Lynks and Jessica Winter lead the first announcement for Cardiff’s Sŵn Festival.

The intimate city festival is back this October with a dazzling initial lineup ranging from Speedy Wunderground alumni to Welsh-language drill.

Jessica Winter by Nan Moore | Words: Lloyd Bolton

This morning we have been greeted with the news that the wonderful Sŵn festival is back for this October (20th to 22nd). The Cardiff multi-venue festival is a chance to catch the best of the UK’s alternative acts in a lineup coloured by treasures of the local Cardiff scene, all in an intimate series of settings. Last year’s festival was a highlight of 2022, with PVA, Wesley Gonzalez and Bingo Fury stealing the show.

Sŵn is a brilliant way to experience Cardiff, presenting bands around the city’s most distinctive venues. Clwb Ifor Bach is the city’s legendary flagship venue, but other highlights worth mentioning are The Moon, with its magical 4 for £12 deal on Red Stripe pint cans, and Jacobs, the antique shop-turned multi-stage venue/café/gallery. Seeing Group Listening perform in their upstairs room against a backdrop of the Cardiff rooftops last year was absolutely magical.

Walt Disco at 2022’s Festival by Ashlea Bea

From the initial wave of acts, it looks like this year’s Sŵn could simply be an all-out party. There is no better pair to lead this wave than Lynks and Jessica Winter (recent collaborators on underground hit ‘Clutter’). Lynks is always up to the task of a festival, bringing the energy, the choreography, the comedy and, of course, the homemade gimp-suits. Winter is similarly invigorating and is evidently on a mission to conquer the world, popping up anywhere and everywhere at the minute, most recently supporting the Rebecca Black tour. Her performance was a highlight of last year’s Mutations festival, and her set in Cardiff will doubtless live up to her reputation. Get down the front to belt out all the words to ‘Choreograph’.

After the unexpected delight of sklyrk. at last year’s festival, we are well up for checking out some more Welsh-language rap, and it looks like this year could offer up further intriguing options, drill artist Sage Todz being of particular interest. The joy of this festival is its throwing such acts side by side with more familiar names from the alternative circuit. This year Speedy Wunderground make their mark on the first 20 names, offering the militant brilliant Heartworms and the unlikely dance music heroes O..

With only a handful of acts announced so far, Sŵn is already living up to the reputation that has already sold out its first two waves of tickets. The festival is always a great excuse to head to Cardiff, and this year looks set to be especially fun.

Tier 2 Tickets for Sŵn are available here: