Hav­ing put on a few gigs myself at a local venue, a par­tic­u­lar­ly atmos­pher­ic and beau­ti­ful space, which was sub­se­quent­ly sold off to be trans­formed into flats and a hotel, Inde­pen­dent Venue Week is a much-need­ed ven­ture. Run­ning from Mon­day 28th Jan­u­ary to Sun­day 3rd Feb­ru­ary 19, for IVW19 there are near­ly 190 venues signed up across the UK and 45 of these are tak­ing part for the first time.

The UK’s lead­ing cel­e­bra­tion of inde­pen­dent music venues announces plans for its sixth year and wel­comes Mer­cury-nom­i­nat­ed Nov­el­ist to the Inde­pen­dent Venue Week (IVW) fam­i­ly as its Ambassador.

The week-long event is run­ning, once again, at the end of Jan­u­ary giv­ing gig goers some­thing to look for­ward to in what is usu­al­ly a drea­ry month. So now you can see a range of artists and sup­port your local venues. As the project con­tin­ues to grow, there are plans for much more activ­i­ty with venues and part­ners across the whole year.

There has been lit­tle pres­ence of grime, hip hop and rap across IVW venues, with these artists gen­er­al­ly com­ing up through house par­ties or play­ing club nights with 5 or 6 artists, some­times as a col­lec­tive rather than the tra­di­tion­al 3 band line up in a live music venue. Nov­el­ist will be doing a tour across the week. “I thor­ough­ly enjoy hav­ing a close con­nec­tion to my fans and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enter­tain and inter­act at close quar­ters gives me the best buzz” he said. 

Says Chloe “Col­in” Ward, Direc­tor of IVW UK. “Bring­ing some­thing new to IVW is so impor­tant to us every year and Nov­el­ist is a huge sup­port­er of young people.”

  • 45 of venues that have signed up are tak­ing part for the first time 
  • 92 Dif­fer­ent vil­lages, towns and cities tak­ing part all across the UK of which 24 
are new loca­tions for IVW 
  • 55% Of venues are out­side major city centres 

Whilst 85% of par­tic­i­pat­ing venues are out­side Lon­don,  two venues tak­ing part this year are less than a year old – EartH which opened 6 months ago and Ley­ton­stone Ball­room which will be just 27 days old when IVW kicks off. 

Artists so far con­firmed as play­ing or going on tour (T) across the week

Beans on Toast (T)

Bil­ly Bragg

Black Midi


Bloody Knees

Can­cer Bats (T)

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (T)

Heavy Lungs (T)

Her’s (T)

Liela Moss (The Duke Spir­it) (T)

Musi­cal Youth


Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs,

Pip Blom

Pub­lic Ser­vice Broadcasting

Swim Deep

This is the Kit (T) – three under­play shows in the lead up to their Round­house show Thurston Moore

public service broadcasting
Pub­lic Ser­vice Broad­cast­ing are tak­ing part

Film­ing for the doc­u­men­tary, which start­ed dur­ing the last IVW, will also con­tin­ue this year in readi­ness for a late spring/early sum­mer release. Co-pro­duc­ing it with Blue Hip­po, the mak­ers of Last Shop Stand­ing, IVW and the film crew will be out and about cap­tur­ing the essence and romance of gigs at these vibrant live music venues and the com­mu­ni­ties they are at the heart of.

The new IVW shop is also launched this week with a range of merch illus­trat­ed by award- win­ning artist Rob­bie Porter. The shop also car­ries the Inde­pen­dent Venue Week Live Album that was release for Record Store Day in April in 2018 as a lim­it­ed-edi­tion dou­ble heavy-weight vinyl.

I’ll be spend­ing Inde­pen­dent Venue Week at The Trades in Heb­den Bridge, shak­ing off a usu­al­ly dull Jan­u­ary with some good music in a small venue that nev­er fails to radi­ate good vibes. I hope you’ll pick a venue or two and do the same.

Details at independentvenueweek.com. More dates and tick­et links to come.

Nadine Shah handing over to Novelist
Nadine Shah hand­ing over the baton of ambas­sador to Nov­el­ist.  Main pic­ture: Shaun Keav­e­ny inter­view­ing Nov­el­ist ©Dar­ren Russell


Partners on board this year are, once again, led by Arts Council England alongside Founding IVW Partners PRS for Music who return for a sixth consecutive year. 
They are joined by Marshall Amplification who are the official beer sponsors following the launch of three new beers under the Marshall name, Fred Perry who return for a third consecutive year as well as PPL and Help Musicians UK. BBC Music are also back on board as the official broadcast partner.


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