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‘The backbone and wellspring of music’: Independent Venue Week returns for seventh year

Over 230 venues have signed up to take part in the seven day event

Returning for its seventh consecutive year, Independent Venue Week is a seven-day celebration of independent music venues around the UK, championing the venues’ importance to the nation’s culture and identity.

IVW will take place from Monday, January 27 – Sunday, February 2, 2020.

The event has been created in partnership with Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland, BBC 6 Music, BBC Sounds, Fred Perry, Harman, Musicians Union, PPL, PRS For Music, Yamaha and Yorkshire Tea and over 230 venues across the UK have signed up to take part.

The BBC 6 Homecoming Tour with Steve Lamacq – with performances from Anna Calvi, Nadine Shah, Frank Turner, Self Esteem, Gryff Rhys – will be a key part of over 800 gigs taking place across the UK alongside a plethora of other tours and shows. The week before will also see the release of IVW’s feature documentary, The Long and Winding Road, featuring Philip Selway (Radiohead) visiting venues that were fundamental to Radiohead’s early days. Filming for the documentary began during IVW 2018 and continued throughout 2019.

Selway said: “Going on the road trip for Independent Venue Week, I was able to reconnect with the venues and people that I came across in the early days of touring with Radiohead. It gave me greater insight into the highly motivated and inspirational communities that make these venues happen. They truly are the backbone and wellspring of music in the UK.”

London’s Bush Hall will host the documentary premiere on Tuesday, January 21 (followed by a live Q&A hosted by Steve Lamacq with Philip Selway, Adrian Utley, Nadine Shah, Dom Frazer (Boileroom), Sybil Bell (IVW founder) and Pip Piper (director). Both the documentary and Q&A will be streamed live in selected venues across the UK.

Following the announcement that Mercury Prize-nominated musician Anna Calvi was to be the Independent Venue Week 2020 Ambassador, Calvi said: “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.

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.”

Anna Calvi’s show at The Windmill Brixton will be available via ballot here.

Steve Lamacq also commented: “January can be a make or break time for small venues, so it’s terrific to be involved in Independent Venue Week again, which was launched specifically to support these places and the artists who thrive in them. This time we’re trying to emphasise just how important local venues can be in providing a stage for new artists on their way to bigger success, by taking some of our favourite musicians back to the haunts where they first plied their trade and began honing their songs.”