SYBIL BELL - FOUNDER
Sybil Bell is Founder of Independent Venue Week (IVW) and Independent Venue Community (IVC). She announced the launch of Independent Venue Week in November 2013, ahead for its inaugural first week in January 2014. Since then, she has spent years travelling around the country, and the world, meeting amazing people and organisations both within and around venues, many working with various community groups, often in communities that fall outside the mainstream.
As a result of connections made through IVW over the years, Sybil created and launched IVC delivering a range of music-based activity for underserved communities in venues, during the day, throughout the year, across the country.
The program unlocks the potential of venues and the talent of the communities around them, by developing new skills, opening up opportunities to engage with like-minded people to enjoy arts and culture and create greater local community spirit on a national scale.
2 truths, one lie: My real name is Sybil. I got deported from Australia. I can make my tongue do a Mexican wave.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Glasgow Barrowlands.
One album everyone should own: Grace Jones – Island Life. Or Fleetwood Mac – Rumours.
Dream gig line-up: Radiohead/Portishead (double headliner), Little Simz, Humphrey Lyttleton
What three words describe you best: Passionate, Mischievous, Grafter.
What would be your dream pet: A Springer Spaniel
Something surprising about you that not many people know: I have a motorbike license.
Guilty Music Pleasure: M People (reminds me of living in Australia in the early 90’s)
What would your autobiography be called: ‘Bell End’
Who would play you in a film about your life: Emma Thompson
JOE KENWAY HEAD OF IVW UK
Joe is a specialist in project management and has a background firmly rooted in venues and live music.
He comes with a wealth of experience in promoting, production, marketing, conference and panel organisation and live streaming – delivering success on a multitude of projects, both in freelance roles and whilst in house at the Brudenell Social Club and the Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds.
Having joined the team to assist and consult on programming in October, Joe will now head up IVW in the UK as we gear up to delivering an exciting and bold 10th edition.
2 truths, one lie: have a camper van with fully functioning patio doors. Allergic to quavers. Once lived next to Sol Campbell for 24 hrs.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Barrowlands, Glasgow
One album everyone should own: Entertainment! Gang of Four
Dream gig line-up: Mitski, Black Midi, Sleaford Mods
What three words describe you best: Sarcastic, enthusiastic, human.
What would be your dream pet: Cat
Something surprising about you that not many people know: Czech heritage
Guilty Music Pleasure: The Simpsons Sing the Blues (great record)
What would your autobiography be called: ‘So, it’s come to this…’
Who would play you in a film about your life: The last person to be asked.
Erin Gibson – OPERATIONS MANAGER
Hailing from the north, plant and dog mum Erin graduated from LIPA in 2017 and has spent most of her life in venues both on and off stage as a drummer and in various crew roles. From selling merch on international tours, to repping local shows: Erin’s passion lies in making live music happen.
Erin moved to London in 2018 to become an operational manager for a music industry charity and is now extremely excited to be a part of the team!
2 truths, one lie: I am an identical twin, I am a drummer, I have a pet snake.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Barrowland Ballroom
One album everyone should own: Folklore – T Swifty or SPICE – The Spice Girls.
Dream gig line-up: Biffy Clyro, Amy Whinehouse, Mcfly, Holly Humberstone
What three words describe you best: Fun, strong, dramatic.
What would be your dream pet: A whippet
Something surprising about you that not many people know: I once went to Borneo to work in an orangutan sanctuary.
Guilty Music Pleasure: Guilt-free, but Evanescence seems to be something everyone thinks I should be ashamed of! Closely followed by The Last Five Years musical soundtrack.
What would your autobiography be called: Other books will be more interesting.
Who would play you in a film about your life: Phoebe Buffay
Sam Heffer – Online, Comms & Social Media Manager
Sam handles all things online and digital, working across both Independent Venue Week and Independent Venue Community.
Having spent the majority of his professional life in Leeds an independent musician, artist marketing manager and events promoter, Sam has always had a passion for supporting independent music of all kinds through his work. As an opportunity to assist in the support of independent venues and creative initiatives that have helped him develop his own career, this role was a no-brainer for him.
From content creation to digital comms strategies, website design to mailing list maintenance, Sam wears many hats for IVW and IVC as well as assisting in the delivery of the various in-person events that run throughout the year.
2 truths, one lie: I’ve played Glastonbury. I’ve high-fived John Terry. I have an A-Level in Dance.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: The Amphitheatre of Pompeii.
One album everyone should own: I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose – Bombay Bicycle Club.
Dream gig line-up: Led Zeppelin, Dave Brubeck, Nirvana.
What three words describe you best: Tall, handsome and sarcastic.
What would be your dream pet: If not my own dog, a dragon.
Something surprising about you that not many people know: Spent two months in Nepal in 2016 teaching English and Music.
Guilty Music Pleasure: Don’t believe in them. But if anyone wants to tell me that still listening to Busted is a guilty pleasure, then lock me up and throw away the key.
What would your autobiography be called: ‘Paper for Lighting Fires and Wrapping Fish’
Who would play you in a film about your life: I’d say Ryan Gosling, casting team would go with David Spade.
LOUISE HENRY – COMMUNITY MANAGER
Lou manages Independent Venue Community, looking after everything from young people’s programmes, to mental health and wellbeing sessions.
Prior to IVC, Lou’s worked as a Senior Grant Manager at Youth Music, overseeing their Incubator Fund, managed music education programmes at Generator and also offers freelance bid writing and consultation for small creative organisations. She’s a proud Geordie and is passionate about giving people a leg up in the music industry, especially those who’d otherwise miss out.
On top of that, she’s a yoga teacher too, helping people to wind down and chill out at studios, venues and music festivals across the country.
2 truths, one lie: Gazza once chatted up my mam, I’m a yoga teacher and I have a dog called Roy.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Back in time to the Four Aces – a tiny little reggae and dub club in Dalston that was flattened years ago.
One album everyone should own: For Ever by Jungle
What three words describe you best: Daft, gobby Geordie.
What would be your dream pet: The last dog in Battersea
Something surprising about you that not many people know: I used to work on Waitrose fish counter and am a whizz at gutting mackerel.
Guilty Music Pleasure: I don’t believe in guilty music, but should probably feel guilty for singing in public.
What would your autobiography be called: That’ll do.
Who would play you in a film about your life: Jill Halfpenny.
Brian Murnin – Head of Strategy & Business Development
Brian Murnin is a Business Development and Strategy specialist, who has led businesses of all shapes and sizes across the media and entertainments industry. He has launched new divisions and major initiatives for household names such as Warner Music Group and BBC Studios, and has helped exciting new media upstarts such as Vice Media and Clash Music grow into global success stories.
Brian joins the IVW team as an advisor and consultant, charged with helping us forge a bright and exciting future as we head into our important 10th year.
2 truths, one lie: I was the official ambassador for Scotland at the 2018 world yoga championships, I beat Ian Brown in an arm-wrestling match – twice, I have appeared on the front cover of Vice Magazine.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: A Love From Outer Space @ The Golden Lion, Todmorden
One album everyone should own: I could literally name about 80! The one that comes to mind this week is celebrating its 30th anniversary – so I’ll go with The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest.
Dream gig line-up: Prince, Daft Punk, A Tribe Called Quest, Modeselektor, Channel One Soundsystem
What three words describe you best: Big, Daft, and not very Punk
What would be your dream pet: A giant luminous rave gecko with psychedelic pores
Something surprising about you that not many people know: I can do a waist-high heel click from a standing start.
Guilty Music Pleasure: The most euphoric Northern soul and New York disco
What would your autobiography be called: Big, Daft and not very Punk
Who would play you in a film about your life: A slightly ravey version of Cameron from Ferris Buellers or Rodney from Only Fools and Horses.
Adam Webb – Press
Adam is an award-winning PR and communications specialist with his own consultancy, and over 20 years experience of working across music, technology and public policy. He currently works for the likes of the Music Managers Forum and Driift, Act, and leads the highly successful FanFair Alliance campaign that has delivered significant reforms to the highly controversial secondary ticketing market.
2 truths, one lie: I have a West Ham season ticket, PJ Harvey once borrowed my guitar lead, I released a happy hardcore banger in 1994.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Rayleigh, Pink Toothbrush
One album everyone should own: The Impressions, This Is My Country
Dream gig line-up: Cleo Sol, LOW, Halsey, Tyler, The Creator, Thee Oh Sees, Cassandra Jenkins (2021 version)
What three words describe you best: Cup of tea?
What would be your dream pet: House-trained dog that also walks itself.
Something surprising about you that not many people know: Wrote a book once.
Guilty Music Pleasure: Proper unreconstructed hairy metal.
What would your autobiography be called: It Came From Essex
Who would play you in a film about your life: Telly Savalas
DEBBIE BALL – PRESS
Create Spark is a music PR and digital marketing company based in London, newly working on the pr for Independent Venue Week and Independent Venue Community in conjunction with Adam Webb at A1 Communications. After making her first steps into music as a guitarist, live promoter and band manager respectively, founder Debbie Ball discovered her niche in PR and further established herself by setting up Create Spark in 2007. Over the past 15 years, Create Spark has had a stellar journey, including winning the Record of the Day award for Best Online pr for work with Tame Impala and helping launch The War On Drugs. Currently working with Big Joanie, Helena Deland, Ride and Teenage Fanclub, Create Spark has represented a range of unique independent artists from Sufjan Stevens to Robyn and Florence And The Machine. Create Spark also runs live campaigns for international festivals and events including In the Round at The Roundhouse, Glastonbury Live at Worthy Farm and NOS Alive and will be consulting on Edinburgh International Festival in summer 2022. Debbie runs Create Spark alongside her PhD studies at the Communication and Media Research Institute at the University of Westminster.
The Official #1 single when you were born: ‘Summer Nights’ by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John and the cast of Grease!
2 truths, one lie: I sneeze when I’m in a rush, Zoe Ball is my big sister.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: The Thekla in Bristol
One album everyone should own: ‘Forever Changes’ by Love
Dream gig line-up: Scott Walker hologram + a reformed Sonic Youth + Teenage Fanclub + Big Joanie
What three words describe you best: music-loving, smart and kind
What would be your dream pet: I already have her: she’s a weird and loud little blue shorthair cat called Dusty
Something surprising about you that not many people know: I’m aiming to be trilingual, being fluent in French and learning Spanish rn
Guilty Music Pleasure: I don’t believe any music should be called a guilty pleasure, it’s all there to be enjoyed. But if I had to choose one track, I’m a big disco fan and love Viola Wills version of ‘If You Could Read My Mind’
What would your autobiography be called: ‘Sorry I’m running late’
Who would play you in a film about your life: Emma Stone would be cool!
ANGELLE JOSEPH - COMMUNTIY LIAISON
Community spirit all lies within the work Angelle does. She is a big fan of music and has been since forever.
Angelle grew up listening and loving grime and picked up all the other genres on the way. Angelle started community radio and ended up on local radio presenting BBC Introducing in Suffolk.
Now presenting 2 shows and work within the community to support inclusivity and representation especially for young people and within media, we are delighted to welcome her on board as part of our community programme.
2 truths, one lie: I’m allergic to kiwi’s. I played basketball semi- professionally. I recorded my first track on a tape cassette.
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Madison Square Garden
One album everyone should own: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Dream gig line-up: Lauryn Hill, Little Simz, Akala, Nia Archives
What three words describe you best: Energetic, passionate, funny
What would be your dream pet: An automatic hoover
Guilty Music Pleasure: There is no such thing. I feel no guilt listening to S Club 7
What would your autobiography be called: Angelle On Tour
will harriss - TRUSTS & FOUNDATIONS FUNDRAISER
Will has been fundraising for 15 years for orchestras, ensembles, venues, and a social mobility charity. He is utterly passionate about everyone – young and old, no matter their background or prior experience – having the chance to have music and the arts as a central part of their lives, because of all the benefits it gives. Originally from Nottingham, his earliest musical experiences were through being a chorister, and music of all types has been a constant thread throughout his own life since then. In his spare time he occasionally runs, often bakes, and loves having adventures outdoors – the wilder the better. Will’s role within IVC is to raise funds for the organisation, to ensure its sustainability for many years to come.
The Official #1 single when you were born: Are ‘Friends’ Electric? by Tubeway Army
2 truths, one lie: I’ve sung for the Queen / I once spent a week in the Amazon rainforest / When I was 17 I won a regional cheese eating competition
Venue you’ve never been to but want to visit: Too many!
One album everyone should own: Week of Pines by Georgia Ruth
Dream gig line-up: Morcheeba – Elbow – Pet Shop Boys – The Who
What three words describe you best: Enthusiastic / happy / Calm
What would be your dream pet: a slightly dismissive cat – the sort that treats you less as an owner and more like its PA
Something surprising about you that not many people know: I share a birthday with Sir Edmund Hillary, Sandra Oh, and Carlos Santana
Guilty Music Pleasure: Genesis ‘Live Over Europe’ album, 1997. Dario G, Sunchyme. Most 90s house music.
What would your autobiography be called: High Five
Who would play you in a film about your life: Vanilla Ice. Or Matt Damon.