Womanby Street in Cardiff has won an immense victory by music fans campaigning to save it from developers this month. A new ‘Agent of Change‘ principle just passed in Wales means venues which are already established, should be protected from new developments setting up around them and then subsequently making noise complaints. The twats.
Womanby Street has long been the centre for independent music in the capitol but there has been a recent spate of applications for new hotel and student developments which would have inevitably seen noise complaints being made against their neighbouring live music venues, which pump out alternative tunes well into the early hours and would have been the end of the night life culture on the street if they went ahead.
Thanks to intense campaigning and protest marches by the like minded people of Cardiff and beyond, who don’t want to lose what is one of the last places in the city for independent bars and music venues in Cardiff and see them replaced by soulless corporate chains, selling cocktails squirted out of condiment bottles and “craft” beer authentically produced from industrial breweries.
Wetherspoons squatted its corpulent arse at one end of the street some time ago and has been instrumental in the troubles with its plans to expand. We’ve already lost Dempsey’s which hosted probably one of Cardiff’s longest standing grassroots live venues upstairs, now transformed into a shitty sports bar, as if there’s not enough of them. Luckily Clwb Ifor Bach still sits at the centre of Womanby street as its most prolific resident, despite concerns for its future in the past and has been joined in recent years by a cluster of bars which keep the streets spirit of independence alive and provide alternative offerings to the usual malaise of pop music and jager bombs elsewhere .
In Swansea, venues face similar worries, but also a host of other problems, with continued gentrification meaning there’s not even half the number of live music venues which used to be around in the ten last years, The Scene, being the most recent casualty. The ‘Agent of Change‘ policy is a very welcome, if not long overdue and a complete no brainier.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!
Here’s a link to a Walesonline article which explains the situation in detail: