What is Philfest?
Philfest is a bi-lingual charity music festival taking place in the rear garden of the Iorwerth Arms, Bryngwran. It was originally put together by the Bryngwran Community as a thank you to local volunteer Phil Blake. As of 2022, Phil has been on kidney dialysis for 22 years and is a pioneer of home dialysis, but despite his own health conditions, gives all of his time in helping the local community. Phil can be found walking and feeding local people's pets, doing bits of shopping, helping with maintenance for those who need an extra pair of hands, serving tea and coffee during coffee mornings in our community hub and volunteering in the community owned pub, The Iorwerth Arms, and much more. Back in 2018, the community hub asked Phil if they can give him something back for all of the work he’s put in and all he asked for was to put on a bit of music and try to raise a little money for the Ysbyty Gwynedd renal unit, who support Phil in his home dialysis and many more patients with similar health conditions, often which are life limiting. Philfest was born.
In the first year, Philfest featured 26 acts, playing continuous music and entertained around 400 people over 2 days whilst being broadcast on local radio, MônFm, and every penny raised of £4000 was donated to Ysbyty Gwynedd Renal Unit. In 2019, we kept the same 2-day format of non-stop continuous music split over 2 stages, but this time with 28 acts and around 650 guests. For 2019, Philfest raised over £6,000 with 50% donated to Ysbyty Gwynedd renal unit and the other 50% split between St. David’s Hospice beds in Holyhead and Bryngwran Dementia Day Care Centre, taking the total raised to just over £10,000.
Philfest is run entirely by volunteers and the costs associated, such as insurance, legally required security, tent and stage hire, PA and sound team etc is covered by sponsorship of the event. To date the main sponsors have been AngleseyMusic and The Iorwerth Arms. All of the acts perform for free and are mostly locally based.
During the 2020 pandemic, Philfest had to be cancelled for the obvious reasons, although Philfest Lockdown Live did take place with new recorded music by acts at home and using archive footage of the first 2 years, and Philfest also screened 2 Christmas Special events during December 2020. Most of the acts who were to perform in 2020 agreed to move back to 2021,and now to 2022. We are expanding the event to 3 days, with a site allowance of 600 people in total by extending the tent and main stage area, and hopefully around 46 different acts from all over Wales, including the Friday night being a celebration of Welsh language music. It will be broadcast again on local radio and streamed online via the Philfest Facebook page.
The funds raised by Philfest 2022 will be split with 40% donated to Ysbyty Gwynedd Renal Unit, 20% to the Local Conversation mental health charity in Holyhead, 20% to the Bryngwran Dementia Day Care Centre and 20% to the Bryngwran Good Turn Scheme.