Cardiff Big Weekend has been cancelled this year because the city is hosting Olympic football the same weekend.
Cardiff council confirmed yesterday that the Admiral Cardiff Big Weekend, which is usually held the second weekend in August as part of Cardiff Festival, will be “rested” this summer because Olympic football is taking place at the Millennium Stadium on August 9 and 10.
The Big Weekend is normally held over three days at the Civic Centre and draws thousands of people into the city centre. Headliners in previous years have included The Feeling, The Zutons, Feeder and Athlete.
But the council said 2012 would be an “unprecedented” year for Cardiff, with the city playing host to Olympic football matches in July and August, and celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As a result, said a spokeswoman, changes have been made to this year’s Cardiff Festival.
A council spokeswoman said the Olympic Games would bring “many extra and exciting events” to the city.
The authority said these included a special concert for 16,000 people, featuring unannounced “top musical acts” which will be held in Coopers Field on May 25 as part of celebrations welcoming the Olympic Torch Relay to Cardiff.
The council added the 2012 Cardiff Festival will be the “biggest and best festival to date”, with 25 events between May and September including the well-established Cardiff Food and Drink Festival.
Cardiff Harbour Festival will also go ahead between August 31 and September and will include the Extreme Sailing Series. Cardiff won the bid to host the UK event of the global sailing circuit.
A spokeswoman for Admiral, who sponsor the Cardiff Big Weekend, said: “The Olympics are a once in a lifetime opportunity for Cardiff and Admiral supports everything the council is doing to make it an unforgettable event for the City.”
Motorpoint Arena also seems to be on hiatus for over a month around the Olympic events, where it usually hosts two or three events every week.
A number of big name acts are due to play at the venue, including JLS, Example, and LostProphets, but there is nothing publicly scheduled at the Arena between the July 10th, when Blink 182 are set to perform, and August 22nd, when Michael McIntyre will kick off his tour of the UK.
The Olympic football events are due to take place at the Millennium Stadium between July 25th and August 10th, right in the middle of the gap in the Motorpoint Arena’s listings.
But Cardiff’s executive member for leisure, culture, and sport, Nigel Howell, emphasised the legacy of the games, saying the Olympics will focus world-wide attention on Wales: “The Olympics is big news for Cardiff, the first of the games will actually be held at the Millennium Stadium, before the opening ceremony. The spotlight of the world will be on us.
“We’re hosting Team GB events, we have the Olympic Torch overnight, and we have paralympic events. It’s very exciting. We’ve also done very well in attracting teams to stay in Wales.”
Derek Harvey, general manager at The Marriot, Cardiff, said: “[The Olympics] is good news for us at a time when Cardiff can be quiet. One benefit is that there will be a three week period with a number of games, and there is another benefit of media interest in Cardiff.
“Hotels are generally quieter in July and August, this will give us a boost. The Olympics will more than cover any lack of music. Take That were only here for two days, the Olympics will last for much longer.”