Today I managed to pull myself away from the drawing table for an hour or two to explore Womanby Street’s first Pop Up Event…
A few months ago, a friend of mine who is also a TV extra and happens to be the proprietor of FUEL in Cardiff (seriously check this place out – the owner is a lovely guy and the club itself plays the best music in town), mentioned that he and a few of the other club/pub owners were looking to encourage an alternative quarter in Cardiff, akin to Camden in London. This was to include independent locally sourced food and drink (as well as Vegan and Vegetarian food), art galleries, vintage clothes stores and live music events. Obviously this idea was right down my street, but also, I fell, much needed in the Welsh capitol.
Wales has always been a brilliant producer of rock talent and encouraging of punk, alternative and rock culture; so the idea of a ‘quarter’ of Cardiff dedicated to this scene would be welcome. Now, I haven’t been out and about on Cardiff’s live music scene for a while now. I used to go out all the time and even worked in a rock club myself, but sadly work has started to eat into my social time quite considerably; but anything that encourages people to appreciate food, music and art is good in my book. I also LOVE Camden. When I was a student in London it was one of my favourite places to be on the weekend, so the idea of that sort of vibrant, bohemian culture being right on my doorstep is very exciting.
The Pop Up Cardiff event was a much smaller version of the Camden vibe, but nonetheless captured the bohemian atmosphere perfectly. From the street food vendors to the galleries, hemp clothes, vintage stores, palmistry and buskers, it was like they had brought a tiny section of London to the Welsh Capitol. I turned up quite early, so did not see the crowds I would have hoped for on a Sunny Sunday, but the food vendors were still rammed with custom with queues for barbecue spilling out onto the street.
Despite the amount of social media attention this event had, it would have been nice to see some more signage around Cardiff advertising it to bring in the sun-worshipers on their way to other bars and restaurants around town. But this is probably more of a Cardiff Council issue than the fault of Womanby Street itself. The interior galleries and stores also seemed a little bit under-staffed as far as vendors were concerned and I was a bit unsure as to who owned what stall, but again this may have been the fault of coming early in the day.
I for one hope that Womanby Street keeps this sort of event up as it is a perfect place to showcase new music, art and foodie talent. I for one would love to be involved with it in the future and will definitely be returning to the Fashion Quarter when my bank balance is a bit healthier. Tomorrow however, I will be heading to the ACTUAL Camden for a gig which I have been looking forward to for a while so expect only a short post from me (probably from the bus!)