Independent Venue Week: Championing the backbone of British music

Crowd of people at a live music concert

Local music venues are the backbone of UK music - Credit: Getty Images

Independent Venue Week has returned for its eighth year in 2021, a nationwide initiative which shines a light on and the UK’s most treasured music venues, venue owners, and staff.

Hosted via YouTube and the IVW website, Independent Venue Week 2021 has showcased an eclectic series of live gigs, interviews, comedy and quizzes, plus ‘in-conversation’ with artists, music industry professionals, gig goers and promoters, hosting 110 venues from across the UK throughout this week. 

IVW would of course usually take place in person, filling local venues across the country with live music and bringing in a barrage of bustling music fans to go with it. Even though this year's event is a virtual one, the motive for the event still stands as strong as ever: To celebrate local music venues and the people behind the scenes who keep the music economy alive and kicking.   

Put together to highlight the cultural and economic importance of the indie live music scene, the virtual line-up from IVW organisers focuses on championing live music venues for their input into the live music economy. By highlighting these venues, it’s clear-cut how they function as so much more than merely just places to listen to live music.  

Providing a vital springboard for independent musicians, gig venues across the UK have become cultural hubs, inspiring creativity and providing entertainment through arts and culture, connecting people in local communities from all walks of life. 

Not only that, but local gig venues play a vital role in the development of local, independent, unsigned bands and artists. In recent years, the closing down of live music venues has become familiar news, whether it be through lack of funding or through being subject to the continuous development and gentrification of our cities and towns. Even the most established music venues are at some kind of risk, with many having already closed their doors to the music scene for good.  

Throw a global pandemic into the mix and its initiatives such as IVW which are imperative to preserving the UK’s reputation for producing word-class music. 

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