A MUSICIAN described by Disability Arts Cymru as "a legend" will be one of the stars of this weekend’s Tredegar House Folk Festival.

John Kelly, who has restricted use of his hands and co-created a guitar to help people with limited hand use, will play the Newport festival’s main stage on Friday (May 6) night.

“When the audience sees me and the band come on stage, they have no idea what to expect,” said Mr Kelly.

“My job is simply to put on a great show and sometimes I change a few myths about disability too."

Mr Kelly has performed internationally and wowed millions when he performed at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics.

South Wales Argus:

His guitar, the ‘Kellycaster’, was developed with computer coder Charles Matthews of Drake Music – an organisation focused on accessible music technology – and is linked to a keyboard and computer. 

It allows him to strum the strings with one hand, using the other to depress keyboard keys and change chords.

A spokesman for Disability Arts Cymru said:

“John Kelly is a disability arts legend who inspires and delights, a superb performer who really shouldn’t be missed.

“He has broken down barriers to achieve an astounding level of excellence and his humour, grit and determination shine through every performance.”

Mr Kelly will perform songs from his upcoming album at Tredegar House Folk Festival, appearing on the same bill as Welsh indie juggernauts Calan, The Trials of Cato and Texas Americana star Rebecca Loebe.


Tredegar House Folk Festival was put on hold - due to lockdowns in Wales - following its 30th anniversary in 2019.

South Wales Argus:

It will be back with a bang, taking over Tredegar House, in Newport, from Friday May 6 to Sunday May 8.

Other acts will include Show Of Hands, Rusty Shackle, Fara, Boo Hewerdine and more - find out more about the line-up here.

Festivities at this family friendly event will include dance, live music, workshops, masterclasses and more.

For more information and tickets visit www.tredegarhousefestival.org.uk