Cardiff Zine Fest is set to hit Chapter Arts Centre

The first-of-its-kind festival aims to rival other UK cities’ similar events through its celebration of illustrators and zine makers

A selection of brightly coloured zines from illustrators being tabled at Cardiff Zine Fest
A selection of zines published by creatives due to attend Cardiff Zine Fest

.Visitors to Chapter Arts Centre will experience Cardiff’s first ever celebration of zine culture as well as an education in zine making on 18 November.

According to the festival organisers (not-for-profit, radical bookshop, Shelf Life Books and Zines, and illustration driven retail space, ArtHole) more than 30 illustrators and zine makers will descend on the centre later this month.

The creatives and vendors being staged at the zine fest are drawn from Cardiff, south Wales, and beyond.

“We’re going to do workshops, and answer the question ‘What’s a zine?’ maybe 17,000 times,” says Rosie Smith, the owner of Shelf Life.

These workshops will include a session introducing zines to anyone looking to give zine making a go, and one focused specifically on comics.

Outside of the sellers tabled at the festival, there will also be a communal table for anyone wishing to sell their zines.

The owners of ArtHole and Shelf Life say there will be a lot of illustrators and artists who have turned to the zine format as a way of getting their artwork out.

They add that there’s not many places in the city where you can buy zines so this provides an opportunity to would-be buyers and sellers.

Chapter Arts Centre exterior
Chapter Arts Centre will host Cardiff Zine Fest on 18 November

The inspiration to put on the zine fest came over the Summer as they sought to connect with the pre-existing, network of zine fests across the UK.

They had been to similar festivals all over the country, including Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton, Swansea, and plenty in London, but they had never attended an official “Cardiff Zine Fest.”

“Zines are cool and zine fests are how you find out about most zine people so if we can get it rolling as an annual thing it would be really cool and put it on the zine map,” Rosie explains.