HUNDREDS of people packed into a Builth Wells theatre last weekend, sending a clear signal that it continues to be a cultural asset to the local and wider Mid Wales community.

Live at the Wyeside attracted around 400 people to the Wyeside Arts Centre on Saturday, March 2, who came to watch 18 local bands playing throughout the day.

Organisers have hailed it as a defiant declaration that despite a drastic lack of funding, the arts and culture scene in Powys is alive and kicking.

Jill Mustafa, Wyeside’s general manager, said: “Wyeside Arts Centre is extremely grateful to Black Sheep Promotions for arranging the Live at the Wyeside event.


“The whole day was fantastic and attracted a huge audience – both regulars and new customers.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback. The event was enjoyed by all. The plethora of music on offer was amazing. The event helps raise the profile of local bands and the importance of Wyeside in our rural location. A huge thanks to everyone that made the event possible.”

Barney Williams, of Black Sheep Promotions, and Ben Shearer decided they wanted to do something after reading the October 2023 article regarding the financial plight of the Wyeside in the County Times.

Live at the Wyeside is said to have raised more than £10,000 for the venue, although organisers are keen to point that this is about more than just finances.

It was about proving that there is a desire for the local population to engage in arts and culture from within their own communities – after all, the number of attendees represents around 20 per cent of Builth’s population.

County Times:

A number of arts groups in Powys have seen their budgets squeezed, with dance charity Impelo announcing recently that it was scaling back its service for six months.

One of the local musicians performing at Wyeside was Nyree Williams, who said: “The Wyeside is such an important space for the community and keeping the arts scene in Powys – and Builth in particular – alive and connected to the rest of the world and to each other.

“It feels like the government don't care about the arts, and that's particularly painful in Wales.

“Artistic expression is highly valued and deeply, deeply engrained in the culture.

“I can't imagine Builth without Wyeside, and it was a privilege playing to support somewhere I've enjoyed seeing shows, gigs and films in since I was tiny.”

County Times:  Around 400 people came to watch 18 local bands playing throughout the day. Around 400 people came to watch 18 local bands playing throughout the day. (Image: Black Sheep Promotions)

Barney, of Black Sheep, said: “This event was very important to us and we weren’t surprised at how much commitment we got from all the performers, and so far in advance.

“The turnout goes to show how important Wyeside is as a cultural asset to the local community. We can’t wait to get going with more events over the course of the year.”

All the money raised will go directly to Wyeside. Everyone, from artists and promoters, to Black Sheep and equipment supplier Matt Lodge Productions, offered their time for free to make the event a success.

Plans are already in place to repeat the event next year, and Black Sheep and Wyeside will be collaborating on other events in the coming months.

They would especially like to thank Matt Lodge Productions, who supplied audio equipment and services.

In a joint statement they said: “We’d also like to thank all the performers who made the day so special, all the volunteers who made the day go so smoothly and make it a special day for everyone, and finally everyone that came and made it a day to remember.”