ANTONY SZMIEREK DEDICATES A NEW POEM TO THE UK’S 7-DAY CELEBRATION OF LIVE MUSIC

  • 205 independent venues all around the UK will participate in this week’s nationwide event, hosting hundreds of live gigs and events from artists of all genres

 

  • Beavertown Brewery sponsor a new series of gigs as part of IVW, including a solo performance by Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite at McChuills in Glasgow

 

  • Fans are encouraged to support their local music scene by buying tickets and heading out to enjoy a show  

 

  • “These are the spaces where magic happens. They are the bedrock of our culture. But if we don’t use them, then we’ll lose them,” says IVW’s founder

 

Today sees the start of the UK’s 7-day national celebration of live music as more than 200 venues nationwide come together for Independent Venue Week (IVW). 

Now in its 11th year, IVW will see these vital spaces in villages, towns and cities across the UK host hundreds of live gigs by everyone from globally-recognised artists to upcoming acts, inviting fans to come out, buy a ticket and support their local music venue and scene – as well as having a great night out.

Paying tribute to IVW, fast-rising spoken word and hip-hop artist Antony Szmierek has penned a beautiful new poem which encapsulates the importance of these independent venues to the UK’s music culture – noting that “without these little rooms there’d be no one to fill the ones that are bigger” before raising a toast to the countless brilliant artists who continue to tread their stages: 

this is for all the bands that never made it

and for the venues that scream, proudly: 

you made it if you played here.

The poem, which premiered on Steve Lamacq’s Teatime Session on BBC Radio 6 Music, can be heard in its entirety here and is published in full below. 

Encouraging fans to come out and show support for independent venues and local independent culture, IVW founder Sybil Bell said:

“Antony’s beautiful poem perfectly captures why live music and independent venues are so special to the UK – and have been for decades. These are the spaces where magic happens. They are the bedrock of our culture. But if we don’t use them, then we’ll lose them. I hope people will use IVW as a chance to reconnect with the joy of live music, to have a great night out with friends  and to support their local venue.”

Antony, who enjoyed a breakout year in 2023, playing to huge crowds at the likes of Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds and Bluedot as well as making his TV debut on Later… With Jools Holland, will perform at Wrexham’s Rockin’ Chair venue on Friday February 2nd (alongside NME cover stars Picture Parlour) as part of five days of IVW-focussed broadcasts by BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Music Introducing

This will see DJs Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens go “on the road” to present their weekly shows from a different UK venue – with Steve travelling to Belfast (January 29th: Ash + Problem Patterns at The Oh Yeah Centre) before Huw visits venues in Edinburgh (January 30th: 86TVs + Grace & The Flat Boys at Whistle Binkies), York (January 31st: NewDad + Kindelan at The Fulford Arms), Hull (February 1st: English Teacher + Jodie Langford at Polar Bear Music Club). 

Remaining tickets can be found here.

Elsewhere, an incredible array of artists from every genre will play IVW shows across 205 venues situated everywhere from Edinburgh to Guernsey. 

They will include performances from the likes of David Gray, Nell Mescall, Soulwax, The Snuts, CVC, Hinds, Richard Dawson, Alison Russell, Islet & Pictish Trail (Fire Records 40th anniversary show), The Zutons, Fatoumata Diawara, Little Comets, The Bug Club, The Mezingers, MF Tomlinson, TV Priest, Eat Ethio, This Is The Kit, Sweet Baboo, TVAM, Buckcherry, Isabel LaRosa, Evil Scarecrow, Hooton Tennis Club, Margaret Glaspy, Chris Difford, The Heavy North, IAMWARFACE, Circa Waves, Skinny Living, EMF, Ben Ottewell, Hardwicke Circus, Ginger Wildheart, Steve Mason and many many more, as well as DJ sets from Don Letts, Gilles Peterson, Trevor Nelson, DJ Yoda, and Reverend & The Makers, comedy events and documentary screenings.

To find your nearest show and join the celebrations, head to our shows tab.

Access information for fans with disabilities or impairments can be found here.

 

Other IVW24 highlights include: 

  • Shows for IVW 2024’s Artist Ambassadors’ English Teacher, Brooke Combe and L E M F R E C K: 

Our IVW 2024 Artist Ambassadors, English Teacher, will play gigs at The Trades Club (Hebden Bridge), The Georgian Theatre (Stockton-on-Tees), Polar Bear Music Club (Hull) and Where Else? (Margate). The Leeds-based band release their much-anticipated debut album, This Could Be Texas, in April 2024. Meanwhile, Brooke Combe (IVW 2024 Ambassador for Scotland) plays Mac Arts (Galashiels) and L E M F R E CK (IVW 2024 Ambassador for Wales) plays The Gate (Cardiff). 

  • Soundcheck Sessions for young people 

Offering younger audiences (aged 14+) a first taste of live music, IVW’s sister organisation, Independent Venue Community, will run a series of free daytime events in Cardiff (with L E M F R E C K), the Isle of Wigh (with The Clause), London (with Caitlin Pinkess), Norwich (with Mama Oh No), Stockton-on-Tees (with English Teacher), Sunderland (with Tummyache) and Winsford (with The Jokers). These Soundcheck Sessions enable young people to gain up-close access to artists, crew and venue staff to discover what happens behind the scenes before a gig.

  • New shows supported by Beavertown Brewery – including Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite at McChuills in Glasgow

As part of Beavertown’s partnership with IVW, the brewery are supporting three venues with shows across the week , all now on sale – with an exclusive solo performance by Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite at McChuills in Glasgow (Saturday 3rd February); Humour, Hank + Chad at The George Tavern in London (Monday 29th January); and Pixey, Zuzu + Eleanor Nelly at the Arts Bar Baltic in Liverpool (Saturday 3rd February)

IVW’s other partners are Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Creative Wales, Gigantic, Sound Technology, PPL, and loadin.com. 

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