IVW, the seven-day celebration of small music venues around the UK, is back for another year involving over 160 locations
Founded in 2014 as a way to champion small venues across the UK, Independent Venue Week (IVW) has been confirmed to kick off on 29 January and run until 4 February in 2018, marking its fifth birthday. To mark the milestone, IVW organisers have invited five ambassadors to champion the cause this year. First of the two to be announced at the launch is South Tyneside singer songwriter Nadine Shah who released her third full-length record, Holiday Destination, this year.
“Don’t get me wrong I’m all for a fancy sit down gig in some elaborate venue but I’ll take a sweat fest in some small dive any day of the week,” says Shah. “Do yourself a favour and get yourself down to an independent venue to watch artists you’ve never heard of before, you can be that smug arsehole who says, ‘I saw them first’”.
Alongside Shah is Portishead multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Adrian Utley, who explains, “I love smaller venues. To see/hear and to play music…they are where I started and vital for learning how to do it all really. Sweaty and usually a good sound, it can be really nerve wracking being so close to other humans but also it feels like a shared experience.”
IVW began with 17 venues and has continued to grow each year, with 160 venues signed up this year. The continued growth of the project comes not just from more venues across towns and cities signing up, but also those from secondary and tertiary locations. For example, Halifax is home to the smallest (Grayston Unity) and youngest (The Lantern) venues taking part this year.
Founding industry partners PRS for Music will be hosting panels for the artist community as well as the Musicians Union, broadcast support is coming from BBC Music who is also an official partner, and the IVW is backed, once again, by Arts Council England alongside Creative Scotland and Arts Council Wales. Other partners include independent music charity Help Musicians UK.
IVW is currently working with over 65 promoters in 11 regions across the country including Surprise You’re Dead, SXSW, Juicebox Live, Global Beats Agency, Swn Festival, Kilimanjaro, Gig Cartel, Birmingham Promoters and Chiverin, covering indie, rock, metal, folk, urban and world music. Also programming a night is Bristol gig regular, Big Jeff Johns. This year also sees the addition of Marshall Records, the label of the independent British amp company, who will be touring some of their new artists.
Details of all participating venues can be found at the main website: independentvenueweek.com