A gig at a beloved Powys arts venue next month will provide the latest step in efforts to keep it going.

Live at the Wyeside is being held at Builth Wells’ Wyeside Arts Centre on Saturday, March 2.

Organised by Black Sheep Promotions, the organisers came up with the idea after discovering the prestigious venue’s future was under threat last October, due to a shortfall in funding from the Arts Council of Wales (ACW).

Now, 18 local bands, many from Builth, will come together for a full day of performances, with all proceeds raised going to Wyeside.

County Times:  Live at the Wyeside is taking place on Saturday, March 2. Live at the Wyeside is taking place on Saturday, March 2. (Image: Black Sheep Promotions)

Barney Williams, the founder of Black Sheep Promotions, and Ben Shearer are organising the event, having collaborated on event promotions for the last year in and around Builth.

They both decided to do something after reading the October 2023 article regarding the financial plight of the Wyeside in the County Times.

“We put messages out to a number of local acts asking if they'd be interested in being part of a fundraiser and the support and enthusiasm was overwhelming, even from high profile local bands such as Fundlewarp and the Lampshade Catchers, Conspiracy Theory and The Big Licks,” said Ben, who lives in Aberedw.

“Both Barney and I are passionate about local culture and its importance to the community, as well as to Wales in general.

“When I moved here I wasn't surprised by the quality of local talent – no-one can sing like the Welsh after all – but the sheer quantity of local talent is beautiful.

“Beyond musicians this local hub provides a place for artists of other cultural forms to reach a wider audience and the community is enriched by it.”


Builth band The New Deadly will be appearing on the bill, playing the Wyeside’s theatre stage on Saturday evening. Bands will feature on both the theatre and gallery stages throughout the day, with the entertainment beginning at 1pm and going right on through until 11pm.

“We’re super proud to say we’re going to be a part of this event,” said The New Deadly in a post on their Facebook page.

“It’s been an important live music venue for the town and if we can save it we need to ensure it becomes one again. There’s going to be a massive line-up of local bands and musicians.”

Fearing for its future

Wyeside chiefs revealed in October that they were facing the “very real” prospect of shutting in early 2024 without “significant investment”.

Wyeside was offered £30,000 by the ACW following an investment review – but this figure only represents a “stand-still” amount the venue has been operating on since 2014. It represents just 20 per cent of what Wyeside chiefs applied for, with £157,000 required “just to break even”.

“We are sadly in very big trouble,” general manager Jill Mustafa had said.

“This grant does not in any way address the desperate need to support, maintain and develop our venue and the associated revenue costs for the future.

“Without significant investment we could be facing final curtains by the beginning of next year. It’s make or break.”

Visit Wyeside at https://www.wyeside.co.uk/ to both find out more about the gig and also how you can help them keep the doors open.

Book tickets to Live at the Wyeside at https://www.wyeside.co.uk/events/liveatwyeside.