There’s sad news coming out of Cardiff. The Full Moon on Womanby Street has announced they’re closing due to lack of confidence from their creditors. This is the latest blow to hit Womanby Street following the closure of Dempseys and The Moon Club. Alongside this, there have been announcements of both a Wetherspoons hotel and a new residential development planned for the street which puts the rest of the venues under even more threat.
For those that don’t know Cardiff, Womanby Street is the heart and cultural hub of not just the alternative scene in Cardiff, but all of South Wales. It has been the home to Clwb Ifor Bach, know locally as both Clwb and The Welsh Club, since 1983. Clwb has helped launch the careers of Welsh groups such as Catatonia and Super Furry Animals. On top of this, it is a regular stopping point for smaller bands touring the UK from all over the world.
More recently, Womanby Street has seen the likes of The Full Moon, The Moon Club and Fuel grace it’s presence. The addition of these venues saw Womanby Street cement itself as the alternative quarter of Cardiff and a safe haven for those who may not like the mainstream clubs found on St Mary’s Street.
Agent of Change
However, Cardiff has already been struck by venue closures due to noise complaints from new neighbours moved in next to The Point, in Cardiff Bay. In England, thanks to a campaign backed by Frank Turner, the ‘Agent of Change’ principle was adopted after similar closures.
Under the Agent of Change principle, an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue would have to pay for soundproofing, while a live music venue opening in a residential area would be responsible for the costs. A resident who moves next door to a music venue would, in law, be assessed as having made that decision understanding that there’s going to be some music noise, and a music venue that buys a new PA would be expected to carry out tests to make sure its noise emissions don’t increase. Agent of Change says the person or business responsible for the change is responsible for managing the impact of the change.
Unfortunately, this has yet to be brought into place in Wales. This is where the Save Womanby Street campaign come in.
The Save Womanby Street Campaign is a group of business owners, musicians, community activists and industry experts based on Womanby Street who have come together to protect our city’s cultural heritage.
They are non party political and welcome support from politicians and decision makers from across the political spectrum.
The group has gained momentum quickly due to the love that Womanby Street has. Even Bruce Dickinson and local MP’s and AM’s agree that Womanby Street’s cultural significance need to be protected and have given their backing to the campaign.
How Can You Help?
Save Womanby Street still need your help to keep pushing this campaign forward and have provided the following guidelines on how is best to help.
On top of this, there is a petition started by Richard Vaughn to have the Agent of Change principle adopted into Wales. Please sign this!
Even if you’re not based in Cardiff, please contact your local AM and PM asking for their backing with this campaign within the Welsh Assembly and when going forward against Cardiff Council. If you’re anything like myself, you will have travelled from outside of Cardiff for the gig’s and atmosphere provided by Womanby Street. This isn’t just an issue for Cardiff, but all of South Wales.
Let’s Save Womanby Street together.