With the help of 143 venues in 80 cities across 33 states and gracious donations from iconic musicians who came together to celebrate these stages that gave them their start, Independent Venue Week concludes as a resounding success.
Venues can sign up for next year’s event, which will be July 12 – 18, 2021
Independent Venue Week has announced the dates for its 2021 edition following the conclusion of #IVW20. Set to run from July 12 to 18, 2021, Independent Venue Week is now accepting sign-ups from independent venues and promoters interested in being part of next year’s week-long celebration of the spirit of independence.
Independent Venue Week sends its utmost thanks to its Artist Ambassador for #IVW20, Alison Mosshart of The Kills and Dead Weather. In an op-ed published on Billboard during the final day of Independent Venue Week, Mosshart looked back at how independent venues were formative to her career and why ensuring their survival is of the top priority.
“I wrote letters by post to independent venues around the whole of America asking if they would have us,” she says. “We didn’t even have a band name yet, nor did we use our real names… but we got so many letters back that I booked 3 solid months of gigs around the country. Those bookers were gamblers, and ultimately saviors. That tour changed our lives.”
“At the start of this year, Independent Venue Week was already on track to be the biggest one yet,” states Cecilie Nielsen, Director of Special Projects at Marauder, the firm that runs Independent Venue Week in the US. “Unsurprisingly, the pandemic and the dire situation it put all of our partner venues in, forced a fundamental reconfiguration of the event and Marauder’s commitment to these stages. The weekly calls we started hosting to help this national network grew and quickly led to the formation of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). While we’re immensely proud of everything NIVA has achieved so far, including bipartisan support for the yet-to-be-passed Save Our Stages Act in Congress, we also know that these very public victories have changed nothing about the venues’ situation; they’re still not getting the help they so desperately need. So, we decided to, once again, leverage Independent Venue Week, raising approximately $17,000 dollars so farfor the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund through a charitable auction. We’re committed to continue these fundraising efforts for the rest of 2020 and, if need be, into next year as well.”
A first for Independent Venue Week, #IVW20 featured a series of panels with professionals from all aspects of the live industry, such as Dave Brooks (Billboard), Lizzie Newton (SXSW) and Rob Price (School of Rock), among others, providing their insights on a variety of discussion points. Topics included what venues can do to build and diversify their audience, how live events are adapting to a virtual world, and the importance these stages have to the economy and community. A day’s worth of panels was dedicated to Get Schooled, which featured programming aimed towards students getting their start in the live music and events industry.
These panels, which can now be viewed on the Independent Venue Week YouTube channel, joined Independent Venue Week’s traditional programming curated by and in the venues themselves.
Over the course of the seven days, Independent Venue Week hosted an auction to raise money for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, providing much-needed assistance to independent venues and promoters. Among the pieces of music history graciously donated to support this effort to #SaveOurStages include an ESP guitar signed by multiple members of Lamb of God, a pair of seats from the original Merriweather Pavilion, the signed bass of Blue Öyster Cult’s Al Bochard, a cavalcade of signed and rare vinyl, and a pair of watercolor and acrylic originals from a member of The Kills’ and #IVW20 Artist Ambassador, Alison Mosshart. Through this first instance of what is planned to be a series of charitable auctions for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, approximately $17,000 dollars worth of aid was amassed over the course of #IVW20. Independent Venue Week will be holding another benefit auction before the end of 2020.