Category Archives: We Are Cardiff Productions

We Are Cardiff needs you!

HNY kids!

Have you ever fancied contributing to We Are Cardiff? Well, luckily, we’re always looking for fresh talentz to join the crew. AND WE HAVE FUNDING TO HELP DEVELOP SOME TRAINEES!

You may have been reading and enjoying We Are Cardiff for some time now. Maybe you also follow us on Twitter (where @hana_j87 curates the hell out of the Cardiff internet), or are a fan of ours on Facebook (where you can see a specially curated selection of Cardiff events that we recommend on our page). You might also follow us on Instagram, where the USW photojournalists document what’s happening around the city for you.

You’re almost definitely reading the website (otherwise how would you be reading this, other than osmosis, perhaps?) – and it’s the website we’re after some help for!

There are two ways you can get involved:

1 – as a volunteer writer / photographer / film maker. This is perfect for people interested in doing some documentary-type stuff about the city across multiple formats. You might be a student, or graduate, or just interested in contributing to our mission of covering alternative culture and life in the city.

2 – WE ARE LOOKING FOR TRAINEES! With big thanks to UnLtd, we have some funding to train and develop people who are interested in entering the fields of media, film, journalism, communications (any type of creative content-making industry) but who might not have had the chance to do any training. If you want to gain expertise or experience but have faced barriers (maybe the cost of training or education), this scheme is here to help you. Also this training is PAID, as you’ll be learning “on the job”. You’ll be creating content for the website, and learning as you go.

This trainee scheme is designed to help minorities. And by that, we’re talking about people who don’t see themselves represented in the media. You might be from a lower income household and be done with narratives or news stories that never address your issues. You might have mental health problems and feel like you never see or read things that really get get to the heart of the issue. You might be a Middle Eastern woman who never sees any other Middle Eastern people on TV unless they’re playing terrorists in films. You might be LGBTQ+, you might be over 60, or under 18. And on, and on, and on.

If you’re interested in applying for the trainee scheme, please email with “Trainee scheme” as the subject header, and give us a couple of paragraphs on why we should give you a go.

As mentioned above, this trainee scheme is limited to people from minority communities who feel their stories aren’t represented adequately in the media. We want to try and address this imbalance by developing skills and experience.

But we’re not limiting what we mean by “minority community”, by the way – the idea is for you to tell us how you don’t feel your community is represented, and to let us know about the sort of stories you want to tell.

Word to your bad selves. Please share this far and wide, we’d like as many people as possible to nominate themselves!

Peas and love and HNY once again!

The We Are Cardiff monkeys


Green Man’s 15th birthday bash – our highlights video!

Well, it was one to remember! Possibly the strongest line up of any Green Man so far … plus more art, performance, fun times and pints of Growler than any Green Man before!

We’re prepping our We Are Green Man festival goer portraits, but for the time being, hopefully this will tide you over …

Early bird tickets for next year are out soon – make sure you do the thing and follow the lovely Green Man Festival in all the usual places …



We Are Green Man Are You Green Man?

Okay, so if you haven’t got your tickets yet, you’re probably not going  … (although a quick look on the Green Man Facebook page tells me there are still some folk selling theirs! BE QUICK! SEIZE THE DAY!) …

BUT ANYWAY, We Are Cardiff are off to the magnificent Green Man again, carrying out our We Are Green Man project! We’ll be doing our usual festival coverage bonanza, with We Are Green Man festival go-er portraits and general vibing around the site!

Make sure you follow us @WeAreCardiff on Instagram for all the shenanigans. We be IGstorying that shizbaht. Yeah, I said it.

Our stuff from previous years …

If you see us around, come say hi!

This is who you’re looking for …



And Kirsten!

See you all on the dancefloor (Jon Hopkins and Daniel Avery After Dark Saturday night, amirite???)



Little Guide to Cardiff 2017 – update

So, we thought you’d all be able to access the Little Guide to Cardiff that we stuck up on Scribd, but it seems that they want to make everyone pay to join it now … cheeky!

So we’ve abandoned ship and stuck it up on Issuu instead. Inside you’ll find our guide to our favourite major attractions, shopping, arts and culture, pubs bars and clubs, and family friendly things to do in Cardiff.

Read on!

little guide to cardiff cover

We Are Cardiff presents: The Little Guide To Cardiff 2017

We Are Cardiff: our most popular posts of 2016

Hey you guys. So I meant to do this post an actual month ago, but the last six months have just taken it all out of me. Let’s not dwell on crazy world events that we have seemingly no control over though, right? Have a flick through this lovely list for some of our favourite stories of 2016.

Things an English person learns on moving to Wales

The wonderful Ellie Philpotts ruminates on rugby, lushness, the warm Welsh welcome, and why we gotta stick a dragon on everything.

welsh dragon

The history of Tyndall Street – and the lost community of Newtown, Little Ireland

Newtown (or “Little Ireland”) sprung up in the early 1830s to house the multitudes of Irish immigrants who had come over to work on the docks. When the estate was demolished in the 1970s, the inhabitants were scattered across the city.


Should I move to Cardiff?

Yes. Yes you should.

Big wheel in Cardiff Bay

The winner of Cardiff’s worst cycle path …

It has since been resurfaced! A tiny win, in the face of global doom.


Running real fast … Cardiff Half Marathon 2016

A photo-essay on the best costumes of this year’s race.


Attention cheese lovers … Penylan Pantry to open Cheese Pantry

The Pantry opens its second location, turning Cardiff Indoor Market into a foodie destination.


Wales: a good place for tribes to thrive

Talking music, entrepreneurship and everything in between with local legend Lucy Squire.


Exploring Cardiff’s Printhaus

Ben Newman heads down to Cardiff’s Printhaus to explore the alternative arts scene.


A guide to Creative Cardiff

We joined forces with I Loves The Diff to put together a city guide for the lovely Creative Cardiff project. Co-working, education, coffee shops, architecture – we cover it all!




We Are Cardiff: Blogging talk / workshop at USW

You guys! Okay so it’s super last minute but our founder/self facilitating media node Helia Phoenix is giving a talk/workshop tomorrow at the University of South Wales.

It’s part of the BA Music Business course but she’ll be talking about using digital platforms for various things – social media / blogging / marketing / storytelling / content production, as well as discussing the current landscape re traditional news and media …

There’s a lot to fit in. Not gonna lie. Plus a lunch break. But we’ll get it done!



“We Are Cardiff’s mission to create and share interesting stories about culture, arts and people took them on wondrous journey that has resulted in 50k followers, a published book and prestigious awards. Hear how strategic digital marketing played a crucial role in the blogs success, straight from the horse’s mouth.”


That is all.




You are invited to: A 90s Supper Club

We Are Cardiff is partnering with The Dead Canary and Penylan Pantry to bring you a 90s Supper Club right in the heart of the city!

90s Supper Club
On Thursday 27 October, we will be celebrating all things nineties! You’ll be enjoying delicious grub from Penylan Pantry: three courses created by the girls from the Pantry, using seasonal and local produce to create a special menu for your night.

As well as being your glamorous host venue,The Dead Canary will be creating some killer cocktails with a 90s vibe.

And as for us? We’re bringing the noise, of course – spinning some classics and taking you on a nostalgic musical journey, reliving the best the decade had to offer. TUUUUUUNE!!

Thursday 27th October 8-11pm (the venue will be open until the wee small hours, so no need to run away!). Thursday is the new Friday, (remember)

Tickets are £30.00 pp – your tickets includes all food, a welcome drink, those banging tunes and booking fee.

Buy tickets

If you wanna dress for the occasion, we encourage it! Check out our 90s Pinterest board for some inspiration



Should I move to Cardiff?

UPDATED! As this piece is one of our most read, we’ll keep updating the main details, costs and facts. Last updated – January 2020.

I got an email recently from someone who had recently discovered the blog. I’ll call her Bethan. She sent in this very lovely email:

Over the past five or so years have fallen in love with Cardiff on my trips to visit. Following a trip this weekend I found your blog on my way back to London.

I’ve lived in London for the best part of the decade and am getting fed up with no money and a rubbish quality of life. Apologies for the slightly random email but I just wondered if you thought someone Londonified but loves Cardiff would be happy if they moved there? Or any challenges or tips you have?

My gut instinct is that I’d be very happy there as there’s so much on offer but in a much more friendly and welcoming place where you’re not bankrupted when you leave the house! Any thoughts etc would be greatly appreciated

Are you feeling like Bethan? Struggling in London, underpaid, bummed out, in need of fresh air, cheaper pints, in a city you can walk across? Then why not consider a move to Cardiff.

Here’s what I sent back to her.

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Hi Bethan!

If you’re getting fed up with being broke and having a rubbish quality of life, then I highly recommend Cardiff to you. I mean, I don’t know anything about you really, other than you have a friend in Caerphilly and you live in London, but I’m presuming you have a job you don’t mind much about leaving, and that you’re into the sort of thing we write about on We Are Cardiff, so that’s mostly what I’ve based this answer on.


I’m going to run through some reasons why Cardiff is awesome now. Also if you don’t believe me, there are STATS to support this, like the fact that the population of the city is currently growing at a faster rate than any UK city. People are moving here. Our secret is getting out!


Cardiff has a cheap cost of living for a capital city. It’s much easier to get by on a low salary here than somewhere in London – there are lots of house shares (particularly in Roath, Splott and Canton) where you can find a double room in a beautiful old Victorian terrace (very common type of Cardiff house) with like-minded people from £300 a month to £800 a month (including bills). I did a quick search on SpareRoom using the CF24 postcode (which covers Roath – a popular, artsy location near the university and close to town) just to sense check my figures and as you can see from this Cardiff room search on SpareRoom, there are loads of options within that price range.

There was a survey published recently that gave some actual figures which back up my abstract wafflings (I’ve included it in the links below – NOTE THESE FIGURES ARE FROM 2016, I AM SEARCHING FOR UPDATED ONES!)

  • Average weekly household spend of £384.60 compared to a UK average of £426.30;
  • Disposable income per head stands at £16,520, which is below the UK average of £17,559 but up 3 per cent on 2014 levels;
  • House prices are 6.6 times the value of salaries compared to a UK average of 8.8.

So! There you go on the stats. That’s enough of that.

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Well, I suppose it all depends on what you mean by quality of life, but going back to stats again, Cardiff achieved a life satisfaction score of 7.53 out of 10 (ONS data). From a completely subjective position, what that means for me is the following things (which you will see reflected throughout the We Are Cardiff content!):

  • varied nightlife (a whole bunch of pubs, clubs, bars, pop-up restaurants etc)
  • lots of artsy stuff going on (we’ve got the Welsh National Opera here, NoFit State Circus are based here, we have touring musicals and theatre on a weekly basis, there are loads of smaller scale cabaret type events all the time, circus skills workshops, hula hoop classes, open mics, writer’s groups, art exhibitions).
  • farmers markets, community gardens, a growing sustainability / green interest community
  • LOADS OF GREEN SPACES, like EVERYWHERE. The centre of town pivots around the castle and behind it, the endless green swathes of Bute Park. Nearly every neighbourhood has some super lovely park nearby
  • it’s 20-30 minutes drive to the gorgeous Brecon Beacons (MOUNTAINS!!!)
  • it’s zero minutes drive to the coast (WE ARE ON THE COAST!!!!)
  • there are castles everywhere (castle fact: Wales is actually the country in the world with the most castles – built and ruined)
  • if you like running, we have an awesome Park Run around Bute Park and Grangemoor Parks on the weekend
  • if you like cycling, the Taf Trail runs all the way from Cardiff to the source of the river Taf up in Merthyr Tydfil – you can take your bike up there on the train and cycle all the way back, stopping in pubs on the way, it is THE BEST
  • it’s very small so easy to get around on foot and bike
  • also because it’s small it’s to find  things you’re interested in and meet people / get involved in things
  • also because it’s small you bump into your friends! all the time! it’s lovely!
  • Bristol is only an hour on the train – loads of gigs and great nightlife going on there
  • if you like roller derby, we have one of the top women’s teams (go Tiger Bay Brawlers!)
  • I am in no way into sports (like, not at all) but we have LOADS of massive sports events here. I should really appreciate this more.

I don’t think this would be a reasonable email if I didn’t also tell you about some of the drawbacks of living here.

  • the smallness can be stifling for some people. I haven’t really experienced this, I think if you grow up here it’s more of a thing than if you move here from somewhere else (I have been informed by locally born and raised friends that on Tinder that you can run out of people to swipe right!)
  • we often get overlooked for gigs because Bristol is just an easier option, especially if bands are continuing north or the other way on to London. However, Bristol is easily visited in an evening (see above).
  • you might suddenly develop massive smugness at how much better your life is here and become unbearable to all your other friends. this is normal and hopefully should die down at some point (!)

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There have been countless reports and surveys released over the past year or so that frequently name Cardiff as the best city to live in (or one of) in Europe. I’ve included below a list of the most recent ones that might be of interest to you:

I’m not sure how much of We Are Cardiff you’ve looked through (there are, I just realised, over 700 posts on there now!!) but there are a couple of people who have written pen portraits of themselves and have similar pasts to you (ie they’ve come from other places and now live in Cardiff)



Now then – this next story is actually completely the other way round – it’s written by a guy who is from Cardiff but moved to London during the ‘bleak’ 90s, but then came across We Are Cardiff and wrote a blog post about it based on what he remembered of Cardiff as a youngster and his feelings about it now, and also a bit about his current life in London. I thought it was really fascinating reading and beautifully written which is why I posted about it:James – ‘It’s where you’re between’

Generally speaking to get what ‘the people’ are saying about Cardiff, flick through the ‘People‘ section on the website. Also I’d like to say I don’t edit anything for content – people are free to write what they want, I don’t in anyway force them to be positive about Cardiff, and again for balance I’ll point you to Lee’s post.

I have lived in loads of different places, but love Cardiff to pieces. It’s really friendly, there’s plenty of variety of nights out and places to eat and communities to join and things to do – if you’re into the alternative vibe, you’ll find lots of that here.

Also I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. It was set up a few years back as a response to the mass of negative news reports we were seeing about Cardiff in the mass media (this was around 2010). Back then it was mostly pen portraits about Cardiff written by people that we knew – today obviously it’s a very different thing, but the aim of the blog is to showcase the variety of amazing things that go on here, and still interview people involved in the local scene. So it’s fabulous that you found it, and I’m pleased it’s making you consider a change!

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If you want to add your comments to anyone thinking about moving to Cardiff, please do so below!

All photos in this article by Doug Nicholls

We Are Cardiff: Guest Lecture for ICMP Cardiff

Since launching, Cardiff’s Institute of Contemporary Performance has had a series of guest speakers in to talk to students about a variety of things. And next Wednesday, We Are Cardiff blog boss Helia Phoenix (hi, that’s actually me, writing this in the third person like some sort of a) total boss b) raving lunatic c) symptomatic personality disorder) is giving a guest lecture about “strategic digital marketing” and the role it has played in creating the local media behemoth that is WE ARE CARDIFF!


(me, arsing around under a flyover, photo credit Simon Ayre)

Oh, didn’t you realise this was a behemoth? Well, I’m not sure it’s one either, but I couldn’t think of anything better to call it (suggestions welcome, keep it clean please).

I don’t really blog personally much anymore – doing We Are Cardiff in my spare time doesn’t leave me with much writing capability, and whatever is leftover from that has been spent writing a novel for the past year or so. But I wrote my own We Are Cardiff post a few years back and I do have a personal/professional website which I used more when I used to freelance a lot. I don’t freelance much anymore (there aren’t enough hours in the day!), but there’s more info about what I’ve done on there.

I’ve never given a guest lecture before, though I do enjoy talking (as per my friend Elf’s comment “well done, big mouth” on Facebook when I posted the event on there, ta mate) so I’m sure we’ll be fine. You can expect some or all of the following, depending on how I’m feeling:

  • a potted history of We Are Cardiff
  • partnerships and working collaboratively (finding friends, avoiding a-holes)
  • useful websites / third party apps / functions you can use to make blogging a billion times easier (low cost or free)
  • useful equipment / tech (again, low cost or free)
  • digital content production and promotion in Today’s Digital Media Landscape (what can you do to make your brand/band/label/whatever stand out, etc).

My background is mainly in music journalism so I’ll talk a bit about that probably, I might start talking about Kruger Magazine or Catapult Records and start tearing up (someone bring the Kleenex please). (Also I just noticed that James Maclaren wrote that Kruger piece. Double Kleenex.)

Anyway …

The guest lecture is on Eventbrite and is open to the public. Plus it’s free! Here’s what they say…

Wednesday April 13: 1pm – 3.30pm, Guest Lecture Helia Phoenix (We Are Cardiff)

“We Are Cardiff’s mission to create & share interesting stories about culture, arts & people took them on wondrous journey that has resulted in 40k followers, a published book & prestigious awards. Hear how strategic digital marketing played a crucial role in the blog’s success, straight from the horse’s mouth”.


Helia x


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We Are Cardiff DJs will be playing Mary Bijou’s Bad Romance Social! Sat 13 Feb – get your tickets now!

We are VERY excited to announce that the We Are Cardiff DJs will be hopping on the decks (possibly literally) at the fabulous Mary Bijou Cabaret’s Bad Romance Social!mary bijou bad romance social

Taking place on Saturday 13 Feb at NoFit State Circus’ new home, Four Elms (on Newport Road), celebrate car-crash love affairs, the St. Valentine’s apocalypse, turn-ons, turn-offs and turn-downs. Expect a twist on our usual cabaret in this debauched night of dj’s, fabulous characters, peepshow performances and dancing.

Do not expect your traditional Valentine’s ball.

Mary Bijou are fundraising for their new creation, coming to the WMC Halloween 2016.

For the full VIP treatment bring cash! There will be a cash bar to drink away your sorrows. A bulging pocket of pound coins will get you sweet nothings, and happy endings…..

All early bird tickets have SOLD OUT now, but there are still a few mid-tier price tickets left.


mary bijou bad romance social - tightrope mary bijou bad romance social - vogueing

Don’t miss out – this will be a wonderful night with a crazy twist on your usual cabaret – plenty of performances, vogueing on the dance floor, and the We Are Cardiff DJs providing the ‘Get Bent: Anti-Wedding Disco’ as the finale!

This is The Lovely Phoenix. You’d trust her to pick the tunes for your night out, right?

the lovely helia phoenix dj

See you on the dance floor!

Mary Bijou Cabaret Bad Romance Social (13 Feb, Four Elms, Newport Road) Facebook event


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We’ve been nominated for blogger of the year and Creative Industry award! Vote for us (please)!

HELLO! And a very happy Black Friday / Saturday / Sunday weekend!

So we just found out that We Are Cardiff has been nominated for Blogger of the Year at the Cardiff Regional Awards AND We Are Cardiff Press has been nominated for the Creative Industry Award!

It’s very flattering to have been nominated, and these awards are decided by PUBLIC VOTE! (our favourite kind of vote). So if you’ve got a second, we’d be awfully grateful if you could pop over to the Regional Awards to vote for We Are Cardiff in the Best Blogger category AND THEN vote for We Are Cardiff Press in the Creative Industry Award!

And get all your friends to do it! And your family! It’s good karma, see. Voting ends on New Year’s Eve 2015!

Peas, rice, and all the love this side of the Severn Bore,


PS. Wanna see something cool? Check out this photo of Glamorganshire Canal, running through the city. This is approximately the location Mill Lane today. I KNOW. Crazy, right??




The 42b book launch party!

So, last night, we had a launch party for the first book to be released on the We Are Cardiff Press: The 42b!

The party was held at one of our favourite Cardiff drinking haunts, Porter’s, and we would like to thank our acts (Winter Coat and Waves of Newport), as well as Sam Bees and Rachael Helena Walsh for doing readings, AND Ernie Sparkles Hoop Troupe who brought some glitter and dazzle to the evening!

We Are Cardiff Press Book Boss Hana addressing the crowd …

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

Shots from around the party

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

We Are Cardiff present its first book, Porter pub thursday 5 november 2015, an evening through readings, live music and the most creative mind within the Welsh capital through an art joruney into the heart of creative cardiff.
We Are Cardiff present its first book, Porter pub thursday 5 november 2015, an evening through readings, live music and the most creative mind within the Welsh capital through an art joruney into the heart of creative cardiff.

We Are Cardiff present its first book, Porter pub thursday 5 november 2015, an evening through readings, live music and the most creative mind within the Welsh capital through an art joruney into the heart of creative cardiff.

Waves of Newport – this was their first gig after ten years of playing together!

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

This was Winter Coat – they have an EP out now!

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party   We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party


We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party


We Are Cardiff Press 42b launch party

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

Thanks to everyone who came along. You can also buy the book from the We Are Cardiff Press site, OR come along to The Boneyard where we have our office (look for the orange container!) tomorrow (Saturday 7 November) where we’re having an OPEN HOUSE! We do Open Houses on the first Saturday of every month, between 11am – 2pm (along with our neighbour, The Printhaus!

Open House event Facebook event 7 November

If we didn’t see you last night, see you tomorrow, or on Womanby Street at 2am for some mid-Swn dancing and merriment!


We Are Cardiff and We Are Cardiff Press

Also big thanks to photographers Lorna Cabble and Peppe Iovino for their lovely photos of the night!


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