Initial research for the Welsh Music Map took place in September 2021. Focusing on music venues, rehearsal rooms and recording studios, the work was led by Professor Paul Carr (University of South Wales) on behalf of Creative Wales.
The map currently consists of 496 businesses across the 22 local authorities of Wales, comprising of 75 recording studios, 7 dedicated rehearsal studios and 414 music venues of various sorts (not including festivals).
The local authority of Swansea marginally has the most music venues, followed closely by Cardiff, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. The Isle of Anglesey, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan have the least number of music venues, followed by Blaenau Gwent and Flintshire. ‘Pubs and Bar’s make up the majority of Wales’ music venues, complemented by a significant number of social clubs, theatres and nightclubs.
As with the city of Birmingham, Wales also has a high number of venues described as ‘other’ – which are not usually associated with live music. Although many of these are centred in and around Cardiff, there are also significant numbers of these venue types in the more rural locations of Pembrokeshire, Gwenedd and Wrexham.
The current map comprises of 496 businesses, or which 414 are music venues
108 of these venues could be described as being ‘close to Cardiff’.
Communities in mid Wales may have significant distances to travel to get to a music venue
The authority of Ceredigion has the lowest ratio of population to music venues (2804 to 1), closely followed by neighbouring Pembrokeshire (3018 to 1), Gwynedd (4316 to 1), Carmarthen (4320 to 1), Powys (4434 to 1) and Swansea (5246 to 1).
Those authorities with significantly the highest ‘population to venue ratios’ are Vale of Glamorgan (27059 to 1), Caerphilly (22716 to 1), Torfaen (18966 to 1), Flintshire (15685 to 1) and Isle of Anglesey (14088 to 1). Although a crude measure, this reveals that some areas of Wales have more opportunities than others to experience live music.