There are more acts playing at 2021’s FOCUS Wales than words set aside for this preview, so my plan of just writing a very long list quickly ran aground. Instead, might I highlight that the team behind this annual takeover of Wrexham town centre have faced their fallow year (FOCUS Wales was moved from October 2020 to May 2021, then to this weekend) with a doughty spirit, and the programme they’ve assembled looks like the strongest and most eclectic yet.
There’s a ‘music industry’ dimension to FOCUS, with a snaking list of bods booked to sit on panels and offer their smarts on each of its three days. There are also film screenings and ‘networking’ events planned too – a delegate pass costs £160 if you’re interested in all that. If it’s all about the music for you, however, here be a sliver of highlights from a total of 20 venues. London noiserockers John are early evening on Thurs 7, with Lucy Spraggan and Stealing Sheep elsewhere later. Fri 8 boasts Richard Hawley supported by Billie Marten; rap-rocker Bob Vylan, the trippy Flamingods and north Walian homecomers The Joy Formidable. And Sat 9 touts Kelly Lee Owens with Tim Burgess plus Gruff Rhys with Nik Colk Void and Don Letts.
Various venues, Wrexham, Thurs 7-Sat 9 Oct. Tickets: £45 festival pass; £60 priority pass; days passes and individual tickets available. Info: www.www.focuswales.com
words NOEL GARDNER