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Imagine a city composed entirely of music for three glorious weeks. A city not just of fantastic venues and cultural places, but of streets that pulse with immersive music happenings, secret gigs and inventive pop-ups. A city where music interventions and unusual residencies are suddenly coming alive in unexpected corners. A city where electronic and dance events, sonic art and talks with emerging artists and cultural thinkers are thrumming together simultaneously, beating like a huge heart.

The city is Cardiff, and the festival is the new Cardiff Music City Festival, a three week-long celebration of innovative and accomplished music coming to Wales’ thriving capital city this September and October.

It aims to thrillingly reinvent what a 21st century festival could be. From its launch, it intends to act as a catalyst for industry change, to discover who is pushing at the boundaries of music innovation, performance and tech, to refocus attention on the mercurial power and potential of creativity, and take curious, hungry, open-minded audiences along for the ride.

Cardiff is already an exciting, noisy and energetic hub for this activity, where groundbreaking homegrown talent – from Mace the Great and Juice Menace to Minas and Das Koolies, take to stages at iconic grassroot and major venues.

Over the next few months, a thriving programme of artists will be unveiled, but for now be sure to save the date and make plans to visit Cardiff during this time to experience the beginning of something very, very special.

Aiming to attract over 20,000 people, the festival will bring together talent both international and local, including household names and emerging, startling talent. Its festival site stretches and sprawls through a labyrinth of spaces, busy streets and quieter corners, through Cardiff’s dynamic city centre to the glistening river mouth and freshwater lake of Cardiff Bay.

Venues involved include Utilita Arena Cardiff, Llandaff Cathedral, Wales Millennium Centre, The Great Hall, Tramshed, Clwb Ifor Bach, CULT VR, Cornerstone, The Moon, Fuel, Porters and Depot, as well as reimagined public spaces. The renowned new music festival Sŵn (fast approaching its twentieth year) and Wales Millennium Centre’s international arts weekend, Llais (celebrating the diversity of voices around the globe and across genres) will become vital parts of this bigger, ambitious endeavour.

Especially commissioned urban soundscapes, a tech and talent conference, industry sessions and a bustling fringe programme will add extra layers of rhythm and noise to the festival’s progressive, enthusiastic reach. Cardiff Music City festival nights will also bring together some big names in the industry with tomorrow’s exploding talents.

Intending to challenge, excite and inspire fans across generations and genres, and provide platforms and showcases for radical ideas, sounds and collaborations the Cardiff Music City Festival will break new ground in disruptive, diverting, spectacular ways. It will also skyrocket the spirits of a whole city, delivering synchronised collective experiences, turning up the volume in a mass celebration of what music can be and what – in our wildest, loudest dreams – it can do.


Sign up to Cardiff Music City to receive exciting updates relating to music, events, things to do and more from the team. The Cardiff Music City Festival is just one of many projects from Cardiff Music City, managed by Cardiff Council.