What an amazing weekend it has been – thousands of music fans flocking to Ynysangharad War Memorial Park and the town centre for one of the most successful Ponty’s Big Weekend events ever!
In glorious sunshine, the crowds have been entertained by some of the biggest names in the UK music industry, kicking off on Saturday with JLS, LITTLE MIX and Union J.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and its partners Orchard Entertainment, have been both proud and delighted to bring a galaxy of stars to the County Borough on July 20-21.
Ponty’s Big Weekend, the Council’s flagship event, has once again provided a massive boost to the economy of Pontypridd, with thousands of people heading to the historic town centre. It has also helped raise the profile of Rhondda Cynon Taf to a global audience.
JLS made a welcome return to Ponty’s Big Weekend for what was one of the final opportunities to see the band live before they split up following five years of success around the world.
All-girl band Little Mix also went down a storm, performing their hits to a massive, enthusiastic audience, as did boy band Union J.
The three headline acts were supported by The Voice contestants Ragsy and Ash Morgan, X Factor contestant John Adams and young up-and-coming Welsh singer Chloe Cook.
But the closing day of Ponty’s Big Weekend (Sunday) belonged to yet another star-studded line-up consisting of The Overtones, Rhydian Roberts and Sophie Evans.
The Overtones, who landed a recording deal with Warner Music Entertainment in 2010, entertained the crowds in their own inimitable way, having performed at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations outside Buckingham Palace the previous summer.
Rhydian - fresh from his run in the UK touring production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. - showed why he is a ‘monster name in the music world, forging a highly-successful career since becoming a household name as a contestant on ITV’s X Factor in 2007.
He also performed at the first-ever Ponty’s Big Weekend at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, going on to release four albums to date, have his own television series on S4C and also star in West End and UK tour productions of We Will Rock You, Grease and War of the Worlds.
Sophie Evans, a Rhondda Cynon Taf resident, looked relaxed in the summer sunshine and was delighted to be performing on home soil having starred in the BBC TV talent show Over The Rainbow.
She eventually took on the role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s hit West End musical in 2011, starring alongside Michael Crawford at the London Palladium.
She is also starring in the new movie The World’s End, alongside Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman and Nick Frost, has had her own BBC television series.
Sophie also appeared in the Park & Dare Theatre Centenary Concert, where she made her stage debut at a young age in the title role of the musical Annie.
The Sunday’s line-up also included The Siren Sisters, Tenors of Rock and James Williams.
The Siren Sisters are a three-piece all-girl trio inspired by the look and the sounds of the 1930s through to the 1950s. They have performed on stage all over the country and have also appeared on television and radio.
They also took part in the Wales Festival of Remembrance at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, as well as in France as part of the commemoration of the evacuation of Dunkirk.
Tenors of Rock are a Welsh-based band who sing songs the way they have never been sung before! The seven-piece outfit are reinventing the standard male vocal group and creating a seriously high-profile rock experience, which will live on in the memory of Ponty’s Big Weekend fans for a long time to come.
James Williams, born and bred in Pontypridd, was an X Factor finalist in 2008, performing in front of his mentor Danni Minogue and Emma Bunton at the Judges Houses stage in St Tropez.
Also sharing the Sunday bill were Mixed Melodies, Musical Medley and soloists Kizzy Crawford, Samantha Spragg and Annelise. Presenting the show was Real Radio Breakfast Show presenters Jagger and Woody.
Cllr Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Council Business and Public Relations, said: “Ponty’s Big Weekend has once again been an enormous success, one of the most successful ever.
“It was fantastic to see so many people in our town centre over the two days, creating a truly unique party atmosphere.
“Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, the pride of Rhondda Cynon Taf, was the focal point of our amazing music festival. This event has brought a real feel-good factor to the County Borough.
“It is a major boost to us that all these top performers wanted to come and sing in Rhondda Cynon Taf.”
Christian Hanagan, Head of Strategy, PR and Tourism at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Ponty’s Big Weekend lived up to all of its expectations, creating the biggest party in South Wales with some of the biggest names in the UK music world.
“Ponty’s Big Weekend is the highlight of the Council’s summer calendar and the last two days will no doubt be remembered for a very long time to come.
“All our hard work has paid off with this weekend as we continue to deliver an annual music festival that grabs the attention of the rest of the UK and, most importantly, is supporting our on-going efforts to boost the local economy and establish Rhondda Cynon Taf as a major visitor destination.”
Ponty’s Big Weekend was organised by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, in partnership with Orchard Entertainment, Wales’ largest independent music promoter and communications company and is once again sponsored by Costain.
Ponty's Big Weekend image gallery