The Chartists are back and ready to ignite Newport’s streets once more for Newport Rising Festival 2019. This November 2 the people will unite to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the Chartist Uprising, taking over the city streets in a torch-lit procession from Belle Vue Park to the Westgate Hotel with drumming and performance along the route.

This will be just the second year the festival has taken place, but judging by the success of last year’s events which saw hundreds of flaming torches snaking their way through darkness and then down Stow Hill and onwards, followed by live music, film and other events across the city centre, festival organisers look to have sparked something exciting and unique for the city.

This year the festival takes a similar approach and builds on it, with the march route remaining unchanged and the surrounding events including film, live music, performance and music workshops making up a varied line-up that organisers hope will have something for everyone.

One key difference this year though is that, in something of a coup, the organisers have secured the use of one of Newport’s most iconic and historic locations, Newport’s Westgate Hotel, site of the Newport Rising in 1839 and still showing bullet holes in the columns preserved from the original Westgate Inn that stood in its place.

The Westgate Hotel has been closed to the public for well over a decade, but will be reopened in time for the festival and will host many of the festival events, including spoken word performances by Patrick Jones, Eric Ngalle Charles and John Robb, live music by Rusty Shackle, Selena in the Chapel and Quiet Loner, plus music workshops by Sounds Alive, all spread over three days and three floors of the hotel with bars and festival food in an iconic venue.

There is a lot to take in this rapidly growing festival with a difference and that’s not just at one venue, as events are also scheduled at the Riverfront, Tredegar House and the Senedd in Cardiff bay.

Those planning on attending the march or celebrations at the Westgate are encouraged to register their place early as entry to the Westgate is free, but due to venue capacity organisers are giving priority access to those that purchase torches (£6, with proceeds going to local charity Our Chartist Heritage) and attend the march.

Newport Rising Festival is sponsored by Heritage Lottery Fund, Ringmaster Sports, Newport City Council and Tiny Rebel Brewing Co.