To save Womanby St, sign the petition here. Feel free to continue reading if you need any more persuading.
This week, J D Wetherspoons revealed plans to turn three of its vacant floors above The Gatekeeper, located in Womanby St, Cardiff into hotel rooms. The plans revealed that no additional construction will be needed, besides two extra windows.
Every Cardiff goer will know of Womanby St, whether it be for The Full Moon, Clwb Ifor Bach or Fuel. Each of these venues bring something brilliant to the Cardiff night life and is especially vital to the Cardiff music scene. Regular visitors to any or all of these venues will know the sheer amount of local bands that start their musical journey from these clubs. Clwb Ifor Bach especially has existed since 1983 and has always been a major role in the music scene. Independent artists such as Jay Brannan or bands such as Senses Fail and InMe have appeared in Clwb Ifor, and frequently has sold-out shows. If that doesn’t say much for it’s popularity, I don’t know what will.
Fuel Rock Club, a bar and venue known for it’s adoration of metal music has even been big in the news recently. Bruce Dickenson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden, visited Fuel and spent time behind the bar pulling pints of The Trooper for fans. Not only did Fuel have the singer of a world famous heavy metal band visit, but it is a venue that consistently puts on events and supports growing acts. Eradication festival held at Fuel Rock Club brings in bands from all over the UK – many of which has complimented the music scene that Cardiff has.
The Full Moon Club has had it’s fair share of events too. The Rum Festival brings people from everywhere to the depths of Womanby St, and with the Full Moon’s interactive, friendly and brilliant staff, the club is one of the best places to socialise. With their calendar constantly full up with events and shows that are at affordable prices that garners a lot of attention. It’s a place where people can find new music, have their creativity inspired or just fill up a night with some fun.
These three venues has a lot of loyal customers, regularly draws a crowd and makes a lot of noise. Womanby St is the best place for it, because it’s mostly away from sleeping ears.
The Gatekeeper, next door to the Full Moon, is where the hotel will be opening. It’s already a popular pub, even to those who visit any of the three venues mentioned previously. The pub has food and plenty of places to sit and during sports days, the pubs near packed. With people sleeping above the pub, especially during peak hours of activity, there will be complaints flying left, right and center. Putting a hotel in one of the busiest and most vital areas of Cardiff is not only silly, but downright cruel.
The development plan says that it will not affect any of the immediate commercial area, but how long can that be guaranteed for? It’s unfair to assume that because, well, people are going to want to sleep and the club-goers are going to want to party.
There are plenty of places for J D Wetherspoons, especially in Cardiff, to build their hotel. There is no need for it to potentially sabotage something special within Cardiff center. An argument for is that the hotel will bring “tourism and commerce,” but do they not understand that this small music community that has thrived for years, has brought “travel and commerce”? It’s rare that bands or artists will announce Cardiff shows these days, and Womanby St at least gives us the chance to offer those bands and artists a place to play. It gives local bands a start in their musical journeys. It gives regular people that love music, or just love a good time, the chance to be a part of every thing that comes and goes through these streets.
A petition has been started to save Womanby St from this only-for-profit hotel and you can sign it here. If you’re not from Cardiff or have never heard about Womanby St, please consider the points mentioned in this post. Would you want your cities local music scene destroyed by something that is unneeded?
Check out the facebook pages of the venues by clicking the links below to see just how many events they hold and attention they garner.