THIS SEPTEMBER, Logic Festival returns to Swansea, with Ynysforgan Farm hosting nearly 5,000 people across five arenas and over 70 artists performing.
The Festival can be seen as the spiritual successor to Escape In The Park, and will be headlined by a top name in dance music, Judge Jules, once voted best DJ in the world by DJ Mag.
Escape Into The Park was the biggest dance festival on the Welsh calendar, started by Jonathan Wignall and Danny Slade in July 1995. Mr Wignall owned nightclub Escape at the time, whilst Mr Slade worked there. They decided to launch a festival based on the club at Singleton Park, bringing in both top names in the industry as well as local talent looking to make a name for themselves.
Stars such as Tiësto, Chipmunk and Pendulum all performed over the years, as attendances rose from 5,000 to 25,000 people.
The festival was sold to a company called Angel Music Group in 2009, and continued as before until 2011. But in 2012, the festival was cancelled, releasing a statement saying: “Like many other UK festivals, Escape Into The Park is taking a year off in 2012.
“This year is looking to be very busy for the public with a combination of a summer of Olympic sporting activity and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in June.
“Therefore, we believe this is the perfect timing for us to take a year off to sit back and reassess the format of the festival with a view to coming back stronger than ever next year.”
Yet Escape Into The Park didn’t return, with many feeling that its sale changed the festival for the worse, with an influx of commercial acts lessening the event’s appeal.
Slade said: “The company didn’t have their heart in Wales, they were only there for financial gain. They didn’t have a passion for the event.”
Jason Pufal, owner of Rainbow Rooms Bar and Nightclub in Gorseinon, was a circuit DJ in the 1990s. Memories of the event prompted him to do something to fill the void left by Escape Into The Park’s absence. Pufal launched Logic Festival, which started out as a small event held at the end of summer 2016 with a capacity of just 499, and is now expecting nearly 5,000 to attend this year.
“I’ve been in the game for roughly 20 years, as a DJ, club owner and now running a festival is the next stage.” said Pufal.
When asked about the suggestion of Logic acting as spiritual successor to Escape Into The Park, Pufal said: “Escape Into The Park was one of the most talked about events in Wales, and so it is an honour to be compared to it.
“I feel we have helped put dance music in Wales back on the map, as there was a void after Escape Into The Park ended, and there is nothing in Wales doing what we do.”
With regard to ambitions for this year’s event, he said: “It would be nice to sell out this year, and there are other fields nearby we can license, so if things go well we can up the capacity to 10,000 in the future.”
The return of a festival to Swansea is a boost to the Welsh music scene, as Slade said: “It’s positive, as it proves people are interested in going to festivals in Wales, this year we hope for a good turnout and to go on to become bigger and better.”
The arenas will be categorised as Trance, Hardcore and Hard Dance, House, Club Classics and Multi Genre. With direct access to the M4 corridor, Ynysforgan Farm is a prime location, with free on-site parking in an adjacent field, as well as a fully licensed bar and catering concessions.
There will also be a launch party between August 18-19 at the Dillwyn Arms Hotel in Herbert Street, Pontardawe, with N-Trance playing a headlining DJ set.
Logic takes place on Saturday September 8, with standard tickets costing £27.50 and final release tickets costing £32.40.
You can also call 07763 000382 or visit www.logicfestival.wales
Llanelli High Street shortlisted for prize
LLANELLI HIGH STREET has been shortlisted in the Government’s Great British High Street Awards, in proud partnership with Visa, putting them in the running for up to £15,000.
After a rigorous selection process led by a panel of independent judges, the high street has been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, which celebrates high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.
The bid by Ymlaen Llanelli follows research commissioned by Visa in April 2019 demonstrating the positive impact that the local high street has on communities. The research found that nearly three quarters of consumers (71%) in Wales say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with nearly half (45%) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason. Spending time with friends and family (25%) and offering a sense of community (18%) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people feel happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50%) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Llanelli for being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.
“Llanelli high street is a hive of activity, with food festivals, childrens’ days and community get-togethers all part of the local calendar. A great example of how high streets can bring a renewed energy to communities.
“People are happier when they can see their hard-earned cash support local businesses. That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.”
Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, added: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories. In particular, the desire to innovate stands out amongst this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.
“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”
Llanelli High Street is one of the 28 high streets that have been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, identifying high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify. 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the UK’s best high streets. All 40 high streets are now in the running to win a prize of up to £15,000 to be dedicated to a local high street initiative.
Head Teacher at Primary school in Llanelli suspended
THE HEAD TEACHER of a Welsh primary school has been suspended, it has been confirmed.
Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins, who is head at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes in Llanelli, has been suspended from her duties at the school with immediate effect.
Governors at the school have been unavailable for comment, but Carmarthenshire Council confirmed the news this morning.
It is understood that the chair of the governing body is currently out of the country, and the council would not comment further on the circumstances surrounding the suspension.
The council’s director of education, Gareth Morgans, said: “School staffing is a matter for the Governing Body, however, we can confirm the headteacher of Ysgol Ffwrnes has been suspended.
“It is not appropriate to comment further.”
Mrs Lloyd-Jenkins has worked at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes for 23 years, taking up a post at the school in 1996.
She has been the headteacher there for almost 20 years, taking over the role in 2000. She has also worked as a peer inspector at Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales confirmed.
According to one local councillor, ‘serious concerns’ have been raised about the school in recent months.
“Local residents and parents have approached us raising serious concerns about the school in question,” said Carmarthenshire councillor Rob James.
“We are in dialogue with senior council officers to assert whether the allegations are credible and what action the council and governors have taken in response to these allegations.”
Dyfed-Powys Police numbers at record low, say Labour
POLICE officers based across the Dyfed-Powys area are now at their lowest levels in the last decade, with over 300 officers being lost across the region, claim Carmarthenshire Labour.
According to a freedom of information request by Carmarthenshire Labour, police officers based across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are down 42% and are at record lows in both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
The figures published by Dyfed-Powys Police show that Carmarthenshire has lost 160 officers in the last ten years, Pembrokeshire is down 107 officers and Ceredigion has lost 56 bobbies on the beat.
These figures come off the back of a poor report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary that shows the force has gone backwards in the last year, with crime also on the increase.
HMIC’s recent PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) report noted concerns about Dyfed-Powys Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime and specifically warned of failures to assess all incidents of domestic abuse.
Carmarthenshire Labour Leader Cllr Rob James claims that the figures show that the current Police and Crime Commissioner is now performing worse than their predecessor.
Rob James stated: “These figures that show a dramatic decrease in police numbers are extremely worrying and reinforce what communities are saying across Dyfed Powys – there are simply not enough police officers in our areas.
“The fact that we now have lower police numbers in the three counties compared to the end of the last Police and Crime Commissioner’s term with crime now on the rise illustrates that the Plaid Cymru Commissioner is failing in his duty to protect our communities.
“We need urgent action to make our communities safe once more, as there is a clear link between the loss of youth provision and cuts to officer numbers, and the rise of crime in our communities.
“There is little evidence that our Commissioner has grasped the nettle over the last three years in tackling this important issue.”
These claims however, have been slapped down by Police and Crime Comissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn. He said that said that Cllr James had misunderstood or misrepresented the information provided to him.
The Carmarthen data have a significant rider attached to them.
The explanatory note reads: ‘It should be noted that the figures for Carmarthenshire police division between 2008 and 2018 are not comparable as the structure of Carmarthenshire division in 2018 has altered to that of 2008 which has impacted upon the figures provided’.
That explanation is expanded upon concerning the Ceredigion data. Regarding them, an explanatory note warns that: ‘[T]he structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded divisionally now come under the HQ remit, e.g. the Road Policing Unit, CID, etc.’.
Dafydd Llewelyn pointed out that note in his response to The Herald: “As outlined in the response to the Freedom of Information request, structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded as divisionally based are now recorded under the HQ remit, for example, Roads Policing Unit, CID.”
Dafydd Llewelyn continued: “Since taking up my role as the elected person to represent the many communities across the four counties served by the force, I have increased the overall resource available by 4%. I have ploughed funding into dedicated teams to support front line officers and have invested in resources to support the most vulnerable in our communities.
“I have commissioned services specific to their needs – be that as victims of domestic abuse or young people choosing to leave their homes for reasons unknown to authorities. I will continue to do this. I will not be held to account by numbers on paper alone, but by the difference I can make to individuals’ quality of life.
“I will also use the opportunity I have to campaign for services appropriate to the very specific needs an area the size of Dyfed-Powys Police has and will work with the force to adapt according to those needs.”
He concluded by pointing out: “Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys remain the safest counties nationally and I’m proud to be driving a service that is willing and able to flex and respond, despite the financial challenges faced day-in-day-out.”
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