Cardiff Music Festival 2020
Michael Patrick Hicks previews online musical festival for Louder Than War
How do you keep live music, well, alive in a world ordered to stay at home? Students at the University of South Wales have an answer. An online music festival. Bringing local music to a national lockdown. Cardiff Music Festival (online) 2020 will run from Wednesday, April 29th until Sunday 3rd May. A real-time event of multiple live streams from the students of USW Music & Sound.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and with the unthinkable set of circumstances brought with it – the students had to adapt and work hard to transform, what was originally planned to be a series of live gigs in Cardiff.
Overcoming many technical challenges, the students will be hosting the festival online, featuring genres that are popular in live music events in Cardiff. Opening the festival is indie night, featuring Dyme, Nathan Warnes and The Rotanas. Ben Pottinger is running this night: “The original indie night was going to be held in Tiny Rebel. However, when we decided to go online, we had to rethink the format. Online participation is different to a live event.” A total of six bands will be playing. Recordings have been sent to be compiled and edited to stream on the night. “I have never done anything like this before. At first, I was cautious of making the festival virtual. If we were going to do it, I wanted it to be really good and now I am confident it will be.”
Hip hop follows on Thursday and Friday is metal music – the brainchild of Rosie Graham. “I wanted to promote bands that are more diverse so had booked a female-fronted metal band, as well as some USW bands. But, instead of showcasing three bands live, we are now showcasing a live-streamed DJ set of Welsh metal bands, followed by a metal playlist.” Rosie also wanted originally to put on a live gig in Fuel and raise money for a mental health charity. “We all had to manage the disappointment of not being able to do what we had set out to do.” Interviews with; USW graduate and Grammy nominee, Romesh Dodangoda, Lacertilla and Tidy Records are also on the bill.
Bringing drum ‘n’ bass to your Friday night in are Heater, featuring Clique. Originally scheduled to play in Cardiff’s renowned music venue, Clwb Ifor Bach, they will now be streamed live.
The weekend performances kick off with house music on Saturday featuring various DJs. Lewis Disson is running this night of the festival. “I have been busy organizing the DJs, creating artwork and I will be performing on the night too.” Just like Ben and Rosie, Lewis had to adapt to a changed situation. His initial festival plans were going well – but a fresh approach was needed, “I had to start from scratch and totally rethink the schedule. If anything, though, it has pushed us to be more creative and I like that. It has changed how we think.”
Cardiff Music Festival (online) 2020 is brought to you in partnership with Keep Cardiff Live (KCL) & Dazed. Keep Cardiff Live believe, “keeping music live and present online at this difficult time for musicians and venues is vital to help encourage and sustain our industry. Cardiff has a rich history of live music. Music is important, an incredible force, one that needs a stage, a venue to be experienced as the wonderful, visceral, entertaining medium it is.”
As well as entertaining music fans, the students responsible for the creation of the proceedings – have a lot more riding on it. “This event is part of the students’ final year assessment,” Music & Sound Course Leader, Lloyd George says. He continues: “They have done remarkably well in shifting their programme from live to online, essentially going from promoters to broadcasters.”
The facebook event page for the Cardiff Music Festival 2020 can be found here.