The potential closure of Cardiff's Porters bar is 'a threat to the city's culture', a campaigner has said.

The popular live music venue could be demolished to make way for a 35-storey skyscraper in the centre of Cardiff.

Daniel Minty, who runs Cardiff’s ‘Minty’s Gig Guide’ believes the move is just another step toward erasing Cardiff’s live music scene.

Daniel told The National: “How many times have we got to sit back and accept that our arts scene is being eviscerated.

“Since 2017 we have seen the closure of seven music spaces in Cardiff, and a further two are now under threat.

“The closure of Porters would be a huge loss to the wider arts scene, and we have to ask when will enough be enough?”

The lease of Porters in Harlech Court, on Bute Terrace, runs out in October 2022.

As well as its bar and kitchen, it also has a small intimate theatre, providing a platform for musicians and artists in Cardiff and beyond.

According to The Drayton Group’s website, the group, which bought the building in May 2018, is planning to build 350 apartments on the site.

In a post on Facebook, the venue called for help from Cardiff council in finding a new home.

The post read: “Our lease at Harlech Court runs until October 23, 2022. If that is when we say goodbye, then so be it.

“It’s been a blast, but we do of course hope that between us we can find a new building to call home.

“We would naturally welcome any suggestions of possible buildings from our friends.”

The construction of the 35-storey tower would make it Wales’ tallest building.

Since 2017, seven live music venues have closed in Cardiff, including Buffalo, Undertone and Ten Feet Tall.

In 2019, 20,000 people marched in an effort to prevent the closure of Gwdihw on Guildford Crescent in Cardiff.

For Daniel, the loss of any more venues risks erasing the very culture that makes Cardiff and Wales unique: “It’s not about pointing fingers; it’s about saying enough is enough, let’s stop this.

“The musicians we love to listen to start their careers playing these small spaces and they use those as steppingstones up the ladder.

“If we do not take a stand as an arts community here in wales and say enough is enough, we will have nothing left.”


In 2019, Cardiff Music Board was established, bringing together artists, venues and the council, with the aim of safeguarding the city's music scene.

The board is chaired by Huw Thomas, leader of Cardiff council.

Cllr Thomas said: “I have already been in touch with Porters to link them up with the council’s economic development and culture team.

“We want independent venues like Porters to survive and flourish, they play an important part in the city’s cultural life, setting it apart, offering something different, giving Cardiff a unique identity.

“While we can’t dictate what private owners do with their properties, we do have good relationships with freeholders across the city, plus a good understanding of the development pipeline, so I’d like to think we can play a part by helping Porters find a new location for the long-term.”

The Drayton Group has not yet submitted a planning application to Cardiff council. 

However, a post on the group’s website said it was in talks with consultants.

Want more? You can help us to write more about culture and the arts in Wales by subscribing to The National.