Street Food Circus 2016: it’s back!!

Omg you guys, it’s back! Following their success with the John Street circus last year, Street Food Circus are bringing their AWARD WINNING show back into town for a six-week run.

The launch weekend is 18 – 21 August, so if you’ve missed out on Green Man tickets because you were TOO SLOW, then console yourself by spending all weekend stuffing your face with delicious food and drink.


SFC is a movable feast of nomadic street food traders, vintage trailers, chefs and mixologists who’ve set up camp in Sophia Gardens Bute park, just minutes from Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Central Train Station. Last year the Street Food Circus won Best Street Food event in the UK! Pretty special.

‘Festivals, warehouses, yards, markets – we’ve done them all over the last five years,’ says Simon Thomas, director of Street Food Circus. ‘This summer we’re excited to bring our infamous collective back together to create an unrivalled dining destination that lives up to our name of Best Street Food event in the UK. Sophia Gardens is perfect location to eat alfresco, set amongst an urban oasis of lush greenery. Our aim is to create communal dining experiences that are big on vibes, deliciously different, and street food that is good enough to tweet. The hashtag is #SFC2016, by the way!”

Street Food Circus is an immersive dining experience like no other; a colourful outdoor food festival and night market. It will be open Thursday to Sunday, from 18 August through to 25 September.

Complete with a circus big top for communal dining, 20 rotating artisan food trucks and themed bars featuring the finest local craft ales and beers, this years event promises to be deliciously different.

Some reminders of what happened last year …

Street Food Circus 2015

This is Simon with Neil (proprietor of Dirty Bird Fried Chicken – you know, with the controversial cock logo?) talking through Cardiff’s cafe, restaurant and bar scene.

New for Street Food Circus in 2016:

  • Three new food zones
  • Milgi sky yurt sit down supper club restaurant (booking essential)
  • Feast Clwb Membership
  • £5 grazing menu
  • Street Food Thursdays

The Farmyard
The Applecart Cider Bar / Slow Pig / Hang Fire Smokehouse / Brulee Bar / The Pork Society / Crofters / La Froga Racalette / Big Fish Little Fish / The Spanish Gourmet / Dusty Knuckle Pizzas / Mr. Croqewhich / Outpost Coffee / Earlybird
Bakery / Ice Green Vegan Ice Cream

Singha Street
The Purple Popadom Tukka Tuk / Bangkok Cafe / Gopals Curry
Shack / Mr Jerk / Little Bao Peep / Patagonia / Bearded Taco / El

The Block
Dirty Bird Fried Chicken / Lolas Wings / Meat & Greek / Cheese
Truck / Science Cream / Pregos Street Food / The Pickled Brisket / Ffwrness Italian Pizza / Got Beef
Instagram @streetfoodcdf
Twitter @streetfoodcdf

Location: Sophia Gardens, Bute Park, Cardiff

Street Food Circus launch – Facebook event 

Times:  Thursday / Friday 6pm 10pm;
Saturday / 2pm 10pm;
Sunday 12pm 6pm.


Cardiff Book Festival / Gŵyl Lyfrau Caerdydd

Seems like 2016 is the inaugural year for many things here in our fair Cardiff. We had our first theatre fringe, and now there’s a crowdfunder open for our first Book Festival!

Loads of cities have Book Festivals, right? So why doesn’t Cardiff have one? Here at We Are Cardiff, we’re very partial to a good yarn – so much so, we published our first book for the We Are Cardiff Press late last year (it’s called The 42b and is a collection of short stories about an unconventional bus route through a dystopian Cardiff), and we’re currently scheming on our second one.

Anyway, back to the book festie … here’s all the official blurb …

Cardiff Book Festival Gŵyl Lyfrau Caerdydd is backed by award-winning writers and leading figures in Welsh public life.

Here’s the background:

This year, the aim is to host a three-day festival aimed at promoting reading, writing and debate to the Welsh capital for the first time this autumn (28-30th October 2016).

It comes in the year the city celebrates the centenary of its most famous literary son, Roald Dahl.

The ambition is to continue to grow every year adding more events and putting the Cardiff Book Festival on the literary map.

Events will include artists like Ifor ap Glyn, the national poet of Wales, award-winning writers including Rachel Trezise and Jonathan Edwards and the investigative journalist, Martin Williams.

Festival organisers are aiming to raise £5,000 via Indiegogo but the more they can raise the more events they can organise at the festival.

As well as helping the festival get off the ground, they’re offering supporters a range of experiences including signed books, a Roald Dahl walking tour with one of our favourite Cardiff writers, Peter Finch, masterclasses with award-winning authors including Rachel Trezise and workshops with publishers and agents on how budding writers can get into print.

They’re promising a diverse and inclusive programme featuring talks and debates from high profile figures on topics ranging from poetry to politics, crime writing to children’s events, fiction to feminism and the Welsh language to walking tours.

Get involved! 

There are a whole bunch of great rewards offered on the Cardiff Book Festival Indiegogo page. (In case you were wondering, we’ve already booked ourselves on the Peter Finch walking tour – they’re good fun and always very interesting).

peter finch



Walking Cardiff’s arcades

Cardiff’s arcades are definitely a hallmark of a city shopping experience. Given the strong concentration of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary arcades in the city centre, Cardiff was known to some as the City of Arcades (this is according to WalesOnline though, so take all the salt you deem necessary with that claim).

Whatever is in the name, Cardiff’s arcades are amongst its finest features. I used to work in a shop in the High Street Arcade back in the early 2000s, and most of my lunch hours were spent wandering the holy trinity of High Street Arcade, Castle Arcade and Indoor Market. People-watching is at a premium in such locations – as too is the architecture, if you remember to look up.

Contributor Rob Khoo stepped out in the arcades recently to furnish us with some classy black and whites.







Rob says: “I had a nice sunny Sunday afternoon with little to do; so a delicious lunch in The Vegetarian Food Studio followed by a wander into town and then up and down the arcades whilst trying not to spend any money. A difficult task when there are so many great independent shops there, managed to get away with it though – just! Great to see so much going on in the Hayes too, Hijinx Theatre were doing a fine job of entertaining the shoppers, and the plant stall was lovely as well.”

If our antique arcades have piqued your interest, there are the following links you might want to visit:
Photographer Amy Davies spent some time a few years back wandering around our arcades and documenting them. The result is this lovely blog: Cardiff Arcades Project. It’s a few years old now but a great resource.
If you’re of an artistic bent, check out Jennie Savage’s Arcades Project: A 3D documentary. It was a series of projects initiated by artist Jennie Savage which took place in Cardiff’s Victorian and Edwardian Arcades between October 2008 and October 2009. Cardiff is known as the city of Arcades because it has the highest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian Shopping arcades in the UK. Between 2008-2009 artist Jennie Savage led an exploration into these spaces, inspired by Walter Benjamin’s Arcades project and constructed in the light of the St David’s 2 Shopping Centre.

Aaaand if you’re just after plain and simple tourist advice, have a look at the Visit Cardiff site.


Tiger Bay Tales: interactive walking trail around Tiger Bay

An interactive walking trail around Tiger Bay launches TODAY! Put together by the Wales Millennium Centre, the Tiger Bay Tales trail is inspired by true stories and accounts from members of the Tiger Bay community.

At its peak, Cardiff Docks was one of the largest dock systems in the world; in 1907, 9 million tonnes of coal were exported. This project will permanently capture the rich, diverse and spirited history of Tiger Bay which lies within a shared ‘square mile’ of Wales Millennium Centre, before living memory is inevitably lost and further capital development changes the dynamic of the area.

The Tiger Bay Tales trail will guide walkers – via an app – around the Bay, with beacons dotted along the route beaming unique audio and visual content about the area to their phone.

The trail forms part of a story gathering initiative to capture and preserve the legends of Butetown and Tiger Bay.

Earlier this year, local residents were invited along to the Tiger Bay Tales pop-up Hub in Mermaid Quay to share their memories of the former Tiger Bay.  These stories have been developed into digital content, accessible via the Tiger Bay Tales app, providing a unique glimpse of Tiger Bay as it once was.

Guided by a map on the app, walkers on the trail will be directed to key landmarks in the area, signposted by blue plaques. On reaching each plaque, a beacon will send digital content to the app, including audio narrated by community figures from Tiger Bay, historic photos and video footage, piecing together a moving narrative about the transformation of Tiger Bay over the years.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Arts and Creative Officer, Jason Camilleri, said: “The beauty of the area known as Tiger Bay is a direct result of the geographical partitions that kept it separate from the rest of the city. It was in this square mile that a truly unique community was able to thrive, enriched by its many visitors from overseas. Often misrepresented to communities outside of its boundaries, one of the oldest multi-cultural communities in the UK, Tiger Bay can arguably lay claim to possessing Cardiff’s most interesting history.  Tiger Bay Tales is a project that aims to shine a light on the real Tiger Bay, concentrating on the true colour and character of the area, through the voices of the fantastic people that made it what it is today.”

The free-to-download app and website goes live TODAY, 19 July.



Make Noise Wales – swap broken electricals for fixed-up electronic beats!

Love ace music? Love recycling? Combine these loves at the launch party for an exciting new venture from Make Noise.


The Make Noise manifesto offers programming cutting edge electronic music events and making entry 100 per cent FREE in exchange for a piece of electrical recycling.

Party-goers just need to bring something to hand over at the door; a broken mobile phone, hairdryer or laptop – anything with a plug or a battery! Since it began, Make Noise has packed out venues all round the UK and recycled tonnes of electronic waste.

To kick start the 2016 tour, Make Noise will take over Cardiff’s Gwdihw on Tuesday 19th July 2016 for a very special and intimate launch event. The evening will feature a special live performance from Heavenly Recordings very own Stealing Sheep plus support from R.Seiliog.

Make Noise started in 2016 and is a unique partnership between ERP (European Recycling Platform) Heavenly Recordings and for this new Welsh chapter, Resource Efficiency Wales


Parti Lawnsio gyda gwesteion arbennig:
Launch Party with very special guests:

Stealing Sheep + R.Seiliog playing live + Heavenly Jukebox and Nyth DJs

Nos Fawrth Gorffennaf 19 – Mynediad am ddim gyda teclyn trydanol i’w ailgylchu!
Tuesday 19th July – Free entry with a piece of electrical recycling!

Cyflwynir gan / Presented by Heavenly Recordings, ERP, Resource Efficiency Wales + Nyth

Gwdihw Cafe Bar
6 Guildford Cres
CF10 2HJ

Make Noise Wales Facebook event


And the winner of Cardiff’s worst cycle path is……

We recently conducted an entirely un-scientific poll to ask our 40,000 followers to choose one bit of cycle path in Cardiff that needs to be repaired.

The overwhelming choice was …. FITZHAMON EMBANKMENT!! This bit of pavement is probably one of the most used paths in the city, but the surface is nearly unrideable to all but mountain bikes. It’s incredibly dangerous to brake on the loose gravel, and the endless deep potholes mean that you have to constantly swerve to avoid pedestrians and holes! The road next to it isn’t much better, and it’s only one-way. In the autumn when the leaves drop, it’s even more dangerous….

So please, Cardiff Council – we know you don’t have much money but please prioritise this bit of cycle path so people aren’t put off cycling in our beautiful city!! 

Second choice was the tiny, inexplicably un-paved bit of path down the Taff near Sophia Gardens:

Another popular choice was the North Road bike path:

Any other suggestions? Let us know below!

Get classical with the Welsh Proms this summer

The 31st season of Wales’ National Classical Music Festival is happening in Cardiff in July! 

Founded by Owain Arwel Hughes CBE, the Welsh Proms takes place in Cardiff’s St David’s Hall.

The festival – which celebrates its 31st season in 2016 – annually features some of the world’s top orchestras, soloists and and additional artists, and continues to be a major focal point in the cultural calendar of the Welsh capital.

The 2016 Welsh Proms Cymru will run from July 16 to 23 and feature the world renowned Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Cory Band & Massed Male Choir, and London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Full details of the 2016 programme of events, all conducted by Welsh Proms Artistic Director Owain Arwel Hughes CBE, are now available here.
July 16th-23rd St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Tickets priced £7.50 – £30.50 can be purchased from St David’s Hall Cardiff, tel: 029 2087 8444
16.7.16 Verdi Requiem with an all Welsh cast – WNO orchestra, 3 Cardiff choirs and
Welsh soloists
19.7.16 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra perform Holst’s The Planets; the world
premiere of a newly commissioned work to commemorate the Battle of the
Somme by Paul Mealor; and For the Fallen by Karl Jenkins.
20.7.16 An evening of favourite classics ending with the 1812 Overture performed by the
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
22.7.16 The Cory Band and two Male Voice Choirs performing choruses and hymns.
23.7.16 The Last Night featuring two world premieres – Aberfan by Chris Wood and Mr
Dahl by Bernard Kane plus Gareth Wood’s Songs of Wales where the audience
joins in the singing and flag waving.

All the concerts are conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes CBE.
Full details on

Spread the news- we have a new good news editor!

We have a new writer and editor over here at We Are Cardiff! The wonderful Cat Johnston is going to be curating our good news, seeking out the goodness in our community and spreading it around like melted Nutella.

10897036_1082703905079654_5102542298178946618_nSo that referendum happened, and the result came out, and a whole lot of reaction came after it. There has been so much hate and anger, from both sides, and we want to change that. Whether people voted leave or remain, whether they regret their decision now or stand by it, is irrelevant compared to that reaction. The media has not helped, with negative and sometimes spiteful and hate-inducing stories dominating our screens. In an age where news stories and peoples’ opinions are so readily available through multiple outlets, whether we want to hear them or not, that negativity can feel overwhelming.

There is so much more good going on in the world though, and right here in Cardiff. We want to claim back that good, we want to claim back nice (a massively underrated word) and we want to share it.

We don’t want to be overwhelmed by the negative: we want to highlight the uplifting, inspiring and heart-warming, and if we can inject a bit of humour in along the way then all the better! Whenever there is something bad in the world, look for the good: it’s always there. Look for the helpers, they are always there but not always seen. Look for the people who are turning the situation into something positive. Look for the love. If you can’t find it, then be that good yourself.

This blog is about us being that change, sick of all the negativity and wanting to focus on the more important things. We want to bring you wonderful, amusing, joyful stories of goodness, niceness and humanity (and sometimes animality!). In our own small way we will be fighting this negativity and hatred, through smiles and togetherness. We are together, We Are Cardiff!

For today, it seems like a good place to start our sharing of good news stories on the positive outcomes people are bringing from this referendum, irrespective of how they voted. The Cardiff for Europe event in town on Tuesday 28th June is a brilliant example of this. This was not a protest at the result: it was a positive celebration of Europe and our togetherness. The event included speakers from a variety of organisations talking about the impact of the referendum and sharing the message of hope not hate. A glance around the crowd that had gathered in The Hayes was inspiring: from the young to the older; fluWP_20160628_18_46_50_Proent Welsh-Speakers to those who felt the need to clap along even though they didn’t understand the language; commuters who had joined on their way home from work, to people who had planned to be there; French, Polish, and no doubt many other nationalities, all listening to messages of positivity, of hope, and of cohesion. All there for a common goal: to celebrate our differences as much as our commonalities.

In true Cardiff style, the rain joined in the party with vigour, but that didn’t deter people. It was like an urban Glastonbury, minus the mud and face paint. There was even a performance from Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals, but the real musical treat was a spontaneous burst of Mae hen wlad fy nhadau by the crowd at the end as people started leaving, proving the Welsh really are all beautiful singers!

The entire event was put on at the last minute by a small group of impassioned people who wanted to do something good and positive and to share that message. We are going to continue to share good news stories like this with you, but also letting you know what you can get involved in Cardiff, to create your own good news. We’ll be keeping this page updated but if you have a story you want to share, or something you’d like us to write about, then let us know.

Before we go though, here’s a lovely uplifting video to give you the serious warm and fuzzies today. Hope it makes you smile and be thankful for all the good people and animals in the world making their tiny corner of it that much brighter. This is, after all, the point of our good news initiative.

El Paso’s Pay it forward – help pay for a meal for the homeless

Political uncertainties got you down? Why not ‘do a good thing’ and donate towards hot meals for homeless people.

The lovely people at El Paso’s Grill on City Road are running a scheme where you can add £3 on to the price of your food to help fund meals for homeless people: El Paso’s Pay It Forwards.

The number of people sleeping rough in Cardiff has more than doubled in the past few years. Cardiff charity The Wallich reported there were 31 people sleeping rough this April, compared to 12 people per month in 2013.

El Paso’s are currently providing 10-15 meals a night to the homeless. They say there has been a huge response to their project, and all those that have benefited have been very thankful.

They are now reaching out to the wider public to help support them in ensuring everyone has at least one hot meal a day.

Please consider donating to their GoFundMe page, and sharing their campaign on your newsfeeds, and emailing your friends, families and colleagues.

El Paso’s Pay It Forward campaign

El Paso’s Grill on Facebook

Photo by Ben Blyth Photography, from his Behind the Streets project
Photo by Ben Blyth Photography, from his Behind the Streets project

See also: Behind The Streets



The Ageless City

While the news continues to burble on in the background and no one seems to have a clue what to do, we’re pressing on sharing the best of Cardiff’s alternative  culture and arts scene.

Today we want to tell you about a project called The Ageless City: Intergenerational Spaces for Culturally Diverse Neighbourhoods in Europe. It’s an experimental project that brings together young and senior residents of culturally and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in two European cities – Mouraria in Lisbon (Portugal) and Butetown in Cardiff.

The main goal of this intergenerational project is that these different generations reflect on alternative ways to improve the appropriation of urban spaces, social interaction and the preservation of their city’s cultural heritage through humanities-based activities. The project is funded by the European Cultural Foundation, just by the way … so best make the most of this kind of thing while we still can.

Organisers are currently recruiting participants from Butetown aged 10-16 and over 60 years old.

PLEASE head along to see the implementation of the project:

10am – 12pm, 11 – 15 July, at The Cardiff Story museum.

The Ageless City website
The Ageless City on Twitter: @AgelessThe