Music Glue Meet... Indie Venue Week
Photo credit: Bassment Bar.
Taking place from January 29 to February 4, 2018, Indie Venue Week returns bigger than ever as it celebrates its 5th birthday. The 7 day event launched in 2014 as a way to put the spotlight on independent venues and the people who own, run and work in them, week in, week out. Over 165 venues are getting involved this year, a significant increase from five years ago, showing the strong support for the initiative.
We had a chat with Chloe Ward, the Indie Venue Week Director; she tells us how venues and bands can get involved, what will make this year’s edition so special and a few fun facts you might not know.
Hey Chloe, so tell us why this year’s IVW is so special?
2018 marks our 5th birthday, which in itself is a celebration! The project has grown so much in five years; we have invited five ambassadors to champion the cause this year, instead of having just one like in the previous editions. We really want to mark the milestone.
Who are the five ambassadors? How do they represent IVW?
We’ve announced two ambassadors so far: singer songwriter Nadine Shah and Portishead’s multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Adrian Ultey. The others will be revealed soon.
They will be curating talks, panels and shows throughout the week. The aim is for them to raise awareness of the IVW platform and to celebrate the venues. Every ambassador has come up through these independent venues so they really recognise their importance and are very keen to speak about and draw attention to them.
How many venues are taking part?
There are about 165 venues taking part in the project so far. More venues keep signing up, which is pretty amazing. Considering that we started with only 17 venues in 2014, this is clearly phenomenal. We have a good variety in terms of space, which makes the event very interesting.
Oh nice, so which is the smallest venue?
The smallest venue of the Indie Venue Week is The Grayston Unity in Halifax with a capacity of 18 people… assuming the act is a singer songwriter. I’ll let you figure out what it’s like when there’s a full band on set! But we do love that place, it’s a really lovely and cosy space.
And the largest?
The biggest venue is Troxy, London, which has a capacity of 3,100 people. This venue is new to the event and we’re very excited to have them on board.
The oldest venue taking part this year is the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall - they’re celebrating their 150th birthday!
Any other fun facts?
The iconic 100 Club in London are celebrating their 75th anniversary, while The Lantern in Halifax is just 10 days old. It’s really nice to have such a variety, history and heritage in the world of venues.
How can music venues get involved?
It’s completely free for venues to join IVW. There’s a code of conduct that needs to be signed and respected which includes for example that all shows must be paid. We really want to raise awareness on the fact that the live industry is in a complex situation right now; the amount of free gigs increases every day, and we don’t want people to devalue the live music sector. Every venue can take part in the project as long as they agree to our terms and conditions.
Venues usually grow in notoriety by being part of the IVW. IVW helps people show a special interest in the actual venues, rather than just in the shows they’re putting on.
What’s coming up this year?
There are a few tours you can catch on the week… the official Marshal Records x IVW one, plus the Dead! Don Brocco and so many more!
Can artists also get involved?
The venues are looking for some acts to play, so we’re trying to help them with that as much as we can.
The best way of getting a show at a venue that is taking part in IVW is to go down to that specific venue and make sure to introduce yourself to local promoters, get to know the other artists that are playing, etc. It’s very important for artists to show some interest and support in their local venues, they’ll be more likely to secure a show than the artists that didn’t make the effort.
And finally how can music fans support IVW?
Attend the events! It really is a celebration of indie venues, so our aim here is to encourage people to go to more gigs. If you go out once a month, try to go twice a month! If you go out once a week, try to go out twice a week! That’s how you eventually support indie venues.
We’ve had such great support from gig-goers. The second year, people were ringing up their local venues to know if they were taking part in IVW, and bought their tickets straight away not even knowing who was playing. There were around 55,800 people going to shows during the IVW last year. That’s amazing!
What’s next for IVW?
We are really looking into taking the project further, and we are therefore hoping to organise more events throughout the year. Last year, we did our first tour outside of the IVW itself: we worked in collaboration with Jägermeister to create the IVW Summer Tour featuring Band of Skulls. We are really keen to do more of that to try to engage with the venues year round. 100% of the venues say they would be keen to be part of that touring network over the year, so there’s definitely an opportunity here.
For more info, visit the Indie Venue Week website at www.independentvenueweek.com.
Venues such as Bush Hall and Union Chapel already use Music Glue to sell tickets and merch and for their websites. Discover our venues features and get in touch with our team for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.