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Cardiff gig guide launches innovative new platform and university partnership
A ground-breaking new website is being launched at Cardiff University on September 14th to ensure that live music is more accessible, visible and inclusive in Wales.
Minty’s Gig Guide, a not-for-profit fan-led information service, was first published in 2017 by Daniel Minty to help keep local music fans up to date. Minty has been a champion of the local music scene in the Welsh capital for many years, and founded the guide in 2016 to help others discover the many colours to the city’s musical palette.
Earlier this year the gig guide worked in collaboration with BBC Radio 6 Music, producing a map, to promote their music festival in Cardiff. Following a tough few years under Covid-19 restrictions, this collaboration with the national broadcaster was the springboard for developing a new bilingual web-based event finder that will serve music fans, locally, regionally and internationally that want to make a visit to the capital of Wales.
Minty’s Gig Guide has now been established as a Community Interest Company (CIC). At the launch event on the 14th September, the team behind this CIC will announce their vision alongside their five-year mission to get 100,000 people who live in, work within and visit Wales to a gig they otherwise might miss.
Designed by local tech-for-good company Big Lemon, the new digital gig guide will help everyone who lives in, works within and visits Cardiff to find out key information on venues, artists, and performance times. From it’s get-go in April this year, this project has been supported by Creative Wales, FOR Cardiff and the Caerphilly coworking and enterprise hub, Welsh ICE, where Minty’s Gig Guide CIC is based.
By working in association with a team of academics from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media & Culture (JOMEC), Minty’s Gig Guide will also now be supported by research into the impact that the guide has on people’s engagement in the live music scene of Cardiff, the wider impact live music has on the night-time economy and access to participation. Researchers will be able to use the data from the new website to explore the economic impact of Cardiff’s music landscape in more depth than ever before, whilst also developing and building an archive of music heritage.
“I’m so proud to be able to finally launch this project fully with an incredible group of directors supporting me through every step of the way, with an immense amount of gratitude for all those along my personal journey who have made this all possible. We’ve always felt such a great resonance with the community in the work that we do to raise awareness of events in Wales.
“Live music gives the powerful gift of joy and unites people in the most special of ways. We hope that our offering can play its small part in giving the choice and the decision to go back to the gig-goer and away from the social media algorithms.
“The amount of talent in and coming to Wales is so rich and it’s so important to extensively broadcast that. The real graft now begins in exploring what comes next in our new explorative exciting journey with Cardiff University; bringing the offering of live music on our very doorstep to the pocket of each person within South Wales.”
Heading up the research team from Cardiff University’s JOMEC department is artist and academic, Dr Carrie Westwater. Dr Westwater said:
“The potential for Minty’s Gig Guide to increase public engagement in live music is exponential. Not only does the guide enable seasoned gig goers to access music in a more cohesive and well thought out manner. The impact of new audiences being able to discover artists, venues and new music experiences they would usually have to dig deep to find, will no doubt have a direct impact on our Cardiff night-time economy.
“In a post pandemic setting, where venues and musicians are struggling to maintain their presence, this is not only essential to the community but to Cardiff’s cultural landscape. We, at JOMEC are excited to be part of this new era and to help strengthen its momentum through diligent research and participatory methods.”
Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director, Creative Wales, also praised this development:
“On behalf of Creative Wales I’d like to congratulate Minty’s Gig Guide CIC on launching the complete Gig Guide map and website – the result of some excellent collaborative working between local creatives and agencies, and a follow up from the first map which was launched to complement the 6 Music Festival Fringe earlier this year.
“The map itself is a really useful tool for visitors to the Welsh capital, and helps users to navigate their way around the wealth of venues, gigs and events that Cardiff has to offer. Supporting grassroots venues has never been more important and aligns with Welsh Government’s vision to boost the creative sectors. Creative Wales is proud to support this project and we’re excited to see Minty’s Gig Guide CIC go from strength to strength.”
FOR Cardiff invested in the original Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff map in 2017, and its Executive Director, Adrian Field said they are continuing their commitment to music in the city:
“It is crucial that all gigs and where they are held are publicised to as wide an audience as possible and that people easily know where and when they can access such a huge range of live music in the city. FOR Cardiff continues to seek to promote music venues as part of the city’s offer and this work really does help do that and so we are delighted to be involved.”
The interactive online version of Minty’s Gig Guide was built in a few short weeks running up to the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival by Big Lemon. Co-owner and director, Sam Wheeler explained:
“We had a very tight turnaround to develop the original map – but our team loved being part of the excitement building in the city ahead of the 6 Music Festival.
“The illustrations of each venue are so unique and make the map beautiful to navigate. We’ve worked hard to celebrate that work in building a clean, quick-to-load interface for the listings to ensure they’re always up to date.
“It’s great to continue to be part of the project and keep alive such a great resource for the independent music sector in the city,” she said.
The new map and interactive guide will be launched on 14th September at an event within the Cardiff University JOMEC building, Central Square, where the Minty’s Gig Guide team will be joined by local businesses, press and notable people from the Welsh music industry as their mission, vision and directors are to be unveiled. The event will be followed by a free entry gig at Porter’s Cardiff in collaboration with the Forte Project.
Spike Griffiths, Project Director of the Forte Project said:
“The launch of Minty’s Gig Guide CIC is the perfect dovetail-joint to Forté’s monthly live showcase at Porters. It will be an evening of double celebration , as we also launch our new Forté Project applications. We’re thrilled to be collaborating alongside a wonderful and valuable resource that supports the live music community in Wales.”
The gig guide will be available at mintysgigguide.wales and the physical maps will be available at various kiosks and venues around South Wales.
You can keep up to date with the journey on the gig guide and find out what’s happening on your doorstep @MintysGigGuide on all social media and it’s weekly mailing list.