LIVE PREVIEW: Sŵn Festival 2022

Summer may be over, but festival season most certainly isn’t, and we have yet another welcome return to celebrate after the lengthy drought imposed by Covid restrictions. Sŵn Festival, the largest multi-venue festival in Wales, is coming back with a bang and taking over the clubs of Cardiff with three days of events celebrating alternative and grassroots music, from the 21st to the 23rd of October.

Since its inception in 2007, Sŵn has succeeded in bringing to Cardiff the best of music from Wales, the UK, and beyond, and this year’s line-up is as exciting as ever, giving plenty of options to the lovers of a broad range of music genres – from punk to pop, from shoegaze to indie rock, with a smattering of jazz and soul, there is something to satisfy every palate.

The festival will open on the Friday night at the Tramshed, one of Cardiff’s most iconic venues, announcing its comeback with an opening night show that is sure to be bristling with energy and to feel like a celebration of the festival’s return: BC Camplight headlines with support from a selection of some of the freshest voices in punk-pop and UK rock, such as Panic Shack, Lime Garden, and Prima Queen.

Then it’s time for a very exciting weekend featuring some of the Welsh capital’s most beloved venues, including Clwb Ifor Bach, which in recent years has become a spearhead for the promotion of grassroots artists in Wales. The Welsh contingent will be present in strength with stand-out names like Yxngxr1, Ogun, and Aderyn, and some of the most intriguing new voices to the local scene, including art-rockers Voya and the synth-infused, post-punk adjacent Plastic Estate.

Further afield, there is also a roster of unmissable artists from all over the UK. Make sure to witness sets which promise to be unforgettable, both from artists celebrating recent releases – see, for instance, Walt Disco, coming back to Cardiff after a triumphant show earlier in the year; Los Bitchos, riding the wave of their powerful debut record; and, Sorry, who have recently released their second album – and from a much longer list of outstanding names: including Deadletter, W H Lung, Opus Kink and Billy Nomates, from Jelani Blackman’s innovative rap to PVA’s exhilarating electronica, to the chart-acclaimed indie rock of Sea Power and the soul contaminations of Murkage Dave.

Some very intriguing international voices are coming to Sŵn as well, confirming the festival’s broad outlook and its ability to attract artists the world over. BODEGA bring an injection of post-punk from overseas on the wave of their recently released second album, while MELTS bring over their ’70s-style rock from Dublin.

The list could go on – with so many stand-out names, the line-up for Sŵn 2022 is one of the most exciting the festival has regaled us with yet. Tickets are on sale via the Sŵn official website, here. Tickets for individual days are available as well as weekend tickets.

Sŵn Festival takes place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd October across a number of venues in Cardiff. Further information and a full line-up is available on the official website:

Chiara Strazzulla
Chiara was born in Sicily and lives in Cardiff, where she is a freelance journalist and teacher of Classics. She is an internationally published novelist and has collaborated with a variety of publications both in English and Italian. She has been a music lover her whole life, and her taste in music ranges from glam rock to punk by way of blues and country.

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