With SWN Festival quickly approaching (this weekend!) We thought we’d break the vast line up down a bit more, whilst also introducing you to the venues that are hosting the affair; after all, venues deserve just as much love as the acts that play in them.
The newest venue to join Cardiff’s ever-growing collection, Tramshed joins SWN for the first time this year! It’s proudly in the centre of the creative hub that is Cardiff’s city centre and will be opening the festivals proceedings on Friday, which will see the likes of Pumarosa, Spring King and Meilyr Jones perform.
Saturday also sees some great acts; such as Fatherson and Lonely The Brave grace Tramshed, before they have a well-deserved rest on Sunday and let the other venues take over.
The current holder of “Wales Online’s Peoples Choice – Best Bar & Nightclub in Wales”, Fuel will host an array of fantastic acts on both Saturday and Sunday of SWN. Taking the lead on the lesser known acts, be sure to keep an ear or two out for acts such as Love of Everything on Saturday and Blood Sport on Sunday. Like SWN, Fuel is in its 10th year of establishment, so it’ll be celebrations all round on Womanby Street.
Buffalo has been a popular spot for live music and cocktails galore in Cardiff for quite some time now, not a day goes by where something exciting isn’t happening at Buffalo, with DJ’s, live music and even dance classes and a comedy club hosted there. This all puts their involvement with SWN in for good stead and with acts such as Cate Le Bon performing, before club night: The Shake Up will allow festivalgoers to party into the night (4am).
Clwb Ifor Bach
Unsurprisingly, Clwb Ifor Bach used to be a members club for Welsh speakers only, luckily for those of us not fluent in Welsh it’s now open for everybody and with three floors of greatness, that’s definitely a good thing. Both the ground floor and the top floor will be in action this weekend, the upstairs seeing Island, Drowners and GRL TLK DJs on Saturday and infectiously indie The Vryll Society and All Tvvins powering through on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the downstairs will see Bristol’s Fenne Lily perform, as well as the vocally stunning Bryde with a Dirty Pop club night seeing everyone through until 4AM. Before returning on Sunday to host the wonderful She Drew The Gun, indie wonders Japanese Breakfast and Dream Wife, before closing the festival with Swnset – The official closing party.
Four Bars at Dempseys
Four Bars has always been part of SWN and before it’s rebrand that officially turned it into ‘Four Bars’, the excellent Irish pub saw the likes of Alt-J and The Vaccines play. Since it’s rebrand, it’s basically been unstoppable in championing new and live music, the final piece of the puzzle along Womanby Street placing it as the new music hub of Cardiff once and for all.
Saturday will see the fantastic Superglu perform at a reasonably early time of the day, sure to be a set not to miss to fully get you into the swing of the day, Sunday’s highlights come in the form of Plastic Mermaids, an energetic band that you’ll definitely kick yourself for missing.
Live music lovers won’t feel more at home anywhere else than at Gwdihw, quite literally, it’s decorated just like a living room/very arty den. It’s a wonderful setting and atmosphere, which will be perfect for acts including Dingus Khan (Sunday) and Braids (Saturday). Not to mention the Silent Disco taking place on Saturday from 10PM to the wonderfully late time of 4AM.
O’Neills perhaps have one of the busiest lineups of the weekend, Saturday will see an eclectic range of high quality acts such as Monico Blonde, Castles and Tibet as well as a Roughion DJ set on Saturday night, followed by a full, bustling day on Sunday including the likes of Adverse Camber, Amber Arcades and Melt Yourself Down – be sure not to miss out. O’Neills is also one of the most friendly venues you’ll go to in your life, it’s incredibly well known for it’s incredibly friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
The Big Top
Previously 10 Feet Tall – a formerly well-known legend in Cardiff’s music scene, now as The Big Top, it’s going from strength to strength, you can have yourself a cocktail or some food here whilst listening to great acts, including Melys on Saturday or Duski on Sunday.
The Moon Club
A wonderfully intimate venue, that’s definitely seen some high energy, electric gigs in its days. Be sure to get yourself down to the mystical Moon Club that’s both upstairs of and next door to its sister venue The Full Moon. There’s a few SWN secrets to look out for on the Saturday here, whilst the Sunday sees Girl Ray, Wolf Girl and the weird and wonderful Let’s Eat Grandma
Everyone has a bit of a soft spot for a nice basement venue and if they say they don’t… they’re definitely lying. Undertone is one of the best, a complete underground hub for underground DIY music. With sets from new loves of the internet April Towers performing as well as the synth-tastic Strong Asian Mothers on Saturday, there’s no way that you’re not going to end up in this wonderful basement at least once. Sunday equally has a fantastic array of acts, including the wonderful vocal tones and massive strings of Betsy, as well as an ‘SWN Secret’. Be there.