At the tail end of last year, we kicked off the project at 100 Club in London. During the launch, we spoke to some of the people making everything happen about just why independent venues matter.

Independent Venue Week is back for 2018, and it’s bigger than ever as we celebrate our fifth birthday with more venues, and more ambassadors.

We started out with just 17 venues in 2014 for the first IVW, now there are 180 venues staging shows between Monday 29 January and Sunday 4 February 2018 as part of our week-long showcase of the UK’s independent venues.

Joining us this year we have five ambassadors: Big Jeff Johns (the legendary gig-goer from Bristol), Adrian Utley (of Portishead), Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels (of Run DMC), Nadine Shah (Tyneside favourite), and Jamie Cullum (jazz musician and radio presenter).

To launch the year, we spoke to a number of the faces involved in bringing the whole project together, including Adrian Utley, Nadine Shah, Help Musician’s Chief Executive Richard Robinson, and Ben Lane from Arts Council England.

As Ben Lane says, “It’s about all about bringing a really strong and positive focus to these spaces.”


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To my dear, wonderful friend, Jeff, You’ve been at the heart of our Independent Venue Week family for over five