On Saturday 8th February protestors took to the streets of Cardiff in opposition to cuts proposed by Cardiff Council, which threaten the closure of iconic Cardiff city venues.
A Facebook page for the event, titled ‘The Save St David’s Hall Flashmob’ announced that attendees should ‘bring an umbrella, placard, a loud singing voice and slogans to chant’, adding: ‘let’s show Cardiff Council why we are the land of song!’
In response, around 70 people gathered outside St David’s Hall and The New Theatre in order to show their support for the venues.
A further 30 singers from local youth opera company Opera’r Ddraig were also in town to show their additional support and promote their upcoming performance of Bizet’s Carmen.
The voices joined together to sing traditional Welsh songs Calon Lan and Bread of Heaven, while holding up signs in protest.
Former Cardiff University Music student David Hutchings, who claims part of the reason he studied at the University was because of St David’s Hall, organised the event. Even with the support of many social media workers, he was still surprised at success of the turnout.
“The main thing that struck me was with just 48 hours’ notice and forecast rain, the sheer number of people that turned up and also how passionate they were about the cause,” Hutchings explained. “I think people are shocked about how quickly things are moving and that these iconic venues are under threat. The public stopped and joined in, watched or took photographs and we got people to sign up our petitions. We got so many signatures that we haven’t even finished counting them yet.”
St David’s Hall opened in 1982, and with its capacity for an audience of 2,000, it has hosted the annual Welsh Proms, bi-annual BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and a world-class Orchestral Concert Series in addition to rock/pop/jazz and comedy, hosting performances by everyone from Mumford & Sons to Bill Bailey in recent years.
The change.org petition that the protests were supporting, ‘Stop the proposed sale of St David’s Hall and New Theatre’, also stresses the importance of the New Theatre, which opened in 1906, and claims that it ‘needs to be kept in the hands of the people of Cardiff and not