Independent Venue Week: The importance of supporting grassroots music

Here's why we love Independent Venue Week.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 25th Jan 2023

Independent Venue Week is an annual celebration of independent music and arts venues, the people that run them and the stories that come from them. A time of the year when we can show appreciation for these key cultural spaces, this year it takes place from Monday 30th January to Sunday 5th February.

Gigs will be happening across the week and beyond, which highlight the great work that these venues do all year round. It is important that we recognise the cultural value that these spaces offer, with so many of them coming under increased financial pressure due to the cost of living crisis and the pandemic.

Often, these are the launchpads of the artists that we love the most. Open mic nights are popular at independent venues and these can be the very first steps an artist takes when it comes to sharing their original work with the world. Even huge stars such as Ed Sheeran have discussed the value places like these had on launching his own career. 

Another fantastic element of independent venues is the sense of discovery that you get. There's often an act playing on every night of the week, which means these places are ripe for finding your next favourite song. Supporting an artist from early on can give you a real sense of satisfaction.

It is hard enough to try and make a living as an artist even when you're seen as successful due to the pittance of revenue you earn from streaming. This means that traditional revenue streams such as gig tickets and merch are much more valuable to support your favourite artists. Never underestimate the difference you make when paying a visit to the merch stand and coming away with a new t-shirt.

Communities are often built around the local independent venues. For example, Leeds' Brudenell Social Club is as much of a social space as it is a gig venue. The layout of the bar is the perfect place to catch up with friends and find common interests with new ones. The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge not only has repeat customers but bands who frequent it too, such is the connection they feel with the space.

When you feel a part of something, it can have a huge uplift on your mental health. That sense of community can help people feel like they belong to something and it's another part of what makes these places thrive. In no time you're exploring a wide range of new music with the best company possible.

To learn more about Independent Venue Week click here. There's no doubt that these are the kinds of places that makes small towns come alive and make it feel as though you've discovered a hidden gem in a big city. Many are in danger though and need as much support as they can get. To learn more about how you can help head over to the Music Venue Trust.



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.







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