Much like the rest of the UK, Cardiff has been hit with a cultural beating over the past 10 years - with popular venues and spaces being flipped for flats at an alarming rate. However, with residents willing to fight for what they believe in (#SaveWomanbyStreet being a prime example), Cardiff is in good hands.
From the legendary Clwb Ifor Bach to a place known for its community-driven setup, we’ve put together a list of our favourite independent venues. Dive in below.
Clwb Ifor Bach, or ‘The Welsh Club’, was started back in 1983 as a private member’s club (due to licensing reasons) with the aim of spreading and celebrating the Welsh language. Back in those days, if you didn’t speak the language, or at least have a hunger to learn it, you weren’t allowed to join. These days, the venue is more about live music - and boy
The colourful pub with the cute beer garden transforms into a live music venue at night, with ‘intimacy’ being the key word. Featuring everything from music quizzes and music bingo to open mic nights and groundbreaking bands - this venue feels like Cardiff’s best-kept secret, even though everyone knows about it.
The Moon is a non-profit independent music venue based on Womanby Street. With profits going back into improving the venue, and the live scene as a whole, supporting The Moon is like making a direct payment to the future of music culture in Cardiff. But if that’s too much a big picture issue to wrap your head around, just know this: they put on great shows.
Less of a music venue, and more of a multi-medium entertainment house, The Tramshed features everything from a cinema to a cafe/bar. In terms of music though, expect the very best in live music and DJs. A brief look at the listings, you’ve got everyone from Dashboard Confessional all the way through to Hinds, so this really is an eclectic venue!
Starting out life as a cinema, The Globe has a long and storied history putting on bands of all sizes and at various points in their career. For example, Royal Blood, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jess Glynne, Public Service Broadcasting, and The Misfits have all played this Albany Rd institution. One for the bucket list!
Wildcard Option: Blue Honey Night Cafe
Ok, so the Blue Honey Night Cafe is actually the nighttime takeover of Sully’s Cafe on Quay Street, rather than a dedicated music venue, but with a legendary karaoke night and regular DJ slots from people that know what they’re doing, this cafe deserve a spot on the list. And did we mention they serve great food too? Fish tacos and chicken wings!