Review: DimSŵn 2016 @ 10 Feet Tall, Clwb Ifor Bach, Dempseys, The Moon Club, Undertone
Various venues in Cardiff
Saturday 9th April 2016
My first year in Wales happened to be the tenth year of Sŵn in Cardiff: one of the biggest local music festivals in Wales.
For those of you not aware, Sŵn Festival began in 2007 with SxSW festival (South By South West, Austin, Texas) as a prototype and has been a great success ever since. Cardiff, with its buzzing music scene and authentic venues, makes a perfect place for the festival.
As mentioned above, this year's take was special as it's the Sŵn 10 year anniversary. While Sŵn is held traditionally every Autumn, DimSŵn is somewhat of a demo version of the festival, held in Spring, with all the performances packed into just one day instead of three. Sounds pretty intense, right? To take the pressure off the audience and performers' shoulders, the organisers stretched the whole thing across not two, not three, but 6 venues around Womanby St, including 10 Feet Tall, Clwb Ifor Bach (upstairs and downstairs), Dempseys, The Moon Club, and Undertone. DimSŵn took place on Saturday 9th April, with the first performance starting as early as 2pm, and finishing up with three different DJ parties 11pm till late.
The first part of the festival was open for both over- and under-18's, which, to my mind, made an interesting mix of a crowd. Some of the biggest hits were performers Jake Isaac (@ Clwb Ifor Bach) and Orla Cartland (@ 10 Feet Tall).
The festival's atmosphere changed somewhere around 7-8pm. As more and more people were joining the crowd, the danger of not being able to access the venue because of it reaching capacity became real (sadly, that's how we missed Castles' performance in Four Bars @ Dempseys). The second part of DimSŵn was very diverse: deep floating tunes by Bryde (@ 10 Feet Tall), jazzy folk by Ofelia (@ Undertone), and DJ sets for those who had a second wave of energy and didn't feel like going home just yet.
"An excellent weekend event"
The absolute highlights of the night, judging by the response of the audience, were Estrons - a local rock band that definitely rocked the stage @ Clwb Ifor Bach, and The Big Moon - an alternative rock band that delivered a fabulous performance in Clwb Ifor Bach.
Another guest band from London, Coves (Four Bars @ Dempseys) was left for a later spot on the programme, after 11 pm. It seemed to me, at that point, a part of the audience was quite exhausted, and another part was already in a mood for DJ music. I feel like, in different circumstances (had they performed earlier in the afternoon), they could be the band I'd have enjoyed the most.
With a great variety of music, live show, diversity of venues and a fun crowd, DimSŵn makes an excellent weekend event whether you're looking for a day full of original music performances or just a nice night out.
Picture credit: Craig Kirkwood
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