Second wave announced: Elvis Costello, Gwenno & Susanne Sundfør

The main Festival of Voice programme has been announced and we can’t wait to introduce you to more 2018 acts. We’re bringing you international and local artists, unique one-off performances, intimate gigs, special commissions, a secret bar and even a couple of world premières.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Beninese vocalist and activist, Angelique Kidjo, Welsh experimental psych-pop artist Gwenno and Norwegian folk-songstress Susanne Sundfør will join Patti Smith, Gruff Rhys, Billy Bragg and Passenger for our 11 day festival this June. Excited? Keep reading…

New theatre commissions

Wales Millennium Centre has been developing and commissioning a number of new theatre pieces for the festival. Welsh actress and singer Carys Eleri’s Lovecraft is a one-woman science-comedy musical looking at the scientific underpinnings of love and loneliness in our modern society; Highway One by August 012 and directed by Mathilde López, is a touching and absurdly funny tale of the tribulations of travel in search for meaning, features live performances from Katell Keineg and Double Vision is a new thriller and multi-sensory inclusive experience from Cardiff-based gig theatre specialists, Gagglebabble.

We’re also pleased to welcome the enigmatic Irish singer and story-teller Camille O’Sullivan to the festival to perform the songs of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in her new piece, Cave.

Unique music experiences

The Welsh National Opera will perform Rhondda Rips It Up! featuring Lesley Garret. The show tells the story of Margaret Haig Thomas (Lady Rhondda), the Newport suffragette whose activities paved the way for women’s rights.

Last year’s Welsh Music Prize winner, The Gentle Good known for his intricate guitar playing and timeless folk melodies, will be supported by Ivan Moult, with special performances from both artists as they’re joined on stage by the Mavron Quartet.

Several international collectives will stun you with powerful vocal displays, including Reykjavíkurdætur a 10-woman-strong rap collective from Iceland; A Filetta a Corsican vocal group whose six members’ vocals soar and intertwine with three-part polyphonic songs; and Tank and The Bangas bring their flawless marriage of rap, spoken word and neo-soul as one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans.

Gig Buddies Cardiff

We’ve partnered with Learning Disability Wales to launch Gig Buddies, a befriending scheme that matches people with a learning disability with volunteers who share the same interests, so they can go to gigs together.

 We’re also encouraging ticket-buyers to donate funds to help us give subsidised tickets to those who would not normally be able to enjoy our festival programme through our Pay it Forward scheme.. Please give what you can when buying yours.

And finally…
Details on a secret bar, Charlotte Church’s Utopia, a takeover of the Wales Millennium Centre curated by the Welsh singer, plus details of a new collaborative project from a headliner will be announced on 12 April. For now, there’s plenty to explore, find tickets here.

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