The drummer of hit indie band Kasabian has joined with a Powys man in investing in turning a chapel into a music venue.

Llanwrtyd Wells tech entrepreneur Irfon Watkins’ part has grand plans to make a chapel in his hometown into a venue that exists in both the physical and digital worlds.

Irfon bought the Irfon Crescent-based chapel in 2019 along with Kasabian drummer and long-time friend, Ian Matthews.

Irfon has been trying to refurbish the chapel ever since as he bids to turn it into a venue central to the local community for the next 100 years.

Planning was approved in February, and the chapel’s first online "metaverse" gig is organised for May, while Irfon says the chapel will be built in the metaverse in autumn and the actual physical restructuring work should be completed by the end of the summer.

“Ian Matthews and I bought the chapel with a vision to put it at the centre of our community for the next 100 years,” said Irfon.

“We asked the question ‘what does a music/arts venue look like 100 years from now?’ Our view is that it will exist and function in the physical and digital world (metaverse).


“Imagine Beyonce playing to 300 people in the chapel and 300 million people in the metaverse at the same time.

“So, we then decided to acquire an online platform for musicians (, 100,000 members so far) and start creating metaverse gigs while the chapel was being rebuilt.

“The head office of this business will be based in the vestry of the chapel.

“Our first metaverse gig launches in May and the chapel will be built in the metaverse in the autumn.

“The first phase is a new roof, to fix windows and make it look great, and this should be finished by the end of the summer.”

Even when the venue is able to open its doors physically, Irfon says he wants to have both online and in-person gigs at the chapel, while also hopefully helping local businesses in his home town.

“We expect to host gigs there on a monthly basis initially; with our business model being both online and real life we don’t need lots of events, just high-quality ones,” added Irfon.

“Our business model in the village is additive, we want to bring visitors that spend money in the existing local businesses. We will not be selling drinks or food at the chapel. The gigs will last 90 minutes and we will be hosting after parties in local pubs.”

Llanwrtyd Town Council has thrown its weight behind the project, voting unanimously to support the application last November, with mayor James Davies saying: “Llanwrtyd Wells Town Council have approved the proposed plans as it will eventually turn what is fast becoming a derelict building into a venue which will benefit local businesses and trade as well as enhancing the look of the town.”

In the planning application, a statement from Powys County Council described proposals as “very welcome” and which would “see the chapel given a new lease of life with only a small number of changes”.

South Wales Argus:

The project has been described as thorough and detailed, with the majority of the works limited to sensitive repair and adaption.

“This will impact the significance of this area and the historic material of the earlier part of the buildings,” continued the council’s statement.

“However, on balance, the building being brought into practical use, and this work taking place in a less significant area of the building, means that the impact is overall neutral/positive."