Independent Venue Week (IVW) is the UK’s annual 7-day celebration of independent music & arts venues and the people that own, run and work in them.

We bring independent venues together with artists, promoters, agents, record labels and media to create a unique series of special live events across the U.K. to highlight the work these venues do year-round. By doing so, local communities come together and celebrate these special places with thousands of artists playing hundreds of shows in villages, towns and cities all around the UK. Working with valued long term partners including Arts Council England as well as BBC 6 Music as official broadcast partner, IVW is also championed by a different Ambassador every year, which have included Colin Greenwood (Radiohead), Arlo Parks, Anna Calvi, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Nadine Shah, Wolf Alice, Wet Leg and many more. 

IVW allows artists, audiences and the wider music business to recognise the vital role these hundreds of independent-owned venues play in the industry and local community across England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. From giving artists their first experience of performing live, fans somewhere to discover and watch their favourite artists locally, they also provide those wanting a career off-stage the chance to learn their craft in a safe and secure environment. 

Independent Venue Week is a nationwide initiative with a local feel, highlighting why venues are so much more than just places for live music – they are cultural hubs for learning, creativity, arts and culture more widely connecting people in their local community of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, genders, ethnicities, skills, experiences and walks of life. These venues, all local businesses, are the backbone of the live music scene and Independent Venue Week recognises all that they have done to create some of the most memorable nights of the past so they can continue to do the same in the future.

You can download and read our 10 Year Impact Report HERE, outlining the growth and evolution of IVW – from partnering with 17 venues in 2014 and surviving the pandemic, to building a globally-recognised community that has now hosted almost 5,000 individual shows and helped sell more than a million tickets, opening new opportunities for artists, audiences and backstage workers. The report also explores the creation and growth of Independent Venue Community (IVC), an initiative supporting their network of independent venues to innovate by exploring the day-time use of their spaces. 

 

Independent Venue Week is a trademarked initiative.

Independent Venue Week Ltd Registered Address; 41 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LA

 

OUR DEFINITION OF AN INDEPENDENT VENUE

Independent Venues are created, cultivated and supported by local communities, championing authenticity and autonomy in all aspects of their work. Independent Venue Week reflects this community spirit, nurturing and celebrating a network of cultural spaces around the UK.

At Independent Venue Week, we consider the eligibility to participate on a case-by-case basis, guided by this cornerstone principle:

“PURPOSE OVER PROFIT”.

An independent venue is one whose motivations and subsequent actions are to contribute to their area’s local scene as well as the greater UK arts ecosystem, encouraging and providing opportunity, cultural diversity and inclusivity for people of all backgrounds. They do not primarily operate to generate profits that are not reinvested back into the development of these ideas.

This means that an independent venue’s programming is curated on behalf of the community they serve, not on behalf of external stakeholders. A building may be owned by a multi-purpose corporation and/or welcome collaboration by external stakeholders and partners, but the management of the events programme itself and general decision-making on behalf of the venue is autonomous and seeks to provide original live activity to their audience.

Whether this be live music, DJ’s, comedy, spoken word, education sessions or any other original activity, we encourage this diversity. Independent Venue Week is about welcoming, empowering and celebrating communities, championing everyone who contributes to these cultural hubs for the good of that community, first and foremost.