Eisteddfod may allow alcohol

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The Independent Online
ONE OF the strongest bastions of Welsh temperance was close to collapse yesterday after Scottish consultants said liquor should be served at the National Eisteddfod.

As this year's event, at Llanbedrgoch on Anglesey, drew to a close, officials confirmed that the report by Project Partnerships would be considered, possibly in the autumn. The proposals could mean alcohol being served on the field within two years. The Eisteddfod, a hugely popular event, relaxed its rules two years ago when it allowed the sale of alcohol at evening events close to the site.

Elfed Roberts, the director, said: "Such arrangements are expected by young people attending such functions. I have no hesitation in recommending that they continue." Alcohol on the main Eisteddfod field (the event moves between North, South and Mid Wales from year to year) will be more contentious, though it would increase the event's income.

One Eisteddfod council member said: "It's bound to come sooner rather than later. People's habits are changing and Wales is changing too."

The report has split the North Welsh. "I can't see any harm in it provided it is properly supervised and kept under control," said one festival- goer. But most religious leaders will hold a different view. A congregationalist from Nantlle Valley immediately said alcohol was unacceptable.