establish a list of pilot test events which take in a range of different locations and types of event.

“This work is bringing us a step closer to a return to events in Wales, I’d like to thank these event owners and local authorities and health boards for their commitment in working with us and wish them well over the summer.

“These events are very different in nature and location but access of attendees – whether participants or spectators – is strictly controlled by the organisers and agreed in advance.”

Cardiff’s Eid At The Castle celebration, which will mark the end of Ramadan for Muslims and can hold up to 500 people, is due to be the first test event sometime between Wednesday and Friday depending on the moon sighting.

On Saturday the Welsh arts and culture festival Tafwyl will cater to an audience of 500 people who are over 18 and live in Cardiff, with the event held outdoors at Cardiff Castle.

Attendees will be in parties of between four and six people, who will be required to bring a form of identification, take a PCR Covid test a maximum of five days before, as well as a rapid Lateral Flow Test 24 hours before arrival.

Football play off fixtures for Newport County, on May 18, and Swansea City, on May 22, will also be part of the trial with crowd limits yet to be set, but Wales’ friendly against Albania at the Cardiff City Stadium on June 5 will allow up to 4,000 people.

Other crowd events include an indoor business conference in Newport on May 20 for 100 people, a theatre performance for 250 people in Powys, and up to 1,000 people at the Glamorgan v Lancashire cricket games between June 3 and 6 in Cardiff.

St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire where the Fishguard Triathlon will take place (David Davies/PA)St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire where the Fishguard Triathlon will take place (David Davies/PA)

The final trial event is the Fishguard Triathlon, held on June 11 and 12 at Fishguard and St David’s.

The full list of trial events are:


May 12-14 (TBA-date is agreed on the eve of the event), Cardiff, attendees 300-500

Tafwyl Festival

May 15, Cardiff, attendees 500

League Two Play Offs fixture Newport County AFC

May 18, Rodney Parade

ICCW business event

May 20, Newport, invited attendees, 100 indoors

Championships play-offs fixture Swansea City AFC

May 22, Liberty Stadium

Theatre Brycheiniog

June 3-4, Theatre Brycheiniog Brecon, Powys, Attendees 250

Glamorgan v Lancashire

June 3-6, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, spectators 750-1,000

Wales v Albania

June 5, Cardiff City Stadium, spectators 4,000

Fishguard Triathlon

June 11 and 12, Fishguard/St David’s, registered participants only