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After Swn 2009

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 11:41 UK time, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

So, Swn 2009 is over. The hangover still lingers, as do the memories of so many great bands, so many friendly faces and good people. Swn was so good it could transform the most charismatic conversationalist into a pub bore, banging on and on (and... on) about who they saw over the weekend while the unblessed wish to hell they'd shut up.

So I won't bore you with the who's, where's and what-they-were-like's. But I am going to implore any of you out there who are musicians, or run labels, to make the effort to go next year, regardless of whether you're playing or not.

Swn is a brilliant opportunity to meet people and pass your music around. I met journalists, label owners, promoters, broadcasters, and it made me realise how useful Swn is becoming as the major networking event on the Welsh music calendar. More than that: it's becoming one of the most important events on the UK music calendar.

One of the most enlightening aspects of the three-day festival were the seminars run by the Welsh Music Foundation. They were on a range of different subjects pertinent to Welsh musicians and the Welsh music industry. I sat listening to Bethan Elfyn, Huw Stephens (both Radio 1), Guto Brychan (Gwymon, Rasal and Maes B) and Deian Yucatan (musician and promoter at Morgan Lloyd in Caernarfon) give advice on getting your music heard and supported. The panel's consensus was that the best way to get your music listened to is to hand it over in person, if you can.

And I agree wholeheartedly.

I managed to pick a ruck of CDs up over the weekend. I got to put faces to the names of some of my favourite Welsh musicians. It makes a massive difference.

Huw Stephens curates the festival and is a very visible and busy presence walking from venue to venue. Thirty seconds spent politely putting a CD into his hand creates a connection you just can't get with e-mail or the post.

I can appreciate that for some this might rankle a little. Cardiff's a long way from Anglesey. It's not a cheap city to stay in. But it is a great place to meet people who may be able to help you.

My advice: start saving for Swn 2010. Above and beyond all of the inspiring music you will hear, you'll meet the kind of influential people you rarely bump into on the high street in Mold.


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