Swn Festival began in 2007, co-founded by Huw Stephens and John Rostron, after a revelatory trip to the world’s largest music showcase festival that is SXSW (South By South West) in Austin, Texas. Seeing the plethora of up and coming venues, promoters, and of course a thriving local bands scene, they returned with the idea of putting on their own, smaller, version in their homeland of Cardiff. That November they put on 100 bands across the city, with the then unknown Yeasayer, DJ Annie Mac and the brilliant Beirut being just some of the names performing over a chilly 3 day weekend across Cardiff’s lovely city centre.
Gaze wistfully into our past, and you will see standout performances from Los Campesinos! at an old Church, Islet throbbing the walls of a city centre pub and two riproaringly rattling performances from The Cribs in both 2007 & 2012. We’re proud to know that now big-billed acts such as The Vaccines, Alt J, The Drums, Ben Howard, Foxes and Disclosure have all been seen in their raw state at Sŵn before going on to much, much bigger things, and we promise you’ll always find plenty of similar undiscovered gems as you meander between the gigs. Now a staple in the calendar, with a few thousand festival-goers mixing in with the loquacious throng of Cardiff’s weekend nightlife, Sŵn has become a signature event for Wales and for its capital city of Cardiff, winning NME Best Small Festival for our edition in 2013.
In 2014, having grown to such a size that we were now too big to be run by our small team of part-time freelancers, we took something of a breather, and piloted a one-day version of Sŵn we called DimSŵn. A full day and night of music with over 50 bands playing. DimSŵn was well received, enormous fun and it sold out in advance too, giving us the inspiration and space we needed to re-imagine Sŵn for Wales in 2015.
So we’re more than delighted to announce that we’re creating a new one-day April edition of Swn Festival which will take place on Sat 11th April 2015 in various venues across Cardiff. This will complement our autumn Swn which will return on the weekend of 7th/8th November 2015. We’ve a lot of new music we want to share and we hope you’ll be able to make it to one, or both, of this years Swn’s.