One of Wales’s top radio DJs, the frontman of an explosive live band, the director of a leading community music charity, and one of the team behind the introduction of the Agent of Change policy in Wales, are among the 22 members of Cardiff Music Board announced today, ahead of the board’s first meeting in December.
The establishment of a Music Board was one of the key recommendations made in the recent Sound Diplomacy report into music in Cardiff and will be tasked with championing the city’s music scene, protecting and promoting music at grassroots and all levels, and developing Cardiff’s Music Strategy.
The members of the board, which will be chaired by Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, have been picked to reflect the social diversity of Cardiff and represent multiple areas of Cardiff’s music sector, including – grassroots music venues, arena operators, promoters, journalists, musicians union, tourism experts, music business educators, community music organisations, public funders, artists, DJs and producers.
Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:
“This is a critical next step in delivering the Music Strategy we published earlier this year. Our ambition is to transform Cardiff into the first UK city where music is incorporated into its structure – that means everything from planning and licencing to social well-being and tourism.”
“Cardiff is a city of full of artists, musicians, singers, producers, sound engineers and of course music lovers. That passion for music was reflected in the volume and quality of applications we received from people wanting to collaborate as part of the Music Board and to drive forward a music strategy that maximises the economic and social value of music, and plays a key role in our wider ambitions to further expand the city’s already impressive creative and digital sectors.”
Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said:
“Cardiff’s creative sector already employs around 15,000 people and generates over £1 billion of value for the local economy and the UK’s live music sector, and the number of jobs it supports, is growing.”
“There’s a real opportunity here, for our music sector and for the wider city economy, and with the wide-ranging skills and experience of the newly-appointed Music Board members, Cardiff’s well-placed to make the most of those opportunities – including the development of an annual, signature event that will elevate Cardiff, and indeed Wales’s cultural presence internationally.
“It’s an exciting time to be creative in Cardiff and we’re looking forward to working with the board to make our city a genuine music city.”
The selected board members are:
- Bethan Elfyn – A successful radio producer, BBC presenter and TV researcher with 20 years’ experience at the forefront of new music, Bethan heads up the development and strategy of BBC Cymru Wales’ public value partnership with Arts Council of Wales, and Horizons/ Gorwelion – a music talent development scheme delivered by BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales
- Guto Brychan – Chief Executive of Clwb Ifor Bach since 2012, Guto recently became Chief Executive of Swn Festival and organises the Maes B Festival for the National Eisteddfod. Guto is one of the premier promoters for live music in Wales, supporting up and coming talent in the Welsh music industry. Previously, he was Board Member and Welsh Language Officer at Welsh Music Foundation and Label Manager at Sain Records.
- Helia Phoenix – An award-winning blogger, writer of books, and music, travel and culture journalist, for the past 20 years Helia has worked in content production, radio, film documentaries, and been published by The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and others. Helia runs one of the top city blogs in the world and in 2017, was listed as a visionary in Cardiff Life’s Top 50 People building a brighter future for the city. She’s currently Media Manager at Visit Wales, managing the social community and programming editorial content.
- Jon Fox – Jon has over 25 years’ experience in Planning and Place-making and is UK national planning and noise advisor to the Music Venues Trust. As a Town Planner Jon was part of the team responsible for leading on the introduction of Agent of Change policy into Wales.
- Michael Garvey – Michael has over 20 years of music and arts industry experience in commercial, subsidised, public and charitable sectors. His career has included roles in the recording and broadcasting industries, the public funding system in England and the orchestral sector. He is currently the founding Executive Director of The Benedetti Foundation, a start-up music education charity.
- Lucy Squire – Lucy is a Creative Industries professional with a legal background and proven track record in business and education. An active participant in the South Wales music ecology she’s run successful retail, training, merchandise, record labels and events companies most notably with the brand Catapult which was based in Cardiff’s Arcades until 2014. Lucy’s current position is Head of Music for the University of South Wales.
- Phil Sheeran – As the General Manager of Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, Phil has overseen a large part of Cardiff’s music economy for over a decade, bringing major international artists such as Kylie, the Pixies, One Direction and The Who to the city. Phil’s role also covers Motorpoint’s new smaller venue, Exit 7. He is also a member of newly formed music fund ANTHEM and a board member of FOR Cardiff.’
- Liz Hunt – Liz Hunt is a musician, songwriter, venue owner and event organiser. Starting out as an independent promoter, she eventually moved to working in-house at various small venues booking live gigs, and has nearly 20 years’ experience in Cardiff’s music scene. Liz now co-owns The Moon, a non-profit grassroots venue on Womanby Street. She also organises Hub Fest, Wales Goes Pop, Cardiff Psych & Noise Fest, and industry networking events.
- Gavin Allen – Gavin is a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at Cardiff University. Formerly Associate Editor at Mirror.co.uk, he also worked at MSN and MailOnline. During a decade with Media Wales he spent four years as a music writer on the South Wales Echo.
- Tumi Williams – Tumi is a creative practitioner, booking agent & event organiser and frontman of Afro Cluster – a band renowned for their unique, exciting blend of afro funk and hip-hop and explosive live shows.
- Hannah Jenkins – Hannah has worked in the cultural sector for nearly 20 years, previously as an Arts Development Manager, programming multi-venues including Market Hall Cinema, Beaufort Theatre and Abertillery Community Theatre as well as managing an extensive community arts initiative across the Borough. Since 2008, she’s been Director of national music charity, Community Music Wales (CMW), which has grown to become Wales’s leading music participation charity with a reputation for excellence.
- Nicholas Saunders – Nicholas is a music industry promoter and founder of The DEPOT and DEPOT Live. Responsible for bringing Nile Rodgers and CHIC to Cardiff Castle in 2019, and Foals in June 2020, Nick is also Director of Shangri-La Events booking internationally renowned acts such as Duke Dumont, MK, Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping and Pete Tong for venues across Cardiff, Liverpool, London and Ibiza.
- Andy Warnock – Andy is the Regional Organiser for the Musicians’ Union (MU) in Wales and South West England, based in Cardiff. The MU represents over 31,000 musicians working in the UK, negotiates with all the major employers in the industry, and offers services, benefits, and advice tailored to musicians’ needs.
- Daniel Minty – Founder of Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff, Daniel is devoted to promoting the live music scene in Cardiff and Wales. He launched the Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff map and weekly podcast with the aim of promoting all the venues that people can go to enjoy live music in Cardiff. Passionate campaigner and advocate for new and established talent, Minty is a freelance team member of BBC Wales scheme Horizons/Gorwelion.
- Sarah Hemsley-Cole – Sarah is Company Director of SC Productions Ltd. Specialising in Site, Production, Event and Artist Liaison Management, SC Productions have delivered a range of events from large scale music concerts to site specific theatre in stadiums, historic venues, green fields, city centres and theatres across the UK and Europe. Sarah is also co-founder of NOWIE – a primarily online forum for Women working in the Event Industry.
- Antwn Owen-Hicks – A Portfolio Manager at Arts Council of Wales, Antwn’s work includes the music portfolio, broadcast partnerships, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Arts & Business. He trained as a visual artist, but has a particular interest in developing traditional music, having recorded and toured as a traditional musician since 1995. He leads the Wales delegation at the annual Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany.
- Adrian Field – Executive Director of FOR Cardiff, Cardiff’s Business Improvement District (BID) which covers 130 streets across the city, from Principality Stadium to Newport Road and Butetown to Cathays. One of the largest BID areas in the UK, comprising over 900 levy payers, the Ambassador scheme is one of the programmes of work the BID has planned for their 5 year strategy to make Cardiff more welcoming, vibrant and influential. Adrian has a keen interest in developing the live music scene in Cardiff as part of a thriving night time economy.
Speaking about her appointment to the Music Board, Bethan Elfyn, said:
“It’s a huge honour to be invited to join the Cardiff Music Board. Cardiff’s music scene has affected every part of my life and changed many a trajectory. I fell in love with the city through the music scene and its creative community back in the 90s. From working part time at Spillers, to serving behind the bar in Clwb, raving at the Hippo Club, moshing at Metros, to more recently seeing it as a DJ, promoter, and broadcaster – Cardiff has changed a lot, but there’s never been a lull in the pace and energy that music brings to the city.
“I look forward to supporting strategy, collaborating and hearing new ideas and plans for developing and working together to build on this gateway for Welsh music.”
Other Cardiff Music Board positions are:
Cllr Huw Thomas – Leader of Cardiff Council –Chair
Cllr Peter Bradbury – Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism
Ruth Cayford – Creative Industries and Culture, Cardiff Council
Heather Brown – Events Development Officer, Cardiff Council
Gerwyn Evans – Deputy Director for Creative Wales, Welsh Government.
Shain Shapiro, President of Sound Diplomacy, said:
“Cardiff’s implementation of the music board is the first milestone of moving forward with the process of the music strategy. Remember, a music strategy is a process, not a race. It is now part of city governance, like anything else. The development of the board will help continue to drive forward the recommendations together, which we look forward to supporting in whatever way we can”