by Hope Wisechild
Thousands of music lovers are set to take over central Cardiff from 17th to 20th October 2013 as the seventh annual Swn (Sound) festival celebrates the burgeoning Welsh music scene.
Headliners Everything Everything will be joined on the bill by more than 150 live artists including Mark Eitzel, Ghostpoet, Drenge, Waxahatchee, Dutch Uncles, Bo Ningen, Frankie and the Heartstrings, Marika Hackman, Peggy Sue and Nadine Shah.
Inspired by the internationally respected Austin, Texas music showcase South By South West (SXSW), Swn was founded in 2007 by Radio 1 and Radio Cymru DJ Huw Stephens with local promoter John Rostron.
The festival the NME has called “frankly awesome” presents exciting new acts from Wales and across the UK, and boasts of having featured before-they-were-famous performances by AltJ, Disclosure, The Vaccines and Yeasayer.
This year’s venues include metalheads’ den Fuel, the venerable Chapter Arts Centre, Welsh indie’s spiritual home Clwb Ifor Bach, the Victorian-style Angel Hotel and an afternoon outdoor stage in The Hayes shopping street.Photo: Ramsey Beyer
First order of business is the third annual Welsh Music Prize, which last year went to Cardiff band Future of the Left’s “The Plot Against Common Sense”. This years nominees include albums by Euros Childs, Neon Neon, Sweet Baboo and Little Arrow.
The programme also features DJ sets, music-themed film screenings, a musos’ quiz and a Welsh Indie Label Market.
The Welsh Music Foundation will be offering open weekday industry workshops including a Musican’s Union co-hosted session on how to make sure you get paid when your music is played.
Festival priority entry is by wristband but some events are free to all and some require a top-up ticket. Tickets for the whole weekend or individual days are still available (at http://swnfest.com/tickets/).
Stand alone tickets can also be purchased for Mr Scruff who will be getting things moving on Thursday night with a five hour set featuring his trademark blend of irresistible rhythms and cups of tea.
If you fancy a taste of what’s to come, Swn Radio is already live on 87.7FM and at swnfest.com/swnradio. Thursday’s early evening programme will also feature coverage of the Welsh Music Prize event.
The planned performance by Deerhunter was part of a European tour which has since been cancelled. Anyone who bought a stand-alone ticket for this gig has been offered a refund.
As a metropolitan festival, Swn doesn’t offer camping facilities, but it does publish a list of city centre accommodation options for all budgets.