Why Don’t Bands Come To Cardiff?

As outlined in a recent seminar as part of the the 2008 Swn Festival, there seems to be a real issue regarding some bands playing in Cardiff. I am interested in finding out why this is, but copied below are couple of examples (Taken from CMU) – what can be done about it??

Vampire Weekend have announced some tour dates. They will happen in the UK in November and December. Tickets for them go on sale on Friday.

Tour dates:

25 Nov: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom Arena
26 Nov: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
28 Nov: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
29 Nov: Sheffield, Academy
1 Dec: Brighton Centre
2 Dec: London, Alexandra Palace

The Script sold 1.8 million copies of their debut album, which would suggest that someone will actually be interested in these dates. That someone may also be interested to know that the band have a new single out, called ‘For The First Time’, on 5 Sep, followed by their second album, ‘Science & Faith’ on 13 Sep. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.

Tour dates:

11 Sep: Liverpool, University
12 Sep: Leeds, Academy
13 Sep: London, Hammersmith Apollo
15 Sep: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
16 Sep: Leicester, De Montfort Hall
17 Sep: Portsmouth, Guildhall

It is interesting how both acts are playing in Scotland – not not Wales!

About Paul Carr

Academic working at the University of Glamorgan
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4 Responses to Why Don’t Bands Come To Cardiff?

  1. Simon Dancey says:

    Well, this isn’t new. Wales has been omitted from major touring schedules for the last twenty years. When I first stared major promoting at Newport Centre and Cardiff Uni the reason given by national promoters was:

    *Poor early tickets sales
    *Unreliable walk ups
    * Venues too big/small
    * South East Wales/North West Wales only viable options for gigs
    * Bristol and Birmingham give better returns and hardcore fans will travel

    This is also true (to some extent) of major events and festivals from a UK perspective

    All kinds of initiatives from gig circuits to subsidised band fees, to Welsh only tours have been tried. Not much has worked and most have failed dismally


  2. carza says:

    Thanks for this Simon. Most of the themes you mention have come up with other people I have spoken to, and it is useful to have someone in your possition confirming them. However, i would like to learn more about what has already been tried (subsidised fees etc). I will contact you about this at some point.


  3. RdWd says:

    More needs to be done to cater for Welsh audiences then. Poor early ticket sales and unreliable walk-ups are just excuses by promoters not to adapt to the Welsh market; it’s evidently in the nature of Welsh consumers to follow those patterns, so they should adjust. I’m sure promoters adapt for other regions and countries.

    I’ve seen some great bands come to Wales, and they often comment on the fact Wales gets neglected. Dream Theater played in Newport in 2007 and made the comment (Mike Portnoy wore a Welsh rugby shirt and DT put the Welsh flag behind their set-up). Kerrang Tour makes sure to play in Cardiff, which is great as Sum 41 played in Wales in 2016. I’ve also seen blink-182 play in Cardiff and Wheatus in Swansea and Cardiff. You’re more likely to see independent artists play in Wales though. Richard Buckner played a small intimate gig in Cardiff in 2011 which was great.


  4. Pingback: Live Music in Wales: A Report for the Culture Welsh Language and Communications Commitee | Paul Carr

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