It’s been 7 months since 99,442 gig goers went to 808 gigs in 230 venues during Independent Venue Week 2020. No-one wants live music to return more than everyone in our community, including us. 

When Independent Venue Week was set up back in 2013, the idea was to encourage people to get off their screens and/or back through the doors of grassroots music venues to discover and enjoy live music in person. 

But it’s been about so much more. 

Live music in these venues involves so many people and IVW has always been about so much more than the venues alone. Independent Venue Week is about everyone who makes what happens in the venues, come to life. Venues, promoters, artists, managers, crew, agents, transport companies, labels, ticketing companies, merch companies, gig goers and more. 

Now, more than ever, our community has said they want Independent Venue Week to happen in January and we want to do all we can to make it work for our community. And we would like your support.

Not only is it imperative that we continue the celebration of the vital work everyone does but we want to keep the spotlight shining on the community in what has, undoubtedly been the toughest year in their history. We know it won’t be the same but, together, we can deliver something that keeps the spirit alive and supports the venues and the communities around them. 

With the support of our official broadcast partners BBC 6 Music and BBC Sounds (covering all other stations) and our extensive press coverage, together artists and the industry can help tell the stories of our community at a time when they need it most.

So, we are writing to ask for your help in making IVW a huge success for those that need it most. Running from Monday 25th – Sunday 31st January, we are asking artists to get involved. 

Whilst we don’t yet know for certain what we will be able to do, all activity, especially live, will be done to the highest safety and well-being standards and within the guidelines that are current at the time.

We are working towards a range of activity making it possible for everyone to get involved, all of which will be done in partnership with venues so they are at the heart of the week, as would be the case if this was a traditional IVW. 

Where activity can’t take place within a venue, it will be hosted digitally from the venue’s platform (either live or pre-recorded). 

We would like artists to take part in any of these options as many as they can across the week. They can partner with venues that they played early in their careers, were part of a seminal tour, they have never played but always wanted to or just somewhere they fancy for no particular reason. 

  • Live show with socially distant/no live audience (option to stream online)


  • Tour Diaries and the Album Behind the Tour – hosted by the venue/promoter where the artist played during a tour of a particular album and sharing their memories of the tour
  • Album Playback – Talking through the making of a particular record followed by the album being played in full
  • Take 5 – Following on from our online series, an interview between two artists or a venue and artist about their career, highs, lows, tours, releases etc. 
  • The Big Jeff Chat – a live run of the online series of interviews being hosted by Big Jeff, our first non-artist ambassador and learning disability, autistic and mental health advocate. Again could be in a venue or streamed live.
  • Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties – Tim Burgess would like to host as many listening parties during the week as possible, either digitally or in person with discussions about the records.

If there is anything you’d like to do that we haven’t outlined above, please do let us know – we and our venues are up for anything that can be done safely and effectively.

We will also be gathering performances from the week for our 4th Independent Venue Week Live record to be released later in 2021 which we would welcome contributions to. You can see previous releases here.

Our Wider Work

As part of our ongoing work to support venues and local communities, we are growing our new platform, Yes We Can, aimed at bringing people together, in venues during the day, throughout the year and around the country.

This will be for a range of activity including workshops, counselling, networking, skills development and social get togethers. This will be for a range of people from all background but there is a strong emphasis on younger people, those from low arts engagement and those who fall out of mainstream opportunities. More details are attached (the 6 Month Project Plan) and again, we would like support from the industry to deliver this activity not just up to March 21 but beyond.

There is a huge range of skills and experience that communities would like access to and that you all have in abundance. We are committed to supporting a more representative industry on and off stage, going forward so if you can help with mentoring and development, we want to hear from you.

We are a small, independent organisation working in project cycles and relying solely on grant and industry funding so if you felt able to support our work through sponsorship or a donation, that would make a huge difference.

We are available to talk about how you can support us if you have any more questions.

For more details or to get involved, please email

We hope you and your artists will come together to help us support the venue community for Independent Venue Week in 2021.

Sybil, Chloe “Colin”, Charlie & Oscar

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