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First-ever virtual Independent Venue Week begins this week

The week-long event, celebrating independent music venues across the UK, returns this week for a very different and covid compliant eighth edition

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 25th Jan 2021

A nationwide festival that many music fans and venues alike, always have clearly marked on their calendars - the annual Independent Venue Week celebration promotes some of the finest grassroot and heritage live music spaces that Britain has to offer, whilst showcasing the UK's abundant wealth of world-beating musical talent.

Taking place throughout the same week in January for almost a decade, the 7-day celebration would normally feature two-hundred plus venues, hosting thousands of live performances from an eclectic mix of both emerging and established names. 2019 alone saw 2,411 artists, amongst them the likes of Novelist, Black Midi and The Blinders, appearing on stages up and down the British Isles, entertaining a total of 94,340 passionate gig goers. Recent times, however, have been anything but normal.

Check out Black Country, New Road performing at The Windmill in Brixton as part of 2019's Independent Venue Week below...

The introduction of Covid-19 back in the first quarter of 2020 spelt disaster for the live events and music industry. Almost a year on, the dancefloors and stages of our beloved independent venues, across all four nations, still remain lifeless, and as lockdown continues with no official end date in sight, the threat of losing many of them has never been more real. It's been estimated that employment in the live music sector has also fallen by almost a fifth since the pandemic began, with more than half of those who work at venues currently on furlough.

The need to shout about the UK's independent live music venues and champion those who make them what they are has undoubtedly never been more important than it is today. Consequently, the dedicated Independent Venue Week team have planned a drastically different week of events to combat these dramatically different times we all find ourselves enduring. 

Commencing today, Monday 25th January 2021, the eighth instalment of Independent Venue Week will see over 100 venues across 12 regions, hosting more than 141 events online. Encompassing 96 performances, 23 'In Conversations', 11 industry panels and 2 quizzes, one hosted by Duglas Stewart of BMX Bandits, there's plenty to get involved with. The premiere screening of the ‘On The Road with Independent Venue Week’ documentary will also be aired online throughout the week. 

Watch this year's Independent Venue Week launch event, hosted by Simone Butler (Primal Scream) with a live performance by Billy Nomates below...

Performing throughout the week, music fans will be spoilt to first-class performances from the likes of Liam Gallagher, Blossoms, Idles, Bombay Bicycle Club, Sam Smith, Beverley Knight, Fontaines D.C, Johnny Marr, Primal Scream and Radiohead, along with this years ambassadors, soulful singer-songwriter Arlo Parks, Welsh musician/composer/producer/filmmaker/author, Gruff Rhys, Irish rap star Jordan Adetunji and Scottish multi-platinum selling artist, Amy Macdonald

Arlo Parks spoke about her appointment as an Independent Venue Week ambassador for 2021:

“I feel blessed to have been chosen as Independent Venue Week Ambassador. Independent venues are the backbone of live music and I’m determined to help to support and protect these national treasures."


Head over to the Independent Venue Week website and take a look at the extensive program of performances and activities confirmed to take place this week -

Find tickets for this week's virtual Independent Venue Week events here.



Header Image: Josh Moore/ Independent Venue Week (Facebook)

Festivals 2021