Major arts, music and culture events

Artes Mundi Prize

Translating from Latin into 'arts of the world', Artes Mundi is an organisation that runs an international contemporary art exhibition and prize. The prize is held every two years in Wales, culminating with an exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff that draws international crowds . It focuses on the work of international artists, though UK-based artists are also allowed to enter. 

An exterior shot of the steps and entrance to National Museum Cardiff.
Inside the National Museum Wales

The contemporary art exhibition is held at the National Museum Cardiff, South Wales

Most entrants have conceptual approaches to their art, while others incorporate elements of more traditional media too. More often than not, the artworks are thought-provoking and say something about the places, times, societies or conditions people live in. With the winner taking home a huge £40,000, the Artes Mundi is the biggest art prize in the United Kingdom.

The next Artes Mundi Prize exhibition and prize, Artes Mundi 11, will take place in 2025.


BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

This bi-annual contest is widely regarded as one of the most significant operatic competitions in the entire world. It started in 1983 to mark the opening of St David's Hall in Cardiff, and the competition has returned to the venue every time since.

During the competition, which is organised and aired by the BBC, international and national classical singers in the early stages of their career (aged 32 and under) compete in a week-long series of heats and sing-offs. There are three prizes, namely the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (£20,000), BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize (£10,000) and the Audience Prize (£2,500).

The next BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition takes place in October 2025, venue TBC.

World Harp Congress 2022

Cardiff hosted the 14th World Harp Congress. Held between 22-28 July 2022, it brought harpists and harp enthusiasts from around the world together for a week of celebrating all things harp. Concerts, masterclasses, workshops and recitals were held across the city. Participating venues included the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, St David's Hall, City Hall and St Fagans National Museum of History.

BBC Radio 6 Music Festival

The BBC Radio 6 Music Festival is an annual music event set up by BBC and its BBC Radio 6 Music radio station. Since 2014, it's been held in a different UK city each year. On 1-3 April 2022, Cardiff played host to the festival for the first time.

Live music events were held across five of Cardiff's music venues - Clwb Ifor Bach, The Great Hall, Y Plas, St David's Hall and Tramshed - as well as fringe events across the city.

Performances included sets from Manic Street Preachers, IDLES, Pixies, Bloc Party, Sports Team, Gwenno, Little Simz, Father John Misty, Cat Power, Gruff Rhys, Johnny Marr, Self Esteem and Wet Leg. There were also DJ sets from Elkka, Tom Ravenscroft, Afrodeutsche, Overmono, Sherelle, Nemone, Craig Charles and more, plus daytime conversations with artists and music industry professionals.

It was broadcasted on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Sounds across the weekend, with special programming and recordings of some performances being shown on live television and on BBC iPlayer.

City of the Unexpected

To celebrate the centenary of the legendary author Roald Dahl, Wales held its largest ever cultural event across Cardiff on 17-18 September 2016. Dahl was born in Cardiff in 1906, so what better way to remember the great man and his work than by transforming the city into a Dahl-esque surreal wonderland of entertainment, magic and intrigue?

More than 120,000 people attended events across the city, which included everything from small walk-through exhibits and displays in shops to outdoor shows in parks and huge street performances along Cardiff's main roads. The weekend's main event saw a giant peach being carried through crowds on St Mary Street and Fantastic Mr Fox walking along a tightrope above Castle Street. Over 7,000 people were involved in making the event the spectacle that it was.

A giant inflatable peach and crowds by the castle in Cardiff.
A man dressed as Fantastic Mr Fox walking along a tight rope.

Roald Dahl's City of the Unexpected, Cardiff, South Wales

Major events in sport

Home and international cricket

Sophia Gardens is a world class cricket ground in the heart of Cardiff city centre. The stadium seats 16,000 and has been the home of Glamorgan Cricket Club since 1967. It's an established venue that's used for international cricket too. It's held lots of international test matches, including sold-out Ashes Test matches in 2009 and 2015.

Sophia Gardens regularly hosts international cricket. The club will host England as they play Pakistan on 28 May 2024 and Australia on 13 September 2024 in Men’s IT20 action. It will also be the home ground of the Welsh Fire team in the 2024 The Hundred tournament. taking place on 28 July, 05, 08 and 10 August 2024.

Read more: Cricket in Cardiff

SpeedwayGP of Great Britain

After launching in Welsh capital in 2001, the annual FIM British SpeedwayGP celebrates its 22nd visit to Cardiff in 2024. The Principality Stadium is transformed by way of a central circular dirt track measuring over 270 metres.

Over multiple heats, four riders at a time race each other on brakeless 500cc SpeedwayGP bikes, hitting speeds of over 80mph in front of a live audience of fans. It's a noisy, adrenaline-fuelled, fast-paced tournament that entertains over 40,000 ticket holders and a worldwide audience.

This year's speedway takes place on 17 August 2024 in Principality Stadium.

Bikes speeding around a dirt track with an audience watching.
Two bikes racing along the dirt track.

FIM British Speedway Grand Prix 2010 Race, Cardiff, South Wales

Football at Cardiff City Stadium

To the east of Cardiff city centre in Leckwith lies Cardiff City Stadium. The 33,000-seat venue is the home of Cardiff City Football Club and the Wales national football team.

There are four stands in the stadium. The Ninian Stand is named after Lord Ninian, son of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who also gave his name to Ninian Park - the former home of Cardiff City Football Club. The Canton Stand takes its name from the area of Cardiff that Leckwith borders. There's also the Grandstand and the Family Stand.

Check the fixtures pages on the Cardiff City Football Club website and the Football Association of Wales website to see when the next matches are happening.

Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest and most exciting road races in the United Kingdom. This hugely popular race takes in some of the iconic sights of the capital city. The race is a member of the SuperHalfs, a global series of the world’s most prestigious half marathons and has been awarded a Elite Road Race Label by World Athletics and is a member of AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races).

The 21st edition of the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon will take place on 06 October in 2024.


WWE Clash at the Castle 2022

On 3 September 2022, Wales hosted one of the greatest shows on earth. WWE brought their first stadium show in 30 years to the United Kingdom, WWE Clash at the Castle - and it was held at Principality Stadium in the centre of Cardiff. 

Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

Hailed as the ultimate sailing marathon, the Volvo Ocean Race is the epitome of maritime adventure and a true test of human endurance and teamwork at sea. Over eight months, seven teams race each other around the globe, aiming to be the fastest to reach the final destination and to break speed records throughout each leg.

In 2018 (27 May-10 June), Cardiff was one of the final stages of the global yacht race, followed by Gothenburg and ending at The Hague. As well as hosting the sailors and their yachts, Cardiff Bay was transformed into a Race Village that allowed visitors to be part of the action before, during and after the sailors arrived. Members of the public met the sailors, saw the boats up-close, watched the in-port racing, learnt about ocean wildlife and sustainability and got behind the excitement of the event.

Volvo Ocean Race fleet sailing infront of the Wales Millenium Centre

Volvo Ocean Race, Cardiff Bay, South Wales

2016-17 UEFA Champions League Final

Cardiff's Principality Stadium housed the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid on 3 June 2017. It was a huge event with a week-long lead-up of celebrations and post-game partying. On the night of the final alone, 300,000 people came to the city to be a part of the action. Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 to take the cup. Two days before at Cardiff City stadium, the Women’s Champions League Final saw Lyon beating Paris Saint-Germain 7–6 on penalties after a goalless draw.

A river with a boat and a large sports stadium behind.

Principality Stadium, Cardiff, South Wales

Other major events

NATO Summit Wales 2014

The NATO 2014 Summit (4-5 September 2014) brought some of the world's biggest political leaders and figures of power to Cardiff and its surrounding areas. It was hosted by the then British Prime Minister David Cameron and attended by Barack Obama (US President), Angela Merkel (German Chancellor), François Hollande (French President), as well as over 4,000 other VIPs, leaders, senior ministers, officials and delegates from 60 countries.

It was the first NATO summit to be held in the UK since 1990. The working sessions took place at the Celtic Manor in Newport and less formal fringe events were held in Cardiff.

Topics addressed included security, terrorism, cyber attacks and operations involving armed forces, with the aim of maintaining as stable a world as possible at a challenging time.

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