Last night, Daniel Minty and FOR Cardiff revealed the map of 30 live music venues in Cardiff at ceremony at Clwb Ifor Bach on Womanby street.
Between words from Jo Stevens MP, Adrian Field from FOR Cardiff and representatives from Save Womanby Street, we were treated to musical performances from Mike Dennis, Chroma and special guest, Boy Azooga.
An ingenious idea to help spread the word about Cardiff’s music scene at all levels the bilingual maps include 30+ hand-drawn illustrations of live music venues from across the city and Cardiff Bay towards outer-city areas. Including everything from the Wales Millennium Centre and St. David’s Hall to Tramshed and The Gate Arts Centre.
Daniel explained the inspiration behind the map alongside his graphic designer Lewis, last night: “In 2013 I came back to volunteer for Swn festival in Cardiff, something I’ve done for four years since. I volunteered at Dempseys and Cian Ciaran was playing there that night and Rag and Bone man was at Clwb would you believe.Anyway I had this connection with Dempseys. So when Dempsey’s closed it closed a part of my musical childhood in Cardiff. I was gutted, a family had lived there for twelve years then a week before Christmas they were told they had to move because Gareth Bale was opening a new burger bar.Before the Save Womanby street happened, I said ‘we can’t let this happen’. I remember Barfly closing, the Abacus, The Point. And I don’t like it. There are thirty three venues on this map and I don’t think Cardiff has enough venues! Bands like Chroma that are now performing on big stages across this country need these small tiny venues where they can be a bit crap sometimes, play to three people and try these new songs. So my mate Alex is a great storyboarder, so I went to him and said ‘I’m thinking of making a map of Cardiff venues.’
“We’ve had Coldplay here a few weeks ago, we have Blondie here next week, people come from everywhere to see these shows. They need somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat and drink and they needed to get here and it’s all here in the independent sector here in Cardiff. So I thought we’ve got all of these people coming here what if they want to come two days before?I’m going to see Sigur Ros in Iceland in December I’m there for a week, I want to know what’s going on in Iceland. So people want to know what going on and where it is. So I said to Alex could you draw Gwdi Hw, it took him two weeks but he drew it. I said could you draw the Gate? And he took a month. It took him nine and a half months to draw thirty odd venues in Cardiff. So I was like we don’t have any money to put this out, and how are we going to get thirty venues onto a piece of paper? That’s where Lewis my illustrator came in”
“I am a graphic design student a in Bristol. Minty came to me and offered me an opportunity and asked me ‘are you able to do some work for me. He presented me with these beautiful drawings and the challenge was to fit them on a map and show Cardiff off as the amazing place it is. I lived in Cardiff for two years and it was great to work on something with these venues that I knew. I had a blast on this project.”
“David Owens of Wales Online wrote an article in July and put all the venues that we’d drawn out. I realised that this all started kind of in protest to the closure of Dempseys. We needed the money to do it three or four people got in touch. Carolyn from For Cardiff met me in Little man coffee where I showed her the drafts and my plans. It was an incredible process they were there for me throughout the process. I asked them for £5000 to make this happen. They made this happen and are the reason you are here and walking away with a beautiful A4 map in Welsh and English tonight. This time next year I want to do Mintys gig guide in Welsh and English.”
Following the recent success of the Save Womanby Street campaign, it has become more important than ever for FOR Cardiff to celebrate and promote live music in the Welsh capital.
FOR Cardiff’s Executive Director Adrian Field, said: “So far, we have invested nearly £70,000 in Cardiff’s entertainment, live music and arts scene as we feel it’s something that makes Cardiff vibrant and exciting.
“We want to make sure people continue to travel from far and wide to see live music in our city which is why we have previously supported Swn Festival and the Iris Prize. This map is the perfect opportunity to encourage tourism and help the people of Cardiff realise the amazing venues they have on their doorstep and encourage them to get out and explore.”
The map was created by Daniel Minty, founder of Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff, with the aim of spreading the word about all the venues that people can go to in Cardiff to enjoy live music.
Daniel said of last night’s event: “I am extremely proud of this project and grateful to FOR Cardiff for helping me make it happen. Live music is so important for Cardiff, whether you have a venue capacity of 60 or 60,000 – it makes sure our night life is thriving and gives people so much enjoyment, so it was important for me to bring an element of unity to show what we do in terms live music here in the city and show all the venues in one place. I’m delighted that so many people came last night and I’ve had so much positive feedback already. I can’t wait to see the maps in all the venues from now on!”
Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff Maps will be available for free in venues/shops and tourist attractions across the city from 3 November. For more information on FOR Cardiff and their upcoming projects, visit: forcardiff.com