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Cardiff Music Festival to be streamed live

Starting on 29 April until 3 May, Cardiff Music Festival will deliver a multitude of sounds directly to your home.

University of South Wales (USW) Music & Sound students have been working hard to transform, what was originally planned to be a series of live gigs in Cardiff, into a real-time event of multiple live streams.

In partnership with Keep Cardiff Live and Dazed, the USW students had to quickly adapt when the Covid19 pandemic brought with it a unique set of circumstances where those plans were no longer possible.

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. Followed by Hip-Hop on Thursday.

Friday brings Metal music, including interviews with; USW graduate and Grammy nominee, Romesh Dodangoda, Lacertilla and Tidy Records.

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. Followed by Singer-Songwriter Sunday. This virtual gig will feature a special performance from Justin Ripassa. Originally from Emman, the Netherlands, Justin studied in Cardiff, so he is passionate about the local music scene. His debut single Another Friend, produced by Jeff Zwart, is currently broadcast frequently on radio and television in The Netherlands and Los Angeles.

The School of Music and Sound has a growing reputation. They have hosted several successful events this year, including Immersed Festival and Swn Conference. Cardiff Music Festival provides further opportunity for collaboration with community partners and an innovative way of supporting the sector at a difficult time. These practical assessments prepare students for successful careers within the music industry.

The festival is promising to be a great success. You can tune in via the event’s Facebook page and Keepcardifflive.com.

Lloyd George, Music & Sound Course Leader said “This event is part of the students’ final year assessment. They have done remarkably well in shifting their programme from live to online, essentially going from promoters to broadcasters.

“I would like to thank Keep Cardiff Live and Dazed for their continued support.” 

Tony Chapman, Keep Cardiff Live, said: “Cardiff has a rich history of live music, our ethos is about highlighting talent in the area across genres, so we are very excited about the festival. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

“With the current circumstances making live performances impossible, this event is offering a platform for musicians of all ages.”

Ben Pottinger

Ben Pottinger, 23, from Bridgend, is running Wednesday’s Indie Night.

Ben said “The original Indie night was going to be held in Tiny Rebel featuring three bands. However, when we decided to go online, we had to rethink the format. Online participation is different to a live event. Now, we have six bands playing shorter sets.

“Due to social distancing, we can’t bring the bands together, so we have asked them to send recordings that we are compiling and editing to stream on the night.

“I have never done anything like this before. During my second year, I was President of the Christian Union, so I have experience of event management but nothing to this scale.

“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.

“The Music & Sound course has given me the opportunity to be creative musically, as well as learn technical recording skills. I have really enjoyed it, especially the practical assessments like this one.

“A highlight for me was the guest lectures from local industry professionals, giving us advice on the progression from study to work.

“Before university, I did a six-month internship in a church in Louisiana, USA. I loved it. it was an amazing experience. That spurred me on to do a creative course at USW.

“A lot of churches I go to have a really good worship production. After graduation, I would like to like to use the knowledge and experience I have gained to help churches that don’t have those facilities.

“I have stayed in Cardiff during the lockdown. Like many couples, we might have to postpone our wedding due to the pandemic. We are due to be wed on 20 June in Cardiff City Church so we are just waiting to see if we will be able to go ahead.”

Lewis Disson

Lewis Disson, 21, from Cardiff is running the House event on the Saturday night of the festival.

Lewis said: “I have been busy organizing the DJs, creating artwork and I will be performing on the night too. I work part-time as an assistant designer and light technician for Climax Live, so I have good connections with venues. Before Covid19 my festival plans for the House night were going well.

“However, when we decided to move to a virtual festival, 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.

“I have been DJing since before university. I played sets at Pryzm in Cardiff and got to know the technician there. That connection opened up a whole new side of the industry for me to explore. That had a massive impact on me and led me to the course at USW.

“I went to the interview and they talked me through what to expect over the three years and it was exactly what I was looking for. It sounded perfect.

“The course lived up to my expectations with brilliant lecturers who pass on their industry advice. I enjoyed the performance modules the most.

“After graduation, I plan to spend more time working as a designer but also looking at my own brand as a DJ and incorporating things I have learnt during my degree into my work, such as animation”

Rosie Graham

Rosie Graham, 28, from Cardiff is responsible for the Metal Mix day on Friday.

Rosie said “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. I have been busy collating MP3s and Spotify tracks.

“I was really excited to put on a live gig in Fuel and raise money for a mental health charity at the same time. So, we all had to manage the disappointment of not being able to do what we had set out to do when we decided to move to a free online event.

“I had assumed the event would be postponed but thought it was a great idea to put the event online, I was happy to be proactive. It is frustrating that you can’t meet up with people to work together. In our group, we all bring different things to the project, so now I am having to learn new things. But we are doing our best to provide some entertainment while people are stuck inside during this lockdown.

“I play drums, guitar and piano and am in a band but not in the metal genre. I like listening to metal but it’s not the music I produce so I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone.

“Studying Music & Sound has really helped with my own music as I have been able to record and produce my own work. I chose this course because of the state-of-the-art equipment and I have learnt loads of things skills that I didn’t expect to learn, like events management, music business etc.

“I play for USW women’s rugby team as a utility forward. The team are great fun to play for, I have made amazing friends and memories. It has given me confidence in all areas of life. Playing for USW gave me the courage to join Whitchurch women’s Cardiff team too.

“When things are more normal, I still want to host a metal gig promoting diversity. I also want to continue my studies on to the masters degree in songwriting and production at USW.

“My dream is to write music for short videos or advertisements. I am hoping to study for a PGCE too as I would love to teach abroad.”