After an overwhelming response during the nomination process, it was clear who would be awarded the first Outstanding Contribution award in 2018. The award replaces the Person of the Year category to recognise more than just an individual in the Cardiff music scene.
We’re happy to announce the winner of the Outstanding Contribution of the Year award in 2018 is the team behind Save Womanby Street.
A group of volunteers led by workers based on the street and music lovers in the capital came together to counter the threat to one of Cardiff’s most musical streets.
With the loss of Four Bars and Dempseys, as well as The Moon Club and then the temporary closure of the Full Moon venue, 2017 seemed like a dire year for the Cardiff music scene. These closures also came alongside threats from new developments in the shape of a Wetherspoons hotel and new residences alongside Clwb Ifor Bach plus noise complaints made against Fuel Rock Club. At the beginning of the year there was a major threat against every single music venue on Womanby St.
After a crisis meeting and as a response to the issues facing the the street, Save Womanby Street was set up. The team petitioned councillors in Cardiff, Welsh assembly members and members of the UK parliament alike to protect the street and to change legislation to preserve music venues not only on Womanby St but across Cardiff and the whole of Wales.
Over a couple of months, Save Womanby St won the support of these politicians, both incumbent and those running for councillor positions that year. They pulled together countless letters from the public to these politicians written by music fans and so had their issues raised by those in the right positions.
Their biggest coup came in two forms, a massive rally and march on Cardiff City Hall made up of thousands of music scene workers and supporters and the implementation of the “Agent of Change” principle in the Welsh assembly. Their work alongside the Music Venue Trust alongside local venues and politicians in 2017 cannot be overlooked.
These actions and response meant that the campaign brought the music scene into a much more public light and footfall to the venues in the city has grown significantly. The Moon Cardiff saw a massive boost in support after re-opening through its crowdfunded campaign run by the Creative Republic of Cardiff, and all the venues on the street continue to stay open and thriving despite the threats.
Another great victory for the campaign came in the way of a Cardiff council directive to work alongside Sound Diplomacy to make Cardiff the first Music City in the UK. This multi-year plan will see the city’s music economy and practices analysed and assessed by a qualified team that has worked worldwide to improve cities from Berlin, Germany to Brisbane, Australia.
We hope the great work of Save Womanby Street continues, and we’re happy to award them the title of Outstanding Contribution of the Year in 2018.