With less than a month to go until Pwer Festival opens its doors next month, I spoke to the organisers, Luke and Calum, about the lineup, Cardiff influences and struggles faced along the way.
First off, tell us a little bit of an overview about the concept of Pwer Festival?
Luke: Pwer festival is a mini festival aimed at young people and young bands. As young people involved in the music industry we realised there aren’t many events aimed to get young people into young bands and this is what we aim to do! Having that relationship between fans & bands and them growing together is what can really boost the success of a band as well as the overall health of the music scene.
Calum: The music scene in Cardiff has given us so many opportunities and fantastic nights. We’ve lived in Cardiff for a few years now as students and we wanted to give the city a new and exciting event.
How did you go about choosing the bands for the line-up?
Luke: That’s a tough one really. It was a combination of a lot of things. Firstly we picked some of the best acts we’ve had play for us at the gigs we’ve put on in the last year or so. We felt focusing our support on certain bands that got a good reception when they played in Cardiff previously would be a really good step. For example iDestroy, Bridges, Andy Oliveri & The Mountaineers and These Five Years all played headline slots for us previously.
Calum: We also wanted to showcase a lot of the best talent in Cardiff and South Wales. We’ve seen bands like Sienna, Parcs, Penny Rich and These Five Years play shows in and around Cardiff and wanted to bring them further spotlight.
Luke: We also picked some of our own personal favourite bands. The first on my wishlist when we decided to do this was Cassels and we’re so excited to have them play! I’m also a massive fan of Dream State and it’s mind boggling to me that they’re coming to play!
Have either of you had any previous festival/gig experiences that influenced you to organise Pwer in a certain way?
Luke: I’ve been putting on gigs for about a year and a half and Cal has been involved for a half of that as well. I think it definitely helped us pick some of our favourite bands we wanted to come and play for us but other than that it’s almost a completely different experience, we have so many more things to organise and sort out!
Calum: I’ve helped out at other festivals in South Wales over the last year which has been a great way to learn how festivals are managed. There are so many other things to think about other than just the bands, and we wanted to make sure it was an event where everyone can enjoy themselves.
What’s the likelihood of this becoming a yearly event?
Luke: Obviously we hope it does but naturally it depends on the success of this year. So if you like the idea come down and buy a ticket
and then we might be around for a bit longer!
Have you faced any challenges with the organising?
Luke: We’ve had a couple snags with one band pulling out after the first announcement, but other than that it’s been running pretty smoothly and hopefully that carries on for the next month.
Calum: It’s been a learning curve but we’ve had a lot of support from both people in the scene and our friends, for which we’re very thankful.
What are your thoughts on the rise of smaller, inner-city festivals?
Luke: It has its ups & downs. I think it’s great if it’s used as an opportunity to not only create a great festival but to build your local scene. However I wouldn’t like to see anyone who didn’t have experience putting on shows in that city already tackling it. It’s so important to be involved in the scene to make sure you’re not treading on anyone’s toes or disrupting the rest of the city’s plans.
If you had to describe Pwer in three words to convince people to come, what would you each go for?
Luke: Powerful new music.
Calum: Twelve amazing bands.
Why did you choose Gwdihw as the venue?
Luke: Firstly can we give a shoutout to Gwdihw for being one the nicest and most supportive venues to put shows on in – their whole team is brilliant and super helpful. We chose Gwdihw because we’ve been putting gigs on there for the last year and a half and it fitted our needs perfectly. It’s such a nice looking venue and has the atmosphere we were really looking for to host the festival.
If you each had to pick a favourite act on the lineup, who would you choose?
Luke: I’d have to go for Cassels. I’ve been following them for about a year and a half now and was one of the first 30 people to buy their recent album. If you’re into lo-fi punk with really witty lyrics – they’re the band for you!
Calum: False Advertising are one of my favourite discoveries of the last year. They have a distinctive alternative rock sound, a very cathartic listen, can’t wait to see them headline.
Lastly, how much are tickets and where can we get them from?
Pwer Festival will be held on May 6th at Gwdihw in Cardiff city centre.
Tickets are £12 for students & £14 for regular admission.
However everyone can save themselves £2 off a ticket with the code “CLRCHRONICLES“!