15 May 2017
Thousands descend on Wrexham for FOCUS Wales
Photo: Wrexham Glyndwr University's Mike Corcoran chaired a 'Meet the Buyers' panel discussion as part of FOCUS Wales 2017
Music and comedy fans from all over the world descended on North Wales for a three-day festival.
Wrexham Glyndwr University was among the host venues as Focus Wales celebrated its seventh anniversary with a bumper line-up.
Among the acts to appear were X-Factor finalist Lucy Spraggan, and comedian Shappi Khorsandi, who lit up the William Aston Hall on Friday night.
More than 200 acts performed across the town, with live performances at the University’s Centre for the Creative Industries among the highlights.
Glyndwr TV and Made in North Wales (MiNW) recorded live sessions with top bands, including Canada’s Fake Shark, Youngblood, Peaness, Gravves and CRY.
Students also got involved by volunteering and recording footage of the event for the newly-launched MiNW channel.
Andy Jones, co-founder and organiser of Focus Wales thanked Wrexham Glyndwr for its continued support and said this year’s festival had broken all previous records.
“We had more than 8,000 people across the three days, which is a thousand more than last year,” said Andy.
“We are really, really pleased as it’s the biggest Focus Wales yet, and the feedback we’ve had internationally and from people across the region has been incredible.
“All of the venues were brilliant, so we would like to thank them, and once again the town came alive and showed what it has to offer – it’s a privilege to play a part in shining a light on Wrexham in a positive way.”
He added: “As well as welcoming some incredible acts from all over the world it was heartening to see a lot of Welsh acts strike deals with record companies and for live tours.
“That’s what Focus Wales is all about, and this was the best so far so something’s obviously working! We are already looking ahead to 2018, and would again like to thank everyone who came to the shows, those who performed and the many volunteers who helped us throughout.”
Photo: Canadian band Fake Shark performed for Glyndwr TV
The festival kicked off on Thursday, with panels to help emerging musicians further their career, in the Wynnstay Arms Hotel, with topics such as ‘Build a Music Career from your Bedroom’ and ‘Meet the Agencies’.
Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Mike Corcoran and Steve Jarvis, from the School of Creative Arts, chaired panels, including one with senior lecturer for computing, Rich Hebblewhite - Playing it by Ear: Opportunities for Musicians in the Games Industry.
A ‘meet the buyers’ morning offered insight to the music industry with panellists, including Boomtown’s Kaptin Barret, telling acts how to approach record labels and festival organisers.
For the first time since the festival started, theatre was added to the agenda with students from the University’s BA Theatre, Television and Performance course putting on an adaption of Complicitie’s The Street of Crocodiles in the Catrin Finch Centre. The performance was inspired from stories from the life of Polish writer, Bruno Schulz.
Lynda Powell, director of operations at Wrexham Glyndwr University, congratulated Andy and co-organiser and founder Neal Thompson on another successful year.
“We are proud to work in partnership with Focus Wales and to play host to some of the finest music and comedy acts around,” said Lynda.
“The event is fantastic for the town and the University, and we are thrilled to hear that this was the biggest and best yet – well done to everyone who was involved.”
For more on the School of Creative Arts at Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk. Visit the University’s open day on June 10, or postgraduate open evening on May 24. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01978 293439.