After staging three months of successful foodie events at the end of last year, Nicholas Saunders, the twenty-three year old Cardiff Metropolitan University graduate behind Cardiff’s most exciting pop-up venue, DEPOT, has just signed a new lease for the premises. Sickening isn’t it. There was me thinking I was an over-acheiver at that age just because I’d managed to get a degree and not die of alcohol poisoning. The new contract at DEPOT now means that the warehouse will play host to a variety of pop-up food and drink events, installations, guest residencies, music and festivals; and will re-open this spring after a short period of refurbishment and upgrading.
Nick, who hails from Liverpool but moved to Wales to study Marketing Management in Cardiff, created DEPOT as a result of his vision for a more creative events space and as an alternative to the existing venues in Cardiff city centre.
Nick explained his rationale behind creating the new Cardiff venue. “I have family connections here in Cardiff – my dad grew up in Llandaff, before moving to Liverpool, which is why I chose to move here for Uni, but I soon got tired of the nightlife and wanted to create something a bit different. “Both Cardiff and Liverpool are port cities with a rich cultural history, which I love. Back in Liverpool, there’s an amazing venue called Camp and Furnace where they hold all sorts of cool, creative events, and I saw no reason why Cardiff shouldn’t – or couldn’t – have its very own version.
“I started looking for an appropriate building to bring this to life, and eventually settled on the Dumballs Road location due to its size, and proximity to the city centre. “The day I picked up the keys last year was so surreal. The warehouse was still full of junk and dust, and we had to clean everything out by hand. It took us four days just to paint the floors grey. We did all of this whilst getting all of the necessary licencing sorted out, which took a lot of time, but we wanted to make sure we did everything properly.”
After three months of hard work, DEPOT opened for the first time in October 2014. Just before xmas, the 24,000 square foot unit welcomed more than 10,000 visitors through its doors, and played host to an exciting calendar of ‘street food’ events featuring the likes of Dirty Bird, Jols Food Co, and local legends, Hangfire Smokehouse. I blogged about the 2014 events here – have a read.
Screenings of the Autumn International rugby matches, a huge New Year celebration, and a weekly Sunday feast called ‘Hog n Sparkle’ also took place in the versatile space, which is now set to take on a life of its own in 2015.
This year, Nick has big plans for DEPOT. “We want to really go to town with our creative ideas in 2015. Our designers did a great job of making the warehouse look amazing for our first stint last year – everyone was blown away when they walked in – but there’s so much more we want to do, including putting in new bathrooms and better facilities.
“In terms of what we have planned next, it could be film screenings, vintage markets, gigs or food festivals; we’re still in the planning stages – but the best is definitely yet to come.”
In awesome news for Cardiff’s culture-vultures, the team at DEPOT are also open to accepting ideas and pitches from the creatives of Cardiff (so get brainstorming)! If you have an idea, you can email info@Depotcardiff.com.