Toby Cameron, Llinos Griffin-Williams, John Rostron, and Huw Stephens
(Photos: On Par Productions, used with permission)
The 9th of February saw RTS Wales screen the much anticipated two-part documentary #swn10, an S4C commission produced by Green Bay Media and On Par Productions, celebrating the beloved multi-venue Cardiff music festival SWN - the creation of BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and promoter John Rostron.
The cinema screening and following Q&A with the organisers and the production team, in front of a packed audience of music lovers and Documentary enthusiasts, was in conjunction with Festivities across Wales for Welsh Language Music Day.
SWN won the NME best small music festival prize, and has been the soundtrack to the lives of thousands of people over the years as they grew up with the artists and bands showcased. Everyone from Adele to the Vaccines and Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys has played SWN. The intimacy of the small venues makes each gig feel inherently part of something very special, and the fact that there is a 'no headliners' ban means that no one artist is seen of more value than the others. SWN is a festival that promotes new talent and showcases original artists, propelling and preparing many for bigger festivals such as Glastonbury. A place where the language of the song, whether it be in English, Welsh, or Portuguese, is not the focus. As Huw Stephens puts it, " ...good music is just good music no matter what language it's in"!
Toby Cameron (left), Producer Director of the Documentary said, 'It was amazing to bring everyone that's been involved in the project together to say thank you, and a great way to celebrate bilingual Wales and the talents and dedication of SWN, such an epic festival, over the past decade, and on a personal note to be able to enjoy a passion project of mine on the big screen'.
Capturing 10 years of music history against the backdrop of this year's festival, emotions were running high for Huw and John as they looked back at the blood, sweat, tears and financial challenges and dedication needed in running a music festival for a decade.
The Documentary, first screened on S4C in December 2016 and available on BBC iPlayer, had a fantastic response, and personally it was a pleasure to Exec such a passion project for everyone involved.