A multi-year award, with an initial phase of £95,000 over 18 months (Cardiff)
John co-founded the Cardiff-based music festival Sŵn (pronounced ‘soon’) with friend and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens in 2007 to promote and celebrate new music coming in and out of Wales. It has grown into a four-day event, with 200 artists in all kinds of venues plus DJs, exhibitions, film screenings, music industry sessions, outdoor performances and more. In February 2014, Sŵn won the NME Best Small Festival Award. Over the years, John has worked on Sŵn in a voluntary capacity alongside other professional commitments. He is currently Chief Executive of the Welsh Music Foundation, the music industry development agency for Wales.
Breakthrough support will allow John to focus on Sŵn full time and to pay himself a salary for this for the first time. It will enable him to build an expanded vision and plans for Sŵn that will see the organisation seeking to make a wider contribution to the growth and vibrancy of the Welsh new music scene, and to achieve a viable longer term future.