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Venue Week

A celebration of the spirit of independence and the culture of live music

Now in its seventh year, Independent Venue Week is a seven-day celebration of music venues and the dedicated people that run them. From the Windmill in Brixton to Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff, small independent venues give new artists the chance to learn their craft and experience what it’s like to play in front of a live audience. Keeping these places going is vital. More than just gig venues, they are a space to meet likeminded people and bring communities together. A space for subcultures to emerge.

A nationwide initiative with a real local feel, IVW will be hosting a series of gigs across the nation, celebrating these local venues. Going to an Independent Venue Week gig? Send us your reviews and be part of the celebrations. Email us at: reviews@fredperry.com

“I’m very excited about this year’s Independent Venue Week, not least because we’re taking the 6Music show on the road again and have managed to hire a tour bus for the first time, so we can actually broadcast from outside the venues for once.

“And it’s a good looking itinerary, although I’m particularly pleased we’re starting with Nadine Shah in Newcastle and then we’ll be stopping off at the Sheffield Leadmill, which is 40 years old this year and is probably where I’ve seen more gigs than anywhere else outside of London.

“Frank Turner is doing Exeter Cavern which makes up for the fact that I’m missing him when he plays my old local haunt the Colchester Arts Centre, which is one of the places I used to sell my fanzine back in my school and college days. Like lots of places I’ve hung out in over the years – like the late lamented Harlow Square – I wouldn’t be the person I am now, or know the people I do, without the Arts Centre and the hard-working promoters who’ve put on the bands I’ve championed.”

Steve Lamacq

“Independent Venue Week this year is by far the biggest and busiest. Every year we get excited about how much the program grows but there is definitely something about our 7th year that feels more significant.

“We’re particularly excited about Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music Homecoming Tour. He’s toured IVW for the last four years with 6 Music and BBC Sounds and it’s been fantastic to see him and his crew travel the country visiting venues and meeting people in communities large and small – all passionate about their local live music scene.

“We’re joining him in Newcastle where we have Nadine Shah at The Cluny, The Leadmill in Sheffield for Self Esteem, Cardiff for Gruff Rhys at Clwb Ifor Bach, and Windmill Brixton for a very intimate show with our ambassador, Anna Calvi.

“For me and the team the best bit about IVW is getting out around the country and meeting the venue owners and operators in person that we deal with on email or by phone all year. Getting to see their venues and meet the artists and local gig goers is such a magical way to spend the week. It makes the 12 months of planning so worthwhile.”

Sybil Bell, Founder and CEO of IVW

"Performance is such a big part of what I do, and I couldn't have done it if I hadn't have had these venues to learn my craft in. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for those venues, so I did feel very passionately that I wanted to support Independent Venue Week and to be part of it."

Anna Calvi, artist and Independent Venue Week ambassador 2020