Festival of Voice in Cardiff to be annual event

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Cate Le Bon will be guest curator and performer
Image caption,
Cate Le Bon will be guest curator and performer

The Festival of Voice in Cardiff is to be become an annual four-day event, organisers have announced.

The programme, which returns in October, has been running every two years in the summer since 2016.

Cate Le Bon will join this year's festival as both a performer and a guest curator for part of it.

The full line-up will be unveiled in the summer but more than 60 performances have been promised in Cardiff Bay.

Previous performers range from Patti Smith, Van Morrison and Gruff Rhys to Laura Marling and Elvis Costello.

It will follow in the wake of another annual "wristband" music festival in the city in October - Swn. This has established itself at various city centre venues with an emphasis on cutting-edge and up-and-coming talent.

The city has been trying to raise its profile for music, in the wake of threats to some smaller venues.

Festival of Voice will be based in Cardiff Bay at the Wales Millennium Centre and the nearby Portland House. Organisers said it aims for a mix of live music, "thought-provoking performance and inspirational talks".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Billy Bragg, Patti Smith and Elvis Costello headlined the 2018 festival

Artistic director Graeme Farrow said: "We're thrilled that, as of this year, Festival of Voice will become an international centrepiece of Wales' annual calendar, and of Cardiff's commitment to placing music at the heart of the capital's development."

Mercury Prize-nominee Le Bon said the festival encouraged its curators "to cast a wide net" and bring the voices that mean something to the city of Cardiff.

"It's a beautiful thing to champion voices that bring joy, that guide, inspire, challenge, soothe and unite us whilst political division and disconnection is being peddled," she added.