- THE UK’S ANNUAL 7-DAY CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC & ARTS VENUES RETURNS JANUARY 30TH – FEBRUARY 5TH 2023
- MORE THAN 200 VENUES AROUND THE UK HAVE ALREADY SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE
- CALLING ON ALL FANS TO COME OUT AND ENJOY GRASSROOTS SHOWS. OVER 1M TICKETS HAVE BEEN SOLD FOR IVW EVENTS SINCE 2014
- SUPPORTED BY BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC, ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND, CREATIVE SCOTLAND, SEE TICKETS, MERCURY PRIZE LTD & PPL
Independent Venue Week (IVW), the UK’s annual 7-day celebration of independent music and arts venues and the people that own, run and work in them, is to return between January 30th and February 5th 2023.
At a launch event hosted today at Lafayette London, Radiohead’s Philip Selway was unveiled as the first of IVW’s 10th Anniversary Ambassadors by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq. Philip, who fronted the acclaimed TV documentary On The Road which Independent Venue Week released in 2020, will perform shows in Norwich, Cambridge, Hebden Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees and Guildford as part of the week’s activities.
Commenting on the impact and importance of Independent Venue Week, he said:
“I’m honoured to be an Ambassador for IVW in their 10th Anniversary year. This past decade has seen IVW do incredible work in supporting and nurturing this vital musical community of independent venues. For me, these venues are the lifeblood of music in the UK, and after the great challenges they’ve faced these past few years, I’m excited to represent them in this way.”
Further IVW Ambassadors, including champions for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be announced in coming weeks. Artists who have previously taken on the role include Wet Leg, Arlo Parks, Anna Calvi, Nadine Shah, Tim Burgess, Novelist, Colin Greenwood and Wolf Alice.
Other speakers at the launch included venue operators Dom Frazer (The Boileroom, Guildford), Nathan Clark (The Brudenell Social, Leeds) and Tash Lovage & Cai Greenacre (Dros Ben Tân, Neath), while a special video message was played from long-time IVW supporter Big Jeff Johns. Attendees also enjoyed a performance from Nuha Ruby Ra.
Supported so far by Arts Council England, BBC Radio 6 Music, Creative Scotland, See Tickets, Mercury Prize Ltd and PPL, Independent Venue Week sees hundreds of truly authentic, independent venues come together for an incredible week of live shows and events.
Previous IVW highlights include:
2014: Glass Animals play Oxford’s tiny Jericho Tavern for a show curated by IVW’s first Ambassador, Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood
2015: The late great Andrew Weatherall plays Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds
2018: IDLES perform the very first outside broadcast for Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 Music show
2019: Novelist (our 2019 Ambassador) plays the New Adelphi Club in Hull for a special BBC Radio 1Xtra show. Fatboy Slim plays the 180-capacity venue later that year.
2020: Self Esteem unveil a 30-piece choir for a hometown show at Sheffield’s Leadmill
2020: Anna Calvi (who was Ambassador that year) plays two shows at Brixton’s Windmill
2021: IVW pivots to livestreams during the pandemic, including online shows from Ambassadors Arlo Parks, Gruff Rhys and Amy McDonald
2022: Nova Twins, now Ambassadors for Independent Venue Community, take the roof off Birmingham’s Castle & Falcon
With more than 200 venues already confirmed to participate in Independent Venue Week 2023 – more than twice as many as this stage last year – IVW founder Sybil Bell revealed the ambition to reach 300 sign ups. All with the overarching goal of encouraging more music fans than ever to come out to celebrate the diversity and vitality of the UK’s grassroots music scene.
Speaking at the launch, Sybil commented:
“We all know it’s an incredibly tough environment right now, so it’s really heartening that so many venues have already signed up for next year, and we’re over the moon to have such a widely-respected artist as Philip confirmed as our first Tenth Anniversary Ambassador. We’ll be announcing more names in the weeks ahead, and, with the continued support and backing of our partners, I’m confident we’ll see some absolutely jaw-dropping shows as we strive to make IVW 2023 the best and biggest yet.”
Since launching in 2014, when a mere 17 venues took part, more than 1m tickets have now been sold for IVW events.
Of the 210 venues confirmed to participate in IVW 2023, 187 are based outside London and 27 are taking part for the first time. They vary in size from The Troxy, which holds over 3,000 people, through to the tiny Grayston Unity in Halifax, which recently doubled in size to a miniscule 35-capacity! The most Northerly venue confirmed so far is The Tunnels in Aberdeen, the most Southerly is Truro’s Old Bakery Studios.
Dom Frazer, Director at The Boileroom, Guildford. Established in 2006, the venue has participated in every IVW to date and hosted artists including Ed Sheeran, Foals, First Aid Kit, Lucy Rose, Lee Scratch Perry, You Me At Six, Bastille and The 1975.
“We are so pleased to have been part of the celebrations that shine a light on truly independent and vibrant spaces like The Boileroom from all over the country. For 10 years IVW has championed and supported not only the programming, but the teams that work so tirelessly to maintain these vital cultural hubs. IVW has steadily and consistently pushed to be progressive and at the forefront of our industry. Thank you from us all.”
Tash Loveage and Cai Greenacre at Dros Ben Tân, Neath. A new venue in South Wales, hosting their first ever gig on October 22nd.
“We are absolutely over the moon to be given this opportunity, especially as we are very new to the music scene. Myself and Cai share a huge passion for live music and after the last few years everybody has had we feel we can really bring something new and exciting to the community. We have so many thoughts and ideas on how we can use our space ranging from book clubs, open mic nights, comedy nights and of course live music. We want to allow each and every artist an opportunity to perform and get themselves out there.”
Mal Campbell, Manager at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. A super credible, well respected venue outside of Leeds housed in a former working men’s club. Despite being slightly off the main Northern gig track, The Trades Club has become a destination venue for everyone from Patti Smith to IDLES.
“There’s been so many unforgettable IVW memories, it’s hard to know where to begin. Working Men’s Club signing to Heavenly after their hometown show here in 2019. Two spellbinding nights with Richard Hawley in 2017. Watching Thurston Moore with Adrian from Portishead – both of us transfixed. Laura Marling in 2015 – she had the audience hanging on every word. Not a dry eye in the house when Edwyn Collins played in 2016. Anna Calvi, Nadine Shah, Richard Dawson, Public Service Broadcasting, the list goes on. Thank you to everyone that buys a ticket and helps turn what used to be the most depressing time of the year into a joyous celebration. Thank you IVW! Here’s to the next 10 years.”
By celebrating the vitality of the UK’s grassroots live music scene, IVW aims to shine a spotlight on everyone involved in putting on a show – from artists, venue owners and audiences to managers, agents, promoters, crew, security, ticket companies and transport specialists.
Earlier this year, IVW launched a new initiative called Independent Venue Community. This encourages venue owners to open their doors during daytime hours and provide programming targeted at under-served audiences, including Early Years, Young People, the Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent, Mental Health and Wellbeing, LGBTQIA+, and Older Years.