Local musician calls for more investment into small music venues

New podcast Culturally Cardiff explores the importance of small music venues, as a local singer highlights the value of the city’s independent music scene

Cllwb Ifor Bach is crowdfunding to raise funds for its redevelopment project
The live music venue and nightclub, Clwb Ifor Bach, is crowdfunding for a transformative redevelopment of its venue. Credit: Thomas Boyd

Local musicians wouldn’t be able to do anything without the independent music scene, a punk singer has said in a new podcast. They welcome new investment in smaller music venues, hoping more bands are able to play in Cardiff as a result.

Data shows 16% of the UK’s small music venues have either closed, or stopped putting on gigs in 2023, with more being threatened with this outcome.

Clwb Ifor Bach, located on Womanby Street – the heart of Cardiff’s independent music scene – has recently announced a large renovation project.

The redevelopment involves creating new 500- and 200-capacity rooms. Clwb Ifor Bach identifies the importance of preserving spaces where people often have their first experience of live music.

Within this episode of the Culturally Cardiff podcast, we discuss the importance of investment for the scene and local artists.

Listen to the podcast here:
Climbing the ladder

Izzy Warren, lead singer and guitarist of Cardiff-based band Terrapins, said the renovations will fill a gap in Cardiff’s independent music scene by providing more mid-size venues.

“It just means bigger bands are going to be able to come to smaller venues,” the 21-year-old said. 

Warren has been disheartened by the closure and uncertain futures of popular venues in Cardiff, citing the closure of Gwdihw and re-location of Porters. Gwdihw, described as one of Cardiff’s most important grassroots venues, closed in 2019.

But recent investment gives them hope. “When people actually do put money into the independent music scene, like into Clwb, it’s like, oh, maybe people do care”, they said.

Welcome to Womanby

We asked Warren whether they’d prefer to see more investment put into Womanby Street, or new music venues opened up around the city.

“Womanby Street is amazing because there’s so many venues,” they said. The street is home to Clwb Ifor Bach, Fuel Rock Bar, The Moon and Tiny Rebel.

Warren prefers to see more investment put into the whole street. They don’t feel all venues there get the same love. “Put investment into all the venues, the street would become like one big venue”, they said.

Listen to Terrapins’ music here: