As the South-Wales economy becomes increasingly dependent on Cardiff and the sprawling Cardiff ‘City Region’ concept, towns in the Valleys face an uncertain future.
With a rapidly improving infrastructure in place to accelerate the Cardiff commute and the 2014 EUROSTATS declaring the Valleys one of the top 5 poorest performing economic regions in Europe, rarely in a proud, robust and often self-sustaining history has the area felt so fragile and so perilously close to losing its unique identity and rich history.
Back for its second year, Velvet Coalmine aims to inject inspiration into the Blackwood area via the arts and provide a platform for our voices to be heard and our stories to be told without censorship and without agenda. It allows local artists to perform alongside more established stars and encourages expression and creativity for all ages across a variety of art-forms.
With The Joe Strummer Foundation as the festival’s official charity partner and a number of local and international brands already on board as sponsors, just some highlights to expect this year include:
- The first ever Wales gig by legendary American band Meat Puppets, famed for their influence on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.
- Manic Street Preachers bassist/lyricist and Blackwood native Nicky Wire will curate the Velvet Coalmine Film Festival with BAFTA Award winning director Kieran Evans.
- Sex Pistol Glen Matlock to perform his show ‘I was a teenage Sex Pistol’ (following a sold out run in Edinburgh).
- Fast-rising duo Slaves headline the Saturday main stage.
- Newport legends Dub War play only their second show in Wales in 18 years
- Legends of Punk afternoon with Q & A’s featuring Glen Matlock, Don Letts and Viv Albertine.
- Literature Festival curated by award-winning Welsh writer Rachel Trezise.
- Children’s literature festival.
- Poetry stage to feature Costa prize-winning local poet Jonathan Edwards, local poet/playwright Patrick Jones and award-winning performance poet Clare e. Potter
- Opening night of the festival dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike with Roy Noble as speaker, a brass band, guest speakers and all proceeds to the National mining Memorial in Senghenydd.
- …And with so many more announcements to come, please stay tuned. Join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter and Facebook too…