The second US edition of Independent Venue Week will run in the US from July 8–14, 2018 to unite venues, rising and established artists, promoters, labels, media, and tastemakers across a nationwide series of gigs. This is a unique live music project that, although it runs across the whole United States, has a completely ...
Record Store Day, but for venues: the highly successful UK event Independent Venue Week is making its US debut this summer, July 9-15 across the country. Independent Venue Week, which debuted in the UK in 2014 with Colin Greenwood of Radiohead as its ambassador, is a celebration of, a display of gratitude for, and a series of shows in independently-owned and -run music venues. It gives a nod to the people that own, run, and work in them day in, day out to bring the very best new live talent to eager audiences. The fifth UK Independent Venue Week, which boasts the helping hand of BBC Music as its broadcasting partner, is currently underway, running through this weekend. Its ambassadors include Adrian Utley of Portishead, Nadine Shah, Jamie Cullum, esteemed UK concertgoer Big Jeff Johns, and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels.
Independent Venue Week's founder, Sybil Bell, says of the US debut:
"Having run Independent Venue Week in the UK for 5 amazing years, we felt ready to explore an international territory. We’ve been speaking to the industry and partners across the US for around three years, and now finally feels like the right time to bring this celebration to the America.
Bands still need to play and tour small venues here in order to get a foothold. They need to learn their craft before playing bigger shows in bigger venues. The industry still needs artists to start small and build up as they get better. And those working behind the scene also need to start small. Local communities too need somewhere on their doorsteps that knows how to put live music on.
With five years under our belts in the UK, we’ve learned a lot about what the venues gain from the project and what matters to them. Speaking to the industry for the past few years, we believe that these same things matter in the US, so we’re beyond excited to bring IVW overseas, and for the industry and public to celebrate the vital work the venues do."
The US cities hosting Independent Venue Week shows will be announced soon, and the details of the shows—venues, artists, and the like—will be revealed in May.
About Independent Venue Week
Independent Venue Week is launching in the US from July 9–15, 2018 to unite venues, rising and established artists, promoters, labels, media, and tastemakers across a nationwide series of gigs. This is a unique live music project that, although it runs across the whole United States, has a completely local feel—there’s nothing else like it.
These are the venues that continue to give artists the early experience of playing live in front of an audience. For fans, these are the venues are somewhere to get up close to artists that, one day, may well be playing stadiums. And for the working industry, these are the venues where new talent gets discovered and behind-the-scenes careers are fostered. Independent venues are the backbone of the live music scene, and Independent Venue Week annually recognizes all that they have done to create some of the most memorable nights of the past so they can continue to do the same in the future.
The project has shown impressive growth in its first five iterations hosted in the UK. It works with lots of venues not just in major markets but, just as importantly, venues in secondary and tertiary locations. Artists at all levels support the project, as independent venues are where any credible performer hones her craft. Performing artists don’t need an active release to be involved with Independent Venue Week; most are just happy to give back to the spaces that gave them a start.
Independent Venue Week is a platform providing considerable exposure to venues across the country. Participating venues in the UK have said that not only do they love the extra foot traffic, new contacts and the chance to build relationships with new partners including agents, labels, artists, promoters and media, but that for this week they feel part of a collective rather than just operating in isolation.