By Zoe Kramer
Cardiff University Students’ Union’s Great Hall will be receiving an extensive makeover in the coming months.
The Great Hall is a versatile space in the SU, hosting freshers’ fairs, beer festivals and dodgeball tournaments by day, and a range of concerts by night.
The Great Hall will be receiving new lighting and sound systems, as well as expanding its capacity from the current limit of 1500. The redevelopment plans will also connect the Great Hall to the Taf, the Students’ Union’s pub on the second floor.
To pay for the restoration, the SU have imposed a levy of 75p a ticket for live music and 50p for DJ events.
The Great Hall was originally opened 45 years ago in 1975. Since then, it has hosted many prominent acts such as The Clash, The Smiths, Oasis, Coldplay and The Killers.
“The last year has been one of our busiest for live shows, giving us the opportunity to work with lots of different promoters to bring diverse acts to the city, covering a variety of genres and production levels,” assistant Head of Venues, Nathan Walker, told WalesOnline.
“The live music scene in Cardiff has faced a period of flux in recent years with well-known venues closing their doors, so we are particularly pleased to have maintained our commitment to live music in the city and to have built such a great relationship with the local music fans and students who come to our shows.
“As well as having one of our busiest years for gigs, we have also been working on some exciting developments to the building and our event spaces.”
The plans for the venue are split into two phases; the first phase will involve replacing the current staging, installing a glass balustrade on the balcony, and installing a new rigging system in the ceiling. The second phase includes replacing lite trusses with more heavy duty alternatives, investing in more eco-friendly LED lights, and expanding the bar.
“This is a really exciting time for live music at Cardiff University Students’ Union. I loved coming to concerts here as a student and I can’t wait to come to more,” added Jackie Yip, Students’ Union President.
“Over the next few years, we will be focusing on exciting redevelopments to our Great Hall to increase capacity and improve the customer experience. We can’t wait to host more amazing artists in the years to come and to welcome you all through the doors to share in the moment.”
Speaking to Gair Rhydd, Yip stated: “We are in current talks with Cardiff University to develop the SU Welcome Centre to fit with the new look and feel of the Centre for Student Life building. It is hoped that in addition to this, we can gain investment to carry out vital work in The Great Hall.
The focus of the improvements is to enhance the student experience – the proposed development will increase the capacity of the venue for events, enable a greater range of activities in the space (including access for clubs and societies) and improve the connectivity to the SU reception and the CSL.
The project, if funded, will be planned in times that will have the least disruption on students and events, and will also be carried out in a phased manner to ensure the continuation of activity where possible.
We are proud of the memorable events The Great Hall has housed since it’s opening, everything from Cher to the Stereophonics, we are hoping that gaining this investment will ensure the venue can deliver for another 45 iconic years.”
If you have any feedback or ideas for how to further improve the venue, email [email protected]