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Arts centre resurrected as venue for live music.

Byline: DAVID OWENS Reporter david.owens@walesonline.co.uk

THE Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd has been resurrected as a live music venue.

Since it reopened under the control of a community trust, the venue has been steadily reintroducing arts programming back into the town.

And now it is pushing ahead with a series of high-profile gigs.

A show by hugely popular indie rock outfit Wolf Alice sold out in under an hour and gigs by ska veterans The Beat and rockers Inglorious are selling well.

"The Muni has always been the home of live music in Pontypridd," said Martin Williams, live music programmer at the venue.

"Its the heartbeat of the town and arguably one of the best venues for live music in the entire Valleys.

"I was approached by the trust to help structure the programme and bring some high-calibre acts back to the venue.

"There's such a strong thirst for live music in the Valleys and we really want to reignite the venue with some stellar shows.

"I've witnessed some wonderful shows here in the past, ranging from 10CC to Sepultura, and I really know the potential of what can be done here in the Muni."

Martin said that the plan is to create a diverse offering of shows at the venue.

"We're trying to build things up gradually with a series of shows ranging from high-profile acts to tribute acts to local acts," he said.

"We're also very keen to work with reputable promoters and bring some exciting projects to the venue.

"We appreciate that things will take some time, but we're really keen to build up our audiences and bring some high quality back to the venue."

He added: "The rationale has been to secure some strong heritage acts like The Beat, who always deliver a great show and have a steady following.

"We're really keen to support local acts and working hard to entice new exciting acts like Wolf Alice and Inglorious.

"Wolf Alice is a show promoted by Swn Festival, but one we've been working on for a few months. We were thrilled when we heard that Swn had secured the booking and we knew the show would sell out really quickly. It eventually sold out in under one hour.

"No doubt the show is going to bring music lovers here from all across the UK and most of them would have never been to the Muni before, which is amazing."

Martin stressed that it was important to work closely with the Muni Trust on the shows.

"Its crucial that we work together with the trust to make the Muni a prosperous venue," he said.

"It deserves success. So we keep dialogue open, share ideas and discuss how we can make things better after every live show.

"We've been overwhelmed by the renewed interest in the venue and encouraged by the response to our forthcoming shows. Ticket sales are doing well and we'll continue to keep pushing the shows at every opportunity.

"There's definitely a captive and loyal audience for live music in the area and from previous shows in the Muni, we know people are willing to travel here to see good music, such is the reputation.

"So its up to us to make sure we keep on top of our shows and to give the people a great experience each and every time."

| To find out what's on at the Muni, visit facebook.com/MUNIARTSCENTRE

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Muni Arts Centre live music programmer Martin Williams and venue manager Kris Thomas
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 3, 2017
Words:589
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