Old enough to be in a museum

20 October 2016

Festival Crowd

Cardiff’s Sŵn Music Festival turns 10 this year and is working with Cardiff University to research the festival experience.

As part of this project, the research team will create a pop-up Sŵn Music Museum in the Castle Arcade in the city centre during the festival (Oct 21-23).

The Sŵn Music Museum invites local gig-goers, venues, music buffs and well-known names to contribute their own pieces of musical history and explore the 10 years of the festival, and the changes and developments of its place in the city.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the University to work with a festival community and talk about music memories as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sŵn."

Dr Johann Gregory, Research Associate

Dr Johann Gregory, co-ordinator of the Creative Cardiff Research Network at Cardiff University, said: "As the festival landscape grows and grows, the research project, which runs in tandem with the Museum, will offer fresh insights into the ecology of festivals and their cultural value.”

Dr Jacqui Mulville, leader of the Festivals Research Group in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion and the Sŵn Music Museum lead curator added: “Music is woven into the fabric of our lives. Our lifetime relationship with music exists in our homes as memorabilia – LPs, posters, t-shirts, tickets, clothing, and more. We keep items to remind us of great days and nights, of significant events or life changing moments..."

"In asking people to share objects in our museum we want to explore how central music is to their lives and, as an archaeologist I am interested in how objects represent the recent, as well as the far distant, past."

Dr Jacqui Mulville, Reader in Bioarchaeology

"Also, 2016 has been a year of musical news, with anniversaries such as 10 years of Sŵn and 40 years of punk, the loss of high profile musical stars including Bowie and Prince and the closure of city centre music venues such as Fabric in London. I think it is a good time to reflect on just how much music matters to us.”

John Rostron, Sŵn Festival co-founder, said: “The museum is about having a place where you bring in your mementoes from festivals – might be ticket stubs or old t-shirts, drumsticks that someone thrown out into the crowd. Or it might be your stories, or videos or photographs. And we will exhibit them in our own museum..."

“I like the way the museum links to archaeology and how archaeologists work: where they find things and try to piece a story together based on those objects. Music and the stories behind music can be a bit like that: you keep a ticket stub that could tell this fantastic story behind it."

John Rostron, Co-Founder of Sŵn Festival

"I think that lots of people that love music have boxes and draws full of bits and bobs, and this is an opportunity to bring some of them in; or take photographs and send them to us, and share those wonderful stories everyone has got.”

The Sŵn Music Museum is being built through the crowdsourcing of materials and the organisers are inviting music aficionados to bring along three objects in advance to be displayed during the Sŵn weekend.

Virtual contributions can be made via social media or objects and stories can be taken to the museum and recorded on the spot.

Students from the University’s Archaeology and Conservation department will be on hand to offer advice on how to care for musical memorabilia. All the images and stories will be collected and displayed in the Sŵn Music Museum virtual gallery.

The museum will be open to the public in the first instance on Friday 21st October (12-5pm), Saturday 22nd (12-5pm) and Sunday 23rd (12-5pm), and is free for everyone to explore.