"There's something for everyone at this charming festival - the only problem is deciding who to watch." The Guardian
Hot off the heels of the successes of its 2022 edition – and the announcement of their 20 For 23 highlighted artists earlier this year – Sŵn Festival today shares the latest batch of additions for this year’s event, taking place across Cardiff from October 20th-22nd. An unmissable highlight of the live calendar, the tastemaker festival once again returns with a jam-packed bill full of established and upcoming artists, a celebration of the diverse, exciting nature of both British and Welsh music and beyond. It promises to be another year of nurturing the best local, national and international artists and offering a platform to bigger and better things.
Bringing their monstrous wall-of-sound to the Welsh Capital are Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs who arrive in town fresh from releasing their acclaimed new album, Land of Sleeper. Dubbed by Uncut as “one of the best new hard rock bands in the UK” and labelled as “a gloriously horrible morass of pummelling drums and doom-laden riffs” by The Times, come and see one of the most talked about bands in the country in suitably sweaty environs.
One of the buzziest new bands of 2023, London quintet The Last Dinner Party burst onto the scene this year with their widely lauded debut single ‘Nothing Matters’ ushering in a sound rooted in unashamed maximalism and untethered euphoria, influenced by everyone from Bowie to Bush and taking unexpected turns into twelve-bar blues, classical overtures and synth-heavy breakdowns. Fast becoming one of the hottest live tickets in their native London, find out what the fuss is all about in Cardiff in October.
Fresh from signing with the ever-reliable Partisan Records, the one-man maelstrom that is Skinny Pelembe touches down in Cardiff bringing his second album, Hardly the Same Snake with him. The critically-adored “Don of Doncaster” – as he was recently dubbed by The Guardian – is your one-stop shop for a heady fusion of hip-hop beats, electronic rock, avant-garde flourishes and smooth soul. Catch him in smaller rooms while you can!
The inimitable Bill Ryder-Jones has become a true treasure of the British indie scene with a string of critically adulated solo albums for Domino. The Liverpudlian former Coral lead guitarist has moved through blustery alternative rock to brooding folk and heartbreaking piano reimaginings across five albums and counting, be sure to catch him come October and find out where he’ll be taking you this time.
One of the most fascinating new artists in recent memory, Mandy, Indiana and their brutally abrasive post-punk noire have found supporters in the likes of publications from The Quietus to The Fader and peers from Daniel Avery to Gilla Band. Fresh from releasing their acclaimed debut album i’ve seen a way earlier this year on Fire Talk, described by Pitchfork as fusing “dance rhythms, corroded guitars, and seething vocals into a transfixing blend of violence and transcendence,” their appearance at Sŵn 2023 won’t be for the faint of heart.
Having just released new album The Last Rotation of Earth, Manchester-via-New-Jersey auteur BC Camplight comes to Cardiff ready to deliver lashings of singer-songwriter classicisms, gnarly synth-pop and ‘50s rock’n’roll. A truly singular figure, his set at Sŵn 2023 will be one not to miss.
Described by NME as “horn-fuelled filth-funk, where punk and jazz combine in grimy circumstances,” Brighton six-piece Opus Kink have become one of the most talked-about new acts in the country in recent years. Signed to tastemaker imprint Nice Swan, their sensory overload of a live show has been one of the worst kept circuits on the gig circuit – be sure to find out what all the fuss is about come October.
Other highlights announced today on a suitably stacked bill for the very best in new music include explorative Turkish-Sri Lankan experimental pop game-changer BODUR, Nottingham indie heavyweights and new Gravity/EMI signees Divorce, futuristic rock ‘n’ roll quintet Fat Dog, BBC Radio1 and NME co-signed Welsh ambient pop pioneer Gillie, the emotionally-resplendent, folk-tinged acoustic pop of Jasmine Jethwa, Dutch singer-songwriter Pip Blom fresh from making the move into thumping, carefree synth-pop on new album Bobbie, YALA! mainstay and much-loved indie staple Willie J Healey, and London mutant disco meets post-punk trio MADMADMAD.
Keeping the elevation of local talent at its core, the latest announcement for Sŵn 2023 features a veritable assortment of the very best of Welsh music. Acts announced today include Welsh (and Cornish!) language electronic pop magician Ani Glass, psychedelic 6Music mainstays The Family Battenberg, Pidgin Rap pioneer Magugu, Greek/Welsh producer, musician and all-round tour-de-force Minas, and the cathartic, lo-fi indie-rock of Venn Records’ recent signings Muriel.
They and many more join a bill already brimming with the most exciting new artists in the UK and beyond off the back of March’s 20 For 23 announcement, in which Sŵn highlighted a selection of the country’s most promising newcomers in its first line-up reveal of the year.
Artists announced as part of 20 For 23 include pop disruptor Jessica Winter who crafts a world of gothic, dance-driven cabaret, the near-mythical Lynks whose your hook-up for ear-splitting bass with a queer punk ethos, subversive alt-pop visionary Ethan P. Flynn, the ever-fascinating Westerman and South London auteur Heartworms, as well as hotly-tipped local talent including the romantic, driving post-punk of Slate and ascendant rapper Luke RV, a real gem at the centre of Wales’ burgeoning hip-hop scene.
Speaking on the latest batch of names to join the 2023 edition of the festival, Sŵn promoter William Dickins shares:
"We are so so excited to introduce this next wave of Sŵn artists to everyone. We say it every year that this year is our favourite Sŵn lineup, because every year we are so excited by the incredible new music that we get to bring to the city, on top of our favourite artists that return to Sŵn once again. Giving a platform to incredible new acts like The Last Dinner Party, Fat Dog, Mandy Indiana & Bodur feels like such a privilege and we encourage everyone to make the most of them while they can. They won't be playing small venues for long!" William Dickins
Keep your eyes peeled for more from Sŵn Festival as October approaches, but for now head to swnfest.com for more information and ticket pricing options (early bird and tier one sold out before a single artist was announced), and see below for the full rundown of acts announced so far.
Sŵn Festival is an award-winning multi-venue music festival based entirely in Cardiff’s city centre, which has been running since 2007. Since its inception, the festival has been focused on new music, emerging artists and homegrown acts.
Sŵn Festival – 2023 line-up (so far):
Alffa | Ani Glass | Baba Ali | Babymorocco | Banshi | BC Camplight | Bill Ryder-Jones | BODUR | Bonny Doon | Butch Kassidy | Car Boot Sale | CATTY | Cerys Hafana | Chilli Jesson | CHROMA | Corella | Crimewave | Divorce | Elanor Moss | Ethan P. Flynn | The Family Battenberg | Fat Dog | Ffenest | Gillie | Half Happy | Heartworms | Hex Girlfriend | The Itch | Jasmine Jethwa | Jessica Winter | KEG | Lande Hekt | The Last Dinner Party | Los Blancos | Low Hummer | Luke RV | Lynks | MADMADMAD | Magugu | Mandy, Indiana | Mercy Rose | Minas | Moin | Monet | Murder Club | Muriel | New Wave Sound.Ent | O. | Opus Kink | Oscar Browne | Pale Blue Eyes | Parisa Fouladi | Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs | Pip Blom | Rosie Alena | Sage Todz | Shelf Lives | Skinny Pelembe | Slate | Sleep Outside | Sophie Jamieson | Treeboy & Arc | The Tubs | TVAM | Vanity Fairy | Westerman | William The Conqueror | Willie J Healey | Y Dail