Festival Guide: easy-reach festivals from Cardiff and south Wales

Hear ye for the We Are Cardiff guide to the summer’s festivals! Below is our hand-picked list of the best easy-reach festivals from Cardiff and south Wales. Some of them are in England. Embrace diversity, yeah??

Some of them are also still looking for volunteers, so if you can’t quit afford a ticket, have a hunt around on their websites for information for volunteers.

The sun’s out (sort of), but even if it’s not, isn’t that what fabulously design waterproof ponchos are for??


Larmer Tree Festival

13 – 17 July, Dorset

ONE month until #LarmerTree16! See you in the Gardens.. #Festival #Countdown #LarmerTree #Summer #LarmerTreeGardens

A photo posted by Larmer Tree Festival (@larmertreefest) on Jun 13, 2016 at 3:18am PDT

 One of the most beautiful festival locations in England: get ready for a family friendly, week long knees up amidst wandering and ca-cawing peacocks. Larmer Tree Gardens are a beautiful setting for a lovely festival: there’s plenty of day-time stuff for those who are more active in sunlight, and for the night owls, plenty of mischief to be had in amongst the deep forests of the Lostwood. There are craft workshops, dance yoga sessions, bubble discos, poetry readings, relaxation therapies, delicious food, and pop-up fun galore.

This year’s line up: Jamie Callum, Caro Emerald, The Stranglers, Calexico, Afro Celt Soundsystem, Quantic Live, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, Lau, Eska, The Wave Pictures.

Distance from Cardiff: 105 miles


More info:

Larmer Tree Festival website

Twitter @LarmerTreeFestival



28 – 31 July, Charlton Park, Wiltshire

The country estate on the outskirts of Malmesbury plays home to this annual celebration of wonderful sounds from around the globe. If you want bounce between Tibetan throat singers and Javanese bells, this is the place to do it. There’s a very relaxed approach to ‘world music’ here, so you can expect to see some mainstream artists peppered into the mix. There’s a Children’s Carnival on Sunday, and it’s a safe place to bring older kids too.

This year’s line up: George Clinton, Baaba Maal, Ibrahim Maalouf, Hot 8 Brass Band, Aziza Brahim, Sidestepper, The Grit Orchestra.

Distance from Cardiff: 65 miles


More info:

WOMAD Festival website

WOMAD Festival Instagram

WOMAD Facebook

WOMAD Twitter @WOMADFestival


Camp Bestival

28 – 31 July, Lulworth, Dorset

From the Isle of Wight Bestival crew comes a proper family festival set in the gorgeous grounds of Lulworth Castle on Dorset’s Jurassic coastline. Camp Bestival is jam-packed with awesome entertainment. The music (handpicked by famous-off-the-radio-Rob-Da-Bank) always features fabulous headliners, and along on the side are cultural delights, sideshow attractions and extra servings of family fun. It’s won Best Family Festival a ton of times and has a truly massive kids’ area. There are kids’ shows and performances on the Castle Stage and in the Big Top, daring antics to be had at the Freesports Park, and fairytale escapism in the Dingly Dell.

This year’s headliners: Fatboy Slim, Tears for Fears, Katy B, Squeeze, Arrested Development, Bananarama, DJ Yoda, Turin Brakes, Brand New Heavies, The Cuban Brothers.

Distance from Cardiff: 120 miles


More info:

Camp Bestival website

Camp Bestival Instagram

Camp Bestival Facebook

Camp Bestival Twitter @CampBestival



5  – 7 August, Baskerville Hall, Hay

2016 is the reboot year for this lovely festival which is one of two to come from the excellent Troyfest. A home-grown affair (and by that, I mean the folks running it are based in Cardiff), TrueFest promises a return to their roots, echoing the personal and intimate experience of those previous house parties, combined with a selection of some of the finest live acts on the festival circuit that they’ve met along the way.

The festival is set in the gorgeous grounds of Baskerville Hall in Hay: a festival party, in a mansion! And it’s a short drive from Cardiff: bonus!

This year’s line up: Broken Brass Ensemble, Solo Banton and the Uppercut Band, Lazy Habits, The Allergies, DJ Cheeba, Ratcatcher, Afro Cluster.

Distance from Cardiff: 60 miles


More info:

TrueFest website

TrueFest Facebook page 


Kaya Festival of World Music and Arts

5 – 7 August, Margam Country Park, Neath Port Talbot


While it’s not quite WOMAD sized, if you like your beats eclectic then Kaya is definitely one to consider: over the years, this celebration of diversity within our culture has grown to playing host to some of the world’s best artists, in the lovely surroundings of Margam Park.

This year’s line up: Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, Asian Dub Foundation,  Judge Jules, The Selecter, Jerry Dammers (The Specials),  Don Letts, Paul Trouble Anderson, General Levy.

Distance from Cardiff: 30 miles


More info:

Kaya Festival website 

Kaya Festival Facebook

Kaya Twitter @KayaFest2016



11-14 August, Matterley Bowl, Hampshire

Without doubt one of the most beautifully ‘dressed’ festivals in the UK (and by that I mean the amazing attention to detail that goes into all the stages and bars there), Boomtown has gained a reputation for being a seriously party-hard affair. There’s so much diversity in terms of music: from afrobeat to old skool rave to bashment and roots, if you’re into alternative music, you’re sure to find it here. The festival is also hosted by Cardiff music man, Kaptin and features hundreds of Cardiffians running stages, DJing and generally having a lovely time. It’s another of those where you’ll wander around all weekend saying ‘I recognise you …’

This year’s line up: Madness, Damian Marley, Leftfield, Parov Stellar, Asian Dub Foundation, MJ Cole, Nightmares on Wax, Derrick Carter, Shades of Rhythm, Chris Liberator, Calibre, Imelda May.

Distance from Cardiff: 124 miles


More info:

Boomtown website 

Boomtown Facebook

Boomtown Twitter


Green Man

18- 21 August, Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell

We_Are_Cardiff_Green_Man_Sunday - 80

Yes son! One of Wales’ best-loved festivals, now in its 14th year (!!!). Also known as the weekend where the whole of Cardiff decamps in Glanusk, Green Man brings a delightful mish-mash of music, comedy, performance arts, healing vibes and science together and serves it up like some insane cultural smorgasbord you just can’t stop chomping down on. The site is small enough that you’re never a ridiculous distance from your tent (handy if you need to pop back for food, booze, or just to top up your glitter), but big enough to hold delightful treats that can keep you amused all day, and all of the night. We love Einstein’s Garden – teaching kids (and adults!) with interactive science throughout the weekend.

We Are Cardiff tip: make a proper week of it and get Settlers tickets. Also, indulge yourself some pamper time in the Nature Nurture field: we booked a Green Man hot tub last year and it was THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE. You get to shower before hand, then hang out with your friends in a wood-heated hot tub drinking Prosecco.

This year’s line-up: Belle and Sebastian, James Blake, Wild Beasts, Laura Marling, Grandaddy, Lush, White Denim, Battles.

Distance from Cardiff: 45 miles


More info:

Green Man website

Green Man Facebook

Green Man on Twitter



20-22 August, Bristol

If rock of varying varieties (eg post / math / noise / alt, and so on) is your gig, then ArcTanGent is a must. The world’s ultimate music festival for connoisseurs of RAWK, it’s a lovely intimate festival with a capacity of just 5,000. Three nights of camping, over 70 bands across four stages, a silent disco, plus some tasty treats provided for those who can’t deal with festival cooking!

This year’s line-up: GY!BE, American Football, Mono, Toe, Gallops, Three Trapped Tigers, Errors, Hexvessel, Falls, Samoans

Distance from Cardiff: 40 miles


More info:

ArcTanGent website

ArcTanGent Facebook

ArcTanGent Twitter


End of the Road

2 – 4 September, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset

View this post on Instagram

#England in #September #festival #eotr2015

A post shared by Peter Richardson (@peterrichardson1960) on

Back in the grounds of the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens (see Larmer Tree Festival above), End of the Road focuses on alternative music of the folk, indie and alt-country variety. There’s also stonking literary and comedy line ups, featuring Bridget Christie, Josie Long, Stewart Lee, Darren Hayman and Cathi Unsworth. The food offerings are delicious, as is the surroundings.

This year’s line-up: Joanna Newsom, The Shins, Bat For Lashes, Animal Collective, Bat For Lashes, Cat Power, Devendra Barnhart, Goat, Savages, Thee Oh Sees, Teenage Fanclub.

Distance from Cardiff: 105 miles


More info:

End of the Road website 

End of the Road Facebook

End of the Road Twitter


Festival Number 6

1 – 4 September, Portmeirion

Undoubtedly the most ornate festival location of all the ones we’ve listed … Festival Number 6 is situated in the beautiful Italianate village of Portmeirion, in the stunningly AMAZING north Wales. Seriously. I can’t over-egg this pudding: it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. You’ve probably heard all about getting lost in its magical forests, eating silver service pop-up banquets and dancing on the white sand of the estuary, massages and spa treatments, so I won’t go on about that too much: I’ll just say that if you’ve made the effort to go all the way to Portmeirion for the festival, do yourself a favour and take a few extra days off to go exploring Snowdonia. It’s one of the jewels in the Welsh landscape crown. Maybe even our diamond!

This year’s line-up: Noel Gallagher, Hot Chip, Bastille, Super Furry Animals, Cassius, Roisin Murphy, Roots Manuva, Andy Votel, Crazy P, Gold Panda, Hot Chip, Joy Orbison, The Two Bears.

Distance from Cardiff: 150 miles


More info:

Festival Number 6 website

Festival Number 6 Facebook

Festival Number 6 Twitter 



The Good Life Festival

16 – 18 September, Hawarden Estate, Flintshire

A relative rookie when compared to some of the more long-standing festivals in this list, nevertheless The Good Life has possibly our favourite line up. Its tagline is “Culture, food, and the great outdoors” – how can you argue with that? Great things about The Good Life: the ticket price is very reasonable, and once you get in, all activities are free. This includes family axe throwing workshops, hay bale fights, tree climbing, and all sorts of amazing fun activities for small kids (and big kids). Oh – and it was founded and curated by Welsh lady, Cerys Matthews. Do you listen to her 6Music radio show? Then you’ll know you’re in good hands for a weekend of entertainment.

This year’s line up: Mercury Rev DJ set, Gilles Peterson, John Cooper Clarke, Cerys Matthews

Distance from Cardiff: 153 miles


More info:

The Good Life Experience website

The Good Life Experience Facebook

The Good Life Experience Twitter


Porthcawl Elvis Festival

23 – 26 September, Porthcawl

elvis festival 2015 lorna cabble

If you were going to pick a wild card from the festivals on offer in this post, it would be this one. An entire weekend – JUST devoted to Elvis impersonators? Widely recognised as the biggest Elvis festival in the world, the tiny seaside town of Porthcawl becomes transformed by lycra, huge flares and Vegas glasses. You might not be the world’s biggest Elvis fan – but spending a weekend surrounded by them is a transformative experience.

This year’s line-up: do you really need to ask?

Distance from Cardiff: 30 miles

More info:

Porthcawl Elvis Festival website

Porthcawl Elvis Festival Facebook

Porthcawl Elvis Festival Twitter



And that’s it for this summer’s festival guide. Have we missed anything out? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update the post!



And if you’re still undecided, consider the following.

Back in the bleakness of the 1980s, I was born in Cardiff. At the time, much of Wales was amongst the most impoverished places in what is now the European Union.


And guess what – IT STILL IS.

That’s why Wales qualifies for and has benefited from so much European funding – specifically structural funding, which is the EU’s way of trying to boost the poorest parts of the EU. West Wales and the Valleys have an average GDP which is less that 75% of the EU average (think about that for a second), so that area still receives the highest level of funding. By 2020, Wales will have received more than FIVE BILLION POUNDS in structural funds. 

To see how much Wales benefits from European funding, see below.

(from the BBC)

And for those people who say that if we leave the EU, money will just come straight to us from Westminster, do you really believe that? Do you remember what it was like before we joined??

One of Wales’ top political commentary blogs, Oggy Bloggy Ogwr, gives a good run through of what would likely happen in Wales in the case of a Remain Vote or Leave Vote. The Leave explanation struck chills when I read it: “The likely economic hit (of leaving) could damage the Welsh case even more so than it does currently”. Because that’s exactly what we need – a return to the terrible poverty that Wales already struggled through. Don’t make me say the T word or the M word (‘Thatcher’ and ‘mines’, in case you hadn’t worked those out).

Cardiff is noted as being one of the first multi-cultural societies in Britain, formed during the Industrial Revolution “when the Cardiff docks were exporting millions of tonnes of coal from the Welsh valleys, all around the world, ships returned to the port bearing people to live and work in the city” (ref: The Cardiff Story).

We love living in a city – nope, a COUNTRY – which embraces different nationalities and cultures. We want to celebrate diversity, not criminalise it!


We’re presuming though, if you’re reading this, you probably already agree with us. If you don’t, you should go read the Daily Fail or watch Fox News or something.

A round up of relevant reading:

Six reasons why Cardiff needs the EU (We Are Cardiff)

19 things European funding has done for Wales (Wales Online)

What does the EU referendum mean for Wales (BBC)

From Great Britain to Little England (NY Times)

Dafydd Wigley lays out the case to remain in the EU (Wales Online)



More in Common: Cardiff festival of action to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP

More in Common: Cardiff festival of action to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP
Wednesday 22 June, 4-7pm, Temple of Peace


I was just writing a ‘what’s on this week’ blog post, but it seemed too reductive to put this event in between all the artsy / cultural stuff going on. It deserves its own post.

This event calls for  individuals, community activists and organisations to join a festival of activism for ‘making a difference’, this Wednesday evening 4-7pm in Cardiff in honour of the life and example of campaigner, humanitarian, feminist and MP Jo Cox.

A worldwide event is being held across a number of continents and countries this Wednesday – which would have been Jo’s birthday. The theme is “what can we do?” – which was very much Jo’s approach to life (see worldwide events celebrating Jo’s life)

We’d like to invite anyone with an interest in volunteering and activism for a better world. And we’d like to invite organisations, particularly those involved in causes such as international development, human rights, refugees, women’s rights and tackling poverty, to come and share their work – with new faces and old – and explain how people can get involved in making a difference and showing we have “more in common” in this country and abroad.

More in Common – Facebook event

Hope not hate.

We Are Cardiff joy monkeys, Helia and Hana x

What’s on in Cardiff: this week, 20 – 26 June

It’s been a weird week. People got murdered. Suddenly xenophobia is everywhere, seemingly. Someone stole a huge flowerpot from the front of my house today, like literally right outside my front door. Who does that?

Anyway. Stuff is happening. Be informed. Make decisions. Get drunk. That’s what we’re doing.

This week, there’s Cardiff’s first fringe theatre festival, a vegan restaurant relaunching, an outdoor film showing, a mic cypher, some tropicalia, and a craft market.

Above everything, we’d like to draw your attention to the event on Wednesday to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP. We’ll be there.

Hope not hate.

Amen. x

What’s on in Cardiff: this week, 20 – 26 June

The Sho Gallery, Summer Sho!

Open now! 16 June – 6 July, The Castle Emporium, Womanby Street

A vibrant group exhibition of illustrative works featuring a collection of great contemporary design by local & national artists, including works by Phil Morgan, Lu West, Tom Findlay, Ian Watson, Suzanne Carpenter, Matt Joyce, Emma Tickner, Ben the illustrator and Snowskull.

The Sho Gallery Facebook

Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival (CFTF)

20 – 25 June, various venues across Cardiff

We posted about our inaugural fringe festival a few weeks ago, and it’s finally here! Go buy some tickets, see some shows, and support our local arts scene!

CFTF – buy tickets

More in Common: Cardiff festival of action to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP

Wednesday 22 June, 4-7pm, Temple of Peace

See our full post about this: More in Common

Wales and Norway in the times of Roald Dahl

Wednesday 22nd June 2016, 6.45pm for 7pm start, Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay


The Welsh Norwegian Society present a special event to celebrate the Roald Dahl centenary: Wales and Norway in the life of ROALD DAHL. Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff to Norwegian parents in 1916, and was christened in the former Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Cardiff Docks, now the Norwegian Church Arts Centre.

To mark 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth, his biographer Donald Sturrock will explore the influence of both Wales and Norway on the life of the world’s greatest storyteller. Signed copies of Donald Sturrock’s new book Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to his Mother will be available to buy on the night.

Speaker: Donald Sturrock, Author of the acclaimed biography: Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl

Tickets £4 (free for WNS members). To book tickets, call Mary Allen Tel: (029) 2075 7311 / marymartellallen@aol.com.

Wales and Norway in the times of Roald Dahl – Facebook event

CFTF scratch night

Thursday 23 June

10 acts. 3 hours. 1 night! This year CFTF  opened submissions for ten pieces of work to be performed at the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival Scratch Night. Here are the results!

CFTF Scratch Night Facebook event

(Also, Thursday is the EU referendum, so don’t forget to vote!)

Lost Lands Rooftop Cinema presents Purple Rain

Friday 24 June, 6-11pm, Jacobs Market

Celebrate the artist who captured imaginations like few others – party like it’s 1999! The night will commence with a mix of tunes from 1999 and of course Prince remixes and tunes until sunset, when the classic 1984 film ‘Purple Rain’ will show.

The theme of the evening will be purple and fancy dress is welcome! The guest food pop-up for the evening will be Little Bao Peep, serving deliciously fluffy Taiwanese Bao plus a cocktail bar serving a selection of themed cocktails and popcorn.

Our events are for adults, no under 18s admitted. Please ensure that you bring along I.D. if you’re lucky enough to look under 21!! A licensed bar is available so you can enjoy a drink watching the sun go down and the stars appear.

Purple Rain Facebook event 

Anna-Loka relaunch

Friday 24 June, Anna-Loka

A vegan and raw foods party night at this re-launch event for one of Cardiff’s favourite vegan hangouts!

Anna Loka relaunch

Jazz at Porter’s

Friday 24 June, 10pm, Porter’s

Who loves jazz? We do. Do you love jazz? If the answer is yes then get down here to take in some smoothe tunes. If the answer is no, come down and let the band prove you wrong.

Jazz at Porter’s 

Selecta! UK Garage / Grime / Garage!

24 June, 11pm – 4am, Undertone

Where the crowd go BO!


◄◄ DEETS ►►
Classic. Garage. & Grime

►► TAX ◄◄
Free entry guestlist with names tagged on the event wall till 11:30pm, £4 OTD

◄◄ LIQUOR ►►
£2.50 shots
£3.00 Single mixer
£4.50 doubles
£3.50 cans or 4 for £10.00


Night Ride to the Coast – Cardiff to Swansea

Friday 24 June, 11.30pm, Wales Millennium Centre

Registration is now open for the annual South Wales edition of the FNRttC, which this year is a midsummer ride! We depart the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay at midnight, meeting 11:30 pm.

Our exit from Cardiff is business-like but effective – it is not long until we turn off the A48 at Bonvilston into quiet swoopy lanes. In the likely event that we are blessed with one of our traditional tailwinds, this will iron out the undulations all the way to Llantwit Major, where we regroup in whispers in the centre of town. From there we join the Dimlands Road, which (on a clear night) offers tantalizing glimpses of the moon on the Bristol Channel. We stay close to the water as far as our halfway tea-sandwiches-and-cake stop in Ogmore-by-Sea.

When we leave Ogmore, refreshed, there is just half an hour until sunrise. We spend this wending our way gently upwards through Merthyr Mawr and Laleston to the lower end of a ridge called Cefn Cribwr. This affords us some stunning dawn glimpses of the threatened Port Talbot steelworks, inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

As we reach Port Talbot, we take a loop up-valley, to show off a little of the local landscape and avoid the worst excesses of highways engineers. There is a short but sharp climb that will be testing on tired legs or macho gears, but there’s no shame in walking it. We take a breather at the top and enjoy a fast wide descent into Neath. We take a quiet back route into Swansea, with views over Crymlyn Bog (home of the notorious Great Raft Spider – lingering is not recommended).

A short stretch of urban ordinariness, and then we meet the sea again, for perhaps the finest five-mile finish in the Fridays’ calendar, around the great sweep of Swansea Bay to the pier at Mumbles for breakfast.

Click the Ticket link to sign up! If this is your first FNRttC of the year, please read about how to register  – before you do the ride, read The Basics

Friday night ride to the beach

Protest: after the referendum, defend all migrants

Saturday 25 June, 12 midday, Aneurin Bevan statue, Queen Street

DEMONSTRATE: against racism, for migrant rights, against fascist violence – on the Saturday after the EU referendum

The EU referendum has created racism and division which reached a bloody crescendo with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a fascist terrorist. What will happen in the aftermath is uncertain, but leave or remain, it’s likely that there will be further attacks on the rights of migrants.

Migrants are being used as a political football. There are calls from all sides to limit immigration and renegotiate EU freedom of movement – but it is our government taking away our jobs, housing and public services. Our fight is against austerity, not against any other group of people wherever they come from.

The tone of anti-immigrant politics is not just set by the far right. It also comes from within mainstream politics and the media, and years of insisting that immigrants are a “problem”, while UKIP clean up in the wake.

We need to take a stand against this – whatever the result of the referendum on Thursday – Migrant or non-migrant, we stand together as friends, family, lovers, work colleagues, trade unionists and members of our communities. We stand side-by-side and share our lives.

Cardiff has long been enriched by migrant communities, our city is home to some of the oldest Black and Muslim communities in Europe and people from all four corners of the globe have come to settle here and build a life. We will not allow a wave of racism to threaten our lives and wellbeing.

Join us to show solidarity with all migrants and refugees.

Supported by Cardiff People’s Assembly, Welsh Refugee Council, Stand up to Racism, Unite Against Fascism, Stand Up To UKIP, PCS, NASUWT, Unite Community and others. To add your name to this call email cardiffpeoplesassembly@gmail.com

After the referendum, protect all migrants

Inner City Cypher

Saturday 25 June, 12 – 5pm, Oner Graffiti Store, Church Street

Monthly cypher session and instore jam.

A regular Saturday afternoon open mic cypher at the Oner Graff shop in Cardiff city center.

Everyone is welcome, emcees, beatboxers, DJs or just lovers of the culture. Each month we’ll have at least one DJ booked in to keep the beats going and a pretty much open mic.

This is a central, regular place and time to meet, hang out, try out new material and generally connect with one another.

So, even if you’re only in town for a few hours, or on ya way to or from work or doing some shopping etc just pop in, even for 5 minutes show some support for the thing we love and the people involved.

Feel free to invite other like minded heads as you see fit.

Inner City Cypher

The Afro-Tropical Discotheque!

Saturday 25 June, Gwdihw

Disco and funk are all good and proper. Add a bit of that Caribbean crush though and now we’re talking! Think of the last Saturday of this month as Tour de exotica!

Shaking from the heart of Africa to the South of America via funky Jamaica! A melting pot banansa!

Afrobeat & Cumbia & Latin & Tropicalia!

Helping the party along we have grandiose guests Miles Day & Mr Downs.

Miles Day, of Sure Shot fame, has been getting fruitier by the day specialising in unknown Highlife / Afro tresures. For good measure we’ve asked him to bring along that lovely niceness from South American and all.

Downs, of the mighty Club Tropicana, will be approaching the situation with pina colada in the one hand, Zimbabwe twists in the other. If he’s feeling especially lively he’ll even provide a touch of the middle east!

As always the bar staff will be providing half prices drinks before 10 with joyous grins on their faces 🙂

The Afro-Tropical Discotheque

Glasnost Festival

Friday 24 – 25 June, The Full Moon

Glasnost Festival 2016! returns for its 5th year!

Friday 24th & Saturday 25th June 2016
The Moon + The Full Moon, Womanby St, Cardiff

Didn’t get a ticket for Glastonbury? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back..

Wet Painttt + THE CULT OF DOM KELLER + The Moon Birds + Himalayas + Winter Coat + Shiny Tiger & more tba
followed by
Ultimate Power – Cardiff June 24th (power ballads clubnight) til 3am! http://www.facebook.com/events/1707346846206237

Iron Eye + Zion Road + Rum Puppets + Thee Manatees + Ivan Moult Music + Art Bandini + PARCS & more tba
followed by Five Dollar Shake DJs downstairs til 3am!

Cheese & Chocolate – vegan comfort food including nachos, mac’n’cheese, paninis, garlic cheesy pizza rolls, thickshakes, Fentiman’s bottles

Vegan Pizza Co. – hand-stretched, stone baked pizzas made from meat-free dairy-free recipes, for vegans & omnis alike

Gravity Station Cardiff – just moved in upstairs! Selling a wide range of local, national and international beer bottles

Friday night after the bands upstairs, we have nothing but the greatest power ballads ever written, celebrated by the friendliest clubgoers around, creating a night of pure euphoria.. “A fun-as-fuck communal club experience” – NME. (Please note Ultimate Power is £4)

PLUS … the return of our hay bales and astro turf, stalls, plenty of legendary ‘Green Shit’ and more to come!

Glasnost Festival  /  The Moon Club  /  Glasnost Event

Penarth’s Handmade Market

Sunday 26 June, 11-4pm, Paget Rooms, Penarth

This June, PHM returns to the Paget Rooms for a children’s themed special featuring the very best makers and food producers. Join us and browse our 43 stalls, come and have fun and get creative, or sit down and enjoy a bite to eat in our vintage popup tearoom.

After the huge success of our Christmas and Mother’s Day markets, we can’t wait to come back to the Paget Rooms.

See you there!

Penarth Handmade Market

Ab Fab Vegan Food Market

Sunday 26 June, YMCA PLAS Plasnewydd Community Hall, Roath Cardiff


Vegan Fair

Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2016

26 June, 12 midday – 11pm, Gwdihw

Now in its fourth year Cardiff Mini Film Festival will be taking over Chapel 1877, Gwdihw and Little Man Coffee Co. on the 26th June for a day of short film screenings, Q+As, Film Pitch Competition, Awards Ceremony and a large networking party with a free glass of prosecco on arrival!

Early Bird Day Tickets are £11 (Limited availability), Day Tickets are £15 on the day.

We will be handing out awards for the best Welsh and International films for each category shown at the festival, including Fiction, Comedy, Factual and Music Videos. There will also be a chance to vote for your favourite on the day as part of the Audience Choice Award. The winner of the Audience Choice Award will receive a 12 month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud (Worth £500) so make sure you choose your favourite wisely!

The Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones and it’s not just for those that have been shortlisted. After the ceremony we will be having a massive networking party that we want everyone to come along to in order to network with fellow filmmakers and special industry guests whilst listening to the sweet tones of our live music act, Naomi Rae.

Cardiff mini film festival website 

Music Without Borders

Sunday 26 June, Wales Millennium Centre

Free event in Cardiff bay featuring the diverse sounds of Cardiff underground. Full line up tbc, but we have: Jaguar, Oud Resists, Eric Ngalle Charles, Fatima, Kibrom, and more!

Music Without Borders 


Most importantly, like we mentioned: the referendum is Thursday. Your opinion is important. People died for the right to vote. Many don’t have the option. Don’t take it lightly.

Peas and rice

We Are Cardiff

Refugee Week 2016: Cardiff events

There’s some strange synchronicity in this week being Refugee Week, given all the awful news of the past few days.

Refugee Week is what this post is about, but in case you haven’t read them, please read the following two pieces:

Also, in case you’re feeling all het up about all the terrible xenophobic trash so much of our media has been talking, a protest has been arranged for this Saturday:

Protest: after the referendum, defend all migrants – Saturday 25 June, 12 midday, Aneurin Bevan statue, Cardiff city centre


Cardiff, an intercultural city?

Monday 20 June, Oasis Centre Cardiff (Facebook event)

Cardiff City of Sanctuary, in partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council and Oasis Cardiff, invites you to a celebration of Cardiff’s migrant communities and the local people who welcome them into the city.

An evening of lively performances and insightful discussion on the contribution of migrants to the city and how Cardiff can design effective local strategies for migrant integration.

Where: Oasis, 69b Splott Road, Cardiff, CF24 2BW
When : Monday 20th June,
Time : 6:00pm-8:00pm

All are welcome to attend, network and consider important questions for our local community:
• How do we achieve successful integration in local communities?
• What is happening in Cardiff to help migrant communities to reach their potential?
• Where next for the city? Where next for Wales?

A free dinner, cooked by local refugees and asylum seekers, will be provided for all attendees.

Migrants from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend. Please contact Althea at the Welsh Refugee Council for more information: althea@wrc.wales


Photography Exhibition about Calais Refugee Camp

June 17 – 25, Cardiff MADE Gallery,  open Weds – Sat 10am – 6pm

Self-taught photographer and long term volunteer in the notorious “Jungle” Refugee Camp in Calais, Megan Howell, raises profound questions about the violence affecting the refugees who live in Calais through this exhibition.

The photography exhibition “Voices” challenges the use of such inflammatory tactics with a presentation of photographic footage shot largely during the most violent phase of evictions in February and March 2016. Megan spent three months in the camp during which time she twice witnessed thousands of its residents being internally displaced as a result of, often violent, evictions carried out by the local authorities. When describing her time working in the camp, Megan says that “the most shocking aspect was the violent and oppressive manner in which the refugees were treated by the authorities. In my opinion the tactics of the CRS are extremely heavy-handed and they frequently escalate benign situations unnecessarily to the point where the use of force is able to be legitimised.”

It is highly likely that the camp will one day be completely dismantled suggesting the possibility of repeated eviction processes. Highlighting the violent nature of these evictions is, therefore, an important part of the campaign to secure the rights and freedoms of the refugees living in Calais. The camp is under the near constant guard of the heavily armed French riot police – the CRS – who carry batons, rubber bullets and tear gas grenade launchers as well as keeping a water canon on standby.

“When Megan showed us her photographs and told us her story, we immediately recognised the potential for this exhibition to play a pivotal role in achieving aims of Refugee Week Wales 2016.” – Lindsay Wright – Refugee Week Wales Co-ordinator


Refugee Week celebrations at the Wales Millennium Centre

Join the WMC as they present work as part Refugee Week Wales, exploring the challenging and moving stories of migration and resilience in a rapidly changing world. The Centre has been working with Oasis Cardiff, WOW Women’s Film Club, Louise Osborn, young and aspiring performers, community volunteers and Music Without Borders Cardiff to bring together a collection of projects and showcases free for you to get involved in.

The Refugee Wales exhibition will be on throughout June and our film event and must see Weston Studio performance of Blackbird, will take place across the Refugee Week weekend of 25 and 26 June.

Refugee Week at the Wales Millennium Centre


More info: Welsh Refugee Council – Facebook  /  Cardiff City of Sanctuary

And don’t forget to vote in the EU referendum on Thursday (the right answer is ‘Remain in Europe’, in case you weren’t sure).


We Are Cardiff

There is love here

Monet's San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk
Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk

A brave, compassionate, intelligent woman was murdered for her beliefs yesterday. She spent her life fighting for change through democratic, peaceful debate – not violence.

We give a shit about the same issues that Jo Cox gave a shit about. Maybe this is part of why her assassination, which happened only 200 miles away from us, feels like a very personal attack on our country’s belief that change comes through discussion, not war.

But our democracy is more fragile than we think. When someone can end democratic discussion in such a simple and brutal way, the fundamentals of our world start to change. In the words of the Guardian, “the slide from civilisation to barbarism is shorter than we might like to imagine.”

Jo’s husband said that she would want people to “unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.” So today, in respect to a woman who had a go at the Russian ambassador over the terrible way his country behaved in Syria, we are going to spread some love to our 40,000 followers to try and counter the viciousness that’s gestated in recent debates.

Some of it’s political, some of it isn’t. But we believe in pluralism – that different political, religious and cultural beliefs can exist peacefully side by side.

We also believe that while things are a mess right now, the good outweighs the bad:

Refugees are being welcomed into our city

Millions of people are fleeing their home countries because of war and crisis, and our city is doing what it can to welcome them in beautiful and creative ways. Next week is Refugee Week, so there’s lots of stuff going on.

Writer and refugee Eric Ngalle Charles has written a book about what it means to be a refugee – caught between two worlds and condemned by both. He came to Cardiff on a Zimbabwean passport after fleeing persecution in his village and being illegally trafficked into Russia. The book, Asylum, features several refugees he has met through the creative writing classes he runs at the Welsh Refugee Centre in Splott.

Oxfam are running a campaign for people to write letters of welcome to newly-arrived refugees. You can write a long letter or a short note and post it in one of the special Nation of Sanctuary post boxes at any of 23 Oxfam shops across Wales. Or if you prefer you can write a welcoming email, and send it to oxfamcymru@oxfam.org.uk. To find your nearest Oxfam shops visit: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/local-shops

An exhibition of photos by Megan Howell opened yesterday. Through photographs taken in the Jungle refugee camp over a three-month period in early 2016, it explores the nature of the State, the role of violence and the characteristics of being a refugee in Calais. The exhibition runs until Sat. 25th June. There will be a special event talk on Sunday 19th June 3-5pm in the gallery cafe to discuss the nature of conflict, as well life in the camp by people who have witnessed it first hand.

And G39 and Trinity Centre are coming together to present an event focussing on creative use of texts as part of Refugee Week.  

The Oasis Centre support refugees and asylum seekers every day, providing classes, employability workshops, dance classes, a women’s only area, mother and toddler groups and support with letters and phone calls about asylum and refugee issues.

But there are still issues with the Welsh response to the refugee crisis.  While every council has committed to resettled refugees, only 78 have been welcomed so far. The fair proportion of the UK number would be 724. Get active and push for change if you believe that’s what is right.

Our politicians want to make our lives better

Yep, some of them are awful, some are odd, or detached, or thoughtless. But from personal, daily experience, the vast majority do the job because they want to make people’s lives better. The success of this relies on the engagement of the people they represent to push them on the issues that matter.

So, find out which politicians speak on the issues you care about, know how to tell them your thoughts, and get engaged. Democracy is our best tool against violence because we all have equal influence. If you’re angry and passionate, push for change through this peaceful process.

In Wales, we have elected representatives at multiple levels. Different representatives are responsible for deciding on particular issues.

For example, if you are concerned about the number of refugees that the UK is committing to resettle, you need to talk to your MP. But if you want to find out about how our hospitals are being run, follow what’s going on in the National Assembly for Wales. For local issues like potholes, the council is responsible. Our MEPs are elected by us to make decisions on EU law and funding like the money that gets spent on programmes and buildings in Cardiff.

You can contact your councillors, Assembly Members, Members of Parliament and the Lords, and Members of the European Parliament through the brilliant writetothem.com website.

You can even start a petition to the UK Parliament or National Assembly for Wales and get your voice heard that way.

Good people are doing good things for people in crisis

Earlier this week, I visited the Trussell Trust at their food bank in Barry. They provide emergency food for people with nowhere else to turn, and they do it without judgment, prejudice or conditionality.

Last year they provided food to 85,000 people in Wales. There are 19 food banks around Cardiff , where people donate food, which volunteers sort, store and then distribute it when someone is referred to them by a professional.

Food banks don’t just provide food though – they also providing a range of new services like money advice and Fuel Banks, helping people to break the cycle of poverty.

These incredible organisations are supporting people in our own communities who don’t have a safety net. They do it for free, and with love.

We celebrate magical, mischievous, creative people like Roald Dahl

Cardiff will soon be transformed for the centenary of one of its most well-known sons, Roald Dahl. As well as being one of our best storytellers, Dahl repeatedly experienced tragedy and pain during his life. He saw the pointlessness of violence and war and chose to use his voice to lighten the world, instead of darkening it.

He was also outspoken and political; he refused an honour from the Queen and spoke about the absurdity of the diplomatic service (he famously said “I’d just come from the war. People were getting killed. I had been flying around, seeing horrible things. Now, almost instantly, I found myself in the middle of a pre-war cocktail party in America”).

In September, the city will be taken over and transformed into a place where the laws of physics and civic predictability give way to the laws of magic, mischief and the unexpected.

Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre Wales are calling out to the people of Cardiff, Wales and Britain to take part. 

They’re seeking 6000 performers for this landmark celebration, needing 2,000 choristers, 1,000 dancers, 50 Morris Minor drivers, 40 bald men, 13 magicians, four brass bands, three excavator drivers, a Spitfire pilot, firemen, circus artists, aerialists, rock climbers, grandparents, children and a performing mouse.

To take part in this two-day spectacular, visit www.cityoftheunexpected.wales and register your interest.

Our city takes pride in its jumble of different people

Following the barbarism of the events in Orlando, our city stood with pride of our LBTG community. We’re proud that our city crossed political, cultural and religious lines to condemn a brutal act.  And in April our city stood up to say that terrorism can’t divide people after recent attacks. We stand with pride to remember our wars. And we marched with pride to welcome refugees to our city.

People of Cardiff are proud to stand up for what they believe, because there is love here.

See? There is so much more love than hate. So much more to celebrate than mourn. “So much more that unites us than divides us.”

Big love from Hana and Helia, the We Are Cardiff Joy Monkeys xxx

PS. The featured image for this post is Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk, which hangs in the National Museum Wales – isn’t it beautiful?

6 reasons why Cardiff needs the EU

We don’t get political very often over here at We Are Cardiff. But with the total fucking omnishambles of the latest EU debates, and all the misinformation being bandied around by the big media outlets, we thought we’d stick our oar in.

Some people think that the UK would have more money if we left the EU. But we think that financial support and opportunities available to people in Cardiff as a result of being in EU (some direct but many indirect) is a net benefit to the city by miles.

When you’re deciding how to vote on 23 June, bear some things in mind:

  • Some programmes are funded by the EU but badly managed/delivered by the UK government, Welsh government or local councils – don’t blame the EU for a local political issue;
  • Recent research has estimated that Wales’ net benefit from the EU budget is around £79 per head;
  • Wales doesn’t fully exploit the opportunities available to it through the EU – the conclusion of an Assembly committee inquiry – there’s so much more to gain;
  • Don’t underestimate the value of the EU to your everyday life; just because there isn’t an EU logo on it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t contributed in some way;
  • It’s massive, it’s complex and it has flaws – but spend some time considering whether it’s worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater before you vote to leave, or not to vote at all.

To help you decide, we thought that we’d try and illustrate how Cardiff as a city has benefitted from the EU through some specific examples, from life-saving cancer research to job creation, and from arts funding to regeneration:

  1. Our arts scene is more vibrant

Chapter Arts Centre is one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic arts centres. And it couldn’t offer everything it does without EU funding. It gets regular funding  from the EU for its activities, specific cultural funding for dance, it’s a member of the EU-supported Europa cinemas network.

The incredible Welsh TV drama Hinterland/Y Gwyll wouldn’t have been made without EU funding. Fiction Factory Films, based in Cardiff Bay, received development funding of €45,000 during script development, and then €500,000 under the television broadcast scheme for the production of the first series.

  1. The learning and work opportunities available to people in Cardiff are broader

Jobs Growth Wales was funded with £25million of EU money, and helped create nearly 2,500 jobs in Cardiff.  And 2,130 people from Cardiff have benefited from an EU-funded apprenticeship.

The ERASMUS+ exchange programme allows students and staff of Cardiff universities to study at European universities. It’s a fantastic opportunity that helps students improve their chances of employment. Over 300 Cardiff University students went on ERASMUS exchange in 2013-14.

Projects such as the 20 Twenty Leadership Programme (sponsored by Cardiff Met) helped leaders of small and medium sized businesses improve productivity, adaptability and diversity. The gender equality organization Chwarae Teg has been supporting women to advance their careers in Cardiff with the help of EU funds for years.

  1. Our research and innovation are world-leading and saves lives

 Cardiff University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre was opened by the Queen last week. It has been called the “most significant advance in brain imaging in Europe in the last 10 years”.

The Maindy Park building brings together four hi-tech scanners under one roof. One of them, described as the “Hubble space telescope of neuroscience”, and is the first outside the United States. The centre is the biggest of its kind in Europe and one of the best equipped in the world. The £44 million facility received £4.5million of its funding from the EU.

Through the EU’s Horizon 2020 support, TrakCel Ltd in Cardiff is working with international partners to develop cell therapy technology that could change the way cancer is treated. It received £315,000 from the EU.

 Cardiff Metropolitan University has seen a significant increase in bidding activity for European funding, which supports world-leading research and development in design, advanced materials and sustainability. 

  1. Our tourism is boosted, and our environment is protected

The Wales Coastal Path – a 870 mile footpath that runs through Cardiff and around the whole of Wales-  was supported by £3.9 million of EU funds over three years. We are the first country in the world to provide such a path, and the Lonely Planet voted our coastline the best on earth.

EU funds help our city to reduce dependency on fossil fuel. Research and development into low carbon energy by the Low Carbon Research Institute, made up of Welsh universities (including Cardiff), has been funded by various EU schemes.

The National Cycle Network in Wales has received EU funding to bring new routes to people in Cardiff. 1,200 wonderful miles of the Network carried 29 million walking and cycling trips in 2011 alone.

  1. Our businesses are growing

The European Investment Bank recently confirmed £110 million of funding for the Cardiff Energy Recovery Facility. The ERF treats waste from local authorities and local businesses and diverts at least 95% of non-recyclable waste in South Wales away from landfill and generates 30MW of electricity for the national grid, enough to power around 50,000 households.

Other Cardiff companies such as Cleartech Live and Net Consulting also received funding through Finance Wales from the EU.

The Centre of Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services (CEMAS) at the University of South Wales EU funds. It supported small and medium sized businesses by helping them to develop, test and find a route to market for their mobile application products.

The Wales Co-operative Centre is not-for-profit co-operative development agency, which received nearly £1million of EU funds in 2014 to support social enterprises. Our project the We Are Cardiff Press received advice and support from the Centre to establish a non-profit publishing house to showcase writing and art in Cardiff.

  1. Our poorest communities are supported and regenerated

 The Butetown Regneration Scheme received £2 million of EU funds. It provided: a youth centre on Dumballs Road, a new Community Centre on the site of the existing centre on Canal Park, Butetown Employment and Training Centre (BEST), improvements to the Christina Street area and Better Buildings For Butetown Grant Scheme.

Cardiff Council’s EU-funded NOVUS scheme has helped over 700 unemployed people, particularly parents, back into work or learning. New programmes such as Comunities4Work, Parents, Childcare and Employment (PACE) and Healthy Working Wales have all had funding approved, and will help people in Cardiff get jobs, more money and better skills.


Not mentioned here are the rights of workers, the number of skilled EU citizens that we rely on in our hospitals (and everywhere else), the increased opportunities for trade,  safety and peace, travel, equality and non-discrimination, political clout around the world……

Jeez, that’s a whole other article.

Get engaged, people of Cardiff! You have the chance to vote on the most important political and economic decision of our lifetime – make it count, be informed.


*** We’ve tried our very best to research this piece in depth but if you spot any errors, or you want to argue with our assertions, just write a comment below.
As always, we are open to reasonable debate, just don’t be a dick and shout at us without basis. ***

Green Man 2016 – line up frenzy!

Belle and Sebastian? Laura Marling??

To be honest, you had me at White Denim.

Green Man 2016 line up poster

YES it’s coming round to that time again … and it’s nearly time for Green Man, one of THE BEST FESTIVALS IN THE WORLD!

That’s just our two cents. To get an idea of the joys of Green Man, watch our videos from 2015:

We reviewed the festival in 2014 and profiled festival goers in 2014 (We Are Green Man 2014) and 2015 (We Are Green Man 2015).

Green Man Festival sitewearegreenman2015_ - 15 wearegreenman2015_ - 12

If you’re going to the festival, we highly recommend booking yourself into one of the hot tubs. It’s a really lovely way to spend a couple of hours! See Green Man Nature Nurture for more details.

Buy Green Man tickets NOW NOW NOW