Independent Venue Week Announces Year 7 Plans and unveils Anna Calvi as Ambassador

Monday 27th January – Sunday 2nd February 20


Independent Venue Week is very excited to announce Anna Calvi as Ambassador for their seventh year. The announcement came at a press and industry lunchtime event held at 229 The Venue in London hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens.

The role comes on the back of an incredible year for Calvi who has celebrated a Mercury Music Prize nomination for her third studio album Hunter, won the Fender Play Award at the Q Awards, scored the soundtrack to Peaky Blinders and performed a headline show at the Roundhouse in London.

She takes over the role of Ambassador from Novelist in 19 and is the latest artist to join the Independent Venue Week family which celebrates grassroots venues all around the country at the end of January/start of February.

“As an artist who spent many years developing my art in small venues across the UK, it’s such a pleasure to be named the ambassador of Independent Venue Week 2020” Calvi said.

“At a time where independent venues continue to provide a vital platform in every artists career, yet still struggle to keep their doors open, it’s more important than ever for every artist, no matter what size, to continue our support and be vocal about their vitality.”

BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Sounds will be supporting Independent Venue Week again in 2020 as Steve Lamacq takes his afternoon show back on the road from Monday 27th to Friday 31 Jan from 4-7pm. Steve will be heading to five different locations around the country visiting venues, meeting artists and chatting to the people that keep the circuit alive. He will announce the tour plans in early January live on 6 Music and across Independent Venue Week’s channels.

Independent Venue Week will take place from Monday 27th January to Sunday 2nd February 20 and expects that up to 220 venues will take part. The celebration continues to increase its reach across the country through the number of venues taking part, audiences it is engaging with, locations where venues are signing up and genres of music covered.

194 venues signed up so far

58 venues are taking part in Independent Venue Week for the first time

90 different villages, towns and cities

56% of venues are outside of major cities

Oldest venue is St James in Guernsey at 202 years old

Youngest venue is Peckham Audio – Opened end of October 2019

5 venues taking part are less than a year old

Biggest venue – OPEN Norwich – 1400 cap.

Smallest venue – Grayston Unity, Halifax – 18 cap.

Most southern venue – St James, Guernsey

Most northern venue – Krakatoa, Aberdeen

Most eastern venue – The Waterfront, Norwich

Most western venue – Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast

41% of venues have been part of Independent Venue Week for three or more years


Once again, 89% of participating venues are outside London as Chloe Ward, UK Director of Independent Venue Week pushes to engage with venues in villages, towns and cities all around the country.

“We continue to encourage venues in locations away from the main touring circuits to sign up. It is so important for artists and gig goers to be able to enjoy live music regardless of where they live. Not everyone has the means to travel to a city centre, especially later in the evening and we don’t want that to be a reason that people aren’t going to gigs.”

Artists so far confirmed across the week include;



BC Camplight Warmduscher Sinead O’Brien
Raging Speedhorn Rozi Plain Peaness
Toy Penelope Isles



Toyah Wilcox Goat Girl  Stereo MC’s 
James Taylor Quartet  Turin Brakes   Sean McGowan


With many more to announce in the coming weeks.

The week continues to aim for a representative spread of genres performing across the week including Indie, Rock, Metal, Jazz, Folk, Rap, Hip Hop, Grime, Electronic, Neo-Classical and artists DJ sets.

Partners on board this year are, once again, led by Arts Council England supporting for a sixth consecutive year.

Independent Venue Week Founder, Sybil Bell, said “The increased support from Arts Council England this year has helped us retain the brilliant team who joined us last year in Charlie Rickard and Ruby Horton. The difference having people who already understand the project as we roll into another year is enormous and allowed us to do so much more across the board. It’s really been the most enjoyable and fun year working on the project”.

Arts Council England are joined by founding Independent Venue Week Partners PRS for Music and The Musicians Union. Fred Perry return for a fourth consecutive year along with Yorkshire Tea who are back for the second time and are joined by PPL. Yamaha join for the first time this year and all of the details of each partnership will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

The UK-wide network of 7 Regional Reps supported by Arts Council England funding and 2 National Reps for Wales and Scotland continues to ensure the project has a local feel whilst having national reach. The reps, who work collaboratively with the central Independent Venue Week team, help ensure there is increased local, on-the-ground knowledge of venues, artists and promoters that can join the Independent Venue Week family and continue to make Independent Venue Week stronger, richer and more diverse every year for gig goers.

The Regional and National Reps will also be overseeing a growing number of Venue Reps who work with the venues in the run up to and during the week, to ensure venues have everything they need. These roles are often taken by people for whom this is the first chance to experience working in the music industry, allowing them to build up connections that they can learn from and build ongoing relationships as they look to develop a career in live music. They will also carry out vital research with gig goers and venues.

The documentary the team has been making with Blue Hippo Media, Long and Winding Road headed up by Radiohead’s Philip Selway, is due out in January just before the second Independent Venue Week Live Record is released which features artists such as Public Service Broadcasting, Pip Blom, This is The Kit and more, all of whom played Independent Venue Week in January and February 19. Later in the year, the third edition of Independent Venue Week will take place in the US in July.

Details of all participating venues and shows on sale now can be found at the main website More dates and ticket links will go live on the site as more shows are confirmed.  More gigs, artists and partners will be announced over the coming days and weeks through Independent Venue Week social media channels.

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