RIDING THE WAVES OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC WEEK


I have been frequenting independent music venues since the late eighties, and today, witnessing their struggles to remain in existence is hard to swallow.

In my formative years, my local haunt was an institution in the town; it had been around for donkeys years. Then, developers built a couple of houses directly opposite. It only took a little while for the noise abatement notices to be served and for the newly formed residents committee to submit a volley of complaints to the local council. Before long, the club itself was sold to a developer to be converted into apartments.

So we must cherish and support our venues, not only for us, the fans but for musicians in need of the first experience and the launch pad an independent music venue can offer.


Independent Venue Week (29th Jan – 4th Feb 2024) is the UK’s annual 7-day celebration of independent music & arts venues and the people who own, run and work in them.

“When I started Independent Venue Week back in 2013, my goal was to
shine a spotlight on the amazing network of independent venues all
around the UK.” 

Sybil Bell – Founder & CEO
Independent Venue Week & Independent Venue Community

And here’s some more information about Independent Music Week:

Independent venues from villages to cities, artists, promoters, agents, record labels, and media join forces to create a unique tapestry of special live events across the UK. It’s a week that transcends the ordinary, spotlighting the tireless work these venues do year-round. Local communities unite, thousands of artists take the stage, and hundreds of shows echo through the landscapes of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In this harmonious collaboration, Independent Venue Week partners with esteemed allies such as Arts Council England, See Tickets, and BBC 6 Music as the official broadcast partner. Each year, a notable Ambassador lends their support, with past luminaries including Colin Greenwood of Radiohead, Arlo Parks, Anna Calvi, Adrian Utley of Portishead, Nadine Shah, Wolf Alice, Wet Leg, and more.

What sets IVW apart is its ability to allow artists, audiences, and the wider music business to acknowledge the indispensable role played by hundreds of independently owned venues. These venues are more than stages; they’re the birthplaces of artists’ first live performances, the local haunts where fans discover and revel in their favourite musicians, and the nurturing grounds for those aspiring to build careers off-stage.

Independent Venue Week is a nationwide initiative that emanates a local vibe. It goes beyond being a celebration of live music; it recognises these venues as cultural hubs—places for learning, creativity, and arts that connect people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, genders, ethnicities, skills, experiences, and walks of life.

Your connection to the live music experience doesn’t have to end when the gig ends. Extend your support by buying tickets directly from venue websites, ensuring your contribution goes where it matters most. Make the night even more memorable by grabbing something from the bar or donning a piece of exclusive merchandise, suggesting to the venue to create their own signature items. But your impact doesn’t stop there—become a catalyst for the thriving music community by spreading the word.

Please share your experiences, leave a heartfelt review, recommend the event to friends, and amplify the excitement by sharing it across your social media platforms. Your involvement goes beyond the applause; it’s a meaningful contribution to the vibrant tapestry of live music culture.

Darren Branch

Darren "Twig" Branch is a music enthusiast enjoying life in South Somerset, England.

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