I founded Sŵn Festival in 2007 with my friend Huw Stephens, inspired by trips to SXSW and the likes of Iceland Airwaves. We built Swn into the flagship new music city festival for Wales, being nominated, and winning, Awards, the highlight of which (for me at least) was the NME Award for Best Small Festival for the 2013 edition. Huw stepped away from direct involvement in 2012 as his presenting work increased. I continued to build the event before passing it over to the team at Clwb Ifor Bach in the Spring of 2018. They will continue to deliver Swn Festival each Autumn bringing together emerging artists from Wales, the UK and beyond to takeover grassroots venues and interesting spaces across the capital city of Wales. Small in size but big in impact, Swn continues to innovate, excite and support the music scene in Wales.
To see this year's festival go to www.swnfest.com
SoundNation was a 3-year experiment to measure the reality of promoting at a smaller grass-roots level.On the outside, you'd just see us, Swn, promoting concerts in Cardiff. But behind the scenes, the idea was that the Sound Nation model enabled more performances of live music in Cardiff; provided a new income stream for independent venues; and brought more opportunity and control of cultural activity to Cardiff.
Ultimately we hoped it would create a fairer, sustainable framework to deliver economic and cultural growth in Cardiff, whilst contributing positively to the development of the UK artistic talent and the UK music industry.
The Sound Nation partnership is on a hiatus for now and we're promoting shows under the old Swn Presents guise, but we believe it's a positive new model which organisations in other towns and cities can adopt to benefit the UK live music scene.
We’re now compiling the data from this experiment to be published soon.
Canton Crawl was a one-day mini-festival which took place at Printhaus, Cardiff in 2012. It was curated and headlined by Cate Le Bon, and included early performances from H Hawkline and R Seilog, as well as the debut show from Fist Of The First Man.
DimSwn followed a few years later for two editions as a super-small-one-day-edition of Swn for the springtime.