Independent Venue Week (IVW) gets its tenth birthday celebrations underway today (January 30), as the annual showcase of the UK’s finest local venues returns.
More than 300 independent venues around the country are confirmed to take part, from the 35-capacity Grayston Unity in Halifax to London’s The Troxy, which holds more than 3000. 64 of those are taking part for the very first time, including new establishments like Manchester’s New Century Hall, HERE at Outernet in Soho, Edinburgh’s Leith Depot and Dros Ben Tan in Neath, Wales.
A stacked lineup will see shows from the like of You Me at Six, Editors, Young Fathers, Suede, Band of Skulls, Anna Meredith, Amber Arcades, and The Unthanks. Additionally, LIFE, English Teacher, Benefits, The Pretenders and Brian Jonestown Massacre will play IVW gigs, as will beabadoobee and Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, both of whom are official IVW ambassadors.
If you’re looking to head down to any of the shows that haven’t sold out, tickets are available here.
“We’re beyond excited to have reached 10 years of shining a spotlight on our amazing community who work so tirelessly year round,” said Sybil Bell, IVW’s founder. “With such amazing support from our partners, we are able to have a nationwide celebration of independent and unique spaces in every nook and cranny of the country whilst helping nurture new talent on and off stage.
“I would encourage everyone to check out shows in their local area, buy a ticket and have a great night out with mates whilst supporting locally-owned independent businesses,” Bell went on. “We’re excited for the week ahead and for the next 10 years.” Running until Sunday (February 5), IVW will renew its long-standing relationship with the BBC, including a new artist showcase put together with the under-threat BBC Introducing.
Elsewhere, IVW’s sister community programme Independent Venue Community will reaffirm its core values, with outreach events planned for young people and the deaf, disabled and neurodivergent communities, as well as a show from Bristol gig-going legend Big Jeff’s band The Outlines under their mental health and wellbeing banner – the first since his accident last year. In Leeds, meanwhile, IVW will team up with Come Play with Me, a social enterprise aimed at furthering the musical careers of the LGTBQ+ community, as well as women in music and people of marginalised genders.