The 9th consecutive edition of Independent Venue Week starts today in the UK, and it’s all being held in person. Find out who’s involved here!

Taking place from the 31st of January to the 6th of February, Independent Venue Week (IVW) celebrates the UK’s smaller venues, responsible for shaping the nation’s indie music scene.

Over 210 venues have signed up, across 93 villages, towns, and cities. There are over 485 events set to take place, in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Wales, See Tickets, gigseekr, and PPL. 56 venues have signed up this year for the very first time. And a cheering 47% of venues taking part are based outside major cities.

Details for all the shows across IVW can be found here. Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 6 Music presenter, will be celebrating IVW with a series of dedicated shows. Speaking on the event, Lamacq said:

“Independent Venue Week has always played a vital role in helping grassroots venues at a financially perilous time of year. But this time round, it’s even more important to help support the live music circuit after it’s been hit so hard by Covid. It’s a chance for us all to rally round and celebrate just how important these places are to emerging artists and alternative performers.”

The ambassador for this year’s IVW is Wet Leg, a breakthrough indie act from the Isle of Wight. The band have enjoyed huge success and attention from the industry and public alike. The band have already sold out tour dates, and been nominated for 5 NME awards – 1 more than songs they have released currently. Commenting on their ambassadorship, Wet Leg said:

“We grew up in a place where we had no music venues at all and after living in Bristol and London, it’s been incredible to experience what it’s like to be a part of a scene; to feel that sense of community that you can pinpoint geographically to a place, to a venue, I think is quite important and quite special particularly for emerging bands and artists.

It’s a bit of a delicate ecosystem – Music makers and lovers are supported by the venues, and in turn the venues are supported by bands/artists and their fans passing through. The way I see it is this – No Independent venues = No music scene. No community. And to me, I feel that that’s something worth continuing to preserve and nurture. That’s why we’re super stoked and very, very proud to be ambassadors for this year’s Independent Venue Week.”

As we move out of a time of lockdowns and virtual events, the celebration of grassroots venues feels more important this year than ever before. The repair and revival of local music scenes depends on the maintenance of independent venues. IVW sets out to ensure the places so important for launching musician’s careers are not lost forever.