Various venues, Cardiff
Fri 18-Sun 20 Oct
Swn Festival has undoubtedly cemented itself as a staple of Cardiff’s music scene calendar since its founding in 2007. Drawing inspiration from SXSW in Texas, Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik, Brighton’s The Great Escape and Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, it well and truly highlights the city’s independent venues while showcasing an abundance of local and international talent.
Following the success of its change in management in 2018, the team at Clwb Ifor Bach have even more exciting additions in store: a fringe element featuring a music quiz and Hot Sauce Karaoke with local hot sauce god Double D; an afternoon at Jacob’s with Heavenly Recordings, featuring artists from their roster; and a nature and bird-themed afterparty in partnership with the RSPB. Gone are the Wednesday and Thursday gigs too, allowing punters to conserve their energy for a weekend full to the brim with new music waiting to be discovered.
Last year’s festival fell during Boy Azooga’s meteoric rise, so we asked Swn’s Steffan Dafydd who he predicted from the current lineup could follow in that band’s footsteps. “A local artist we think are on their way is Rosehip Teahouse; I feel like their snowballing success comes simply from having wonderful songs that people instantly fall in love with. Further afield, Black Country, New Road have been 2019’s hype band with only two releases – we can only see this growing with their future releases. Squid have been busy all year and to me, they’ve mastered this blend of jazz, Krautrock and postpunk that seems to have swept listeners across the UK this year. We brought Do Nothing to Swn’s announcement party back in April – they have the tunes, the attitude and the swagger to become a massive name in the next 12 months!”
With other highlights, among well over 100 acts billed, including HMLTD, Alffa, Wych Elm, Heavy Lungs, Eadyth and Chastity Belt – to name a few – snap up your tickets, grab a pint of Cwtch, a sturdy pair of shoes, and support your local music scene.
words HANNAH NICHOLSON-TOTTLE
Tickets: £65 weekend/£22.50 Fri 18 + Sun 20/£27.50 Sat 19. Info: swnfest.com