Now into its teens, Sŵn Festival has undergone some changes over the years, but remains at the heart of the city's music offering during the Autumn. And if your idea of a good time is nipping in between multiple cosy venues across the city, grabbing the odd pint here and there and watching some of the best local and national rising stars, then this is the festival for you.
Sŵn Festival 2019 takes place between 18 - 20 October, with a number of additional events around its periphery. Headliners include: Gruff Rhys; We Were Promised Jetpacks; Twin Peaks, Holy Fuck; The Comet Is Coming; plus many more.
But for me, Sŵn has always been about the smaller events that take place around those. It's about wandering up and down Womanby Street (the symbolic home for most of the action), bumping into people you haven't seen for ages, striking up conversations with friendly strangers, and starting mosh pits in the street because the venue you want to get into is full, the band are in full flow and the queue is already up the street and round the corner.
This year, the line up boasts an ear-watering 142 bands and artists across ten venues, as well as new additions for this year.
The Sŵn Fringe includes quizzes, cabaret, karaoke, and even a running club! Find out more about the Sŵn Festival Fringe .
There's also an industry mixer, as Sŵn Festival supports young people looking to make it in the music industry. They've partnered with University of South Wales to deliver a two-day industry event curated by Complete Music Update (CMU). The event brings together artists, the music community and students for a two-day programme to inspire those that are looking to develop a career in the music industry. Find our more about the Sŵn Festival Industry Mixer.
If you're looking for highlights away from the main headliners, these are my picks:
- Rainbow Maniac (Friday 19:15 - 19:45, O'Neills). Cardiff art school DIY rock punk bring the party. Bring your feather boa and prepare to leap about and get sweaty.
- Bookend your day at Ten Feet Tall with Eädyth (15:00-15:30) - Welsh language soul and drum and bass ... you should really catch her if you can!), and then later on, with Ritual Cloak (21:30-22:00) - another local collaboration between ex-Samoans member Dan Barnett and producer Andrew Saunders. Beautiful minimal beats, where you can glitch out to your heart's content.
- A Heavenly afternoon (Sunday 14:00 - 19:00, Jacobs Market). Heavenly Records bring a tasty selection of their best to Jacobs Antiques Market in Cardiff (worth visiting to experience the venue alone). Acts include Amber Arcades, audiobooks, and more).