Independent Venue Week (IVW) celebrates its 5th birthday in 2018.
Founded in 2014 as a way to shine the spotlight on the heroes that own and run small venues all across the country, IVW has grown into a UK-wide event featuring performances at more than 160 venues.
Once again the project will run at the end of January from Monday 29th – Sunday 4th February 18.
Not only are many venues re-opening their doors after New Year, but exciting new artists are being tipped by key tastemakers and a large swathe of UK gets off their sofas after a dry January, eager to shake off the cobwebs and get gigging again.
To mark the milestone, IVW organisers have invited five ambassadors to champion the cause this year.
First of the two to be announced at the launch is South Tyneside singer songwriter Nadine Shah who released her third full-length record, Holiday Destination, to critical acclaim this year.
“Don’t get me wrong I’m all for a fancy sit down gig in some elaborate venue but I’ll take a sweat fest in some small dive any day of the week. Being so close to a stage and properly submerging yourself in a show is hard to top,” said Shah.
“As a musician it gives me a proper thrill to have the audience so close, they don’t miss a trick so I have to pull my finger out and really up my game.”
She finished with her typically unequivocal viewpoint: “Do yourself a favour and get yourself down to an independent venue to watch artists you’ve never heard of before, you can be that smug arsehole who says “I saw them first”.”
Alongside Shah is Portishead multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Adrian Utley.
He explained: “I love smaller venues. To see/hear and to play music…they are where I started and vital for learning how to do it all really. Sweaty and usually a good sound, it can be really nerve wracking being so close to other humans but also it feels like a shared experience.”
Having played numerous big venues across his career, Utley added: “Massive venues can be a bit impersonal and removed from the audience you are wanting to connect to…there is often a big space between the stage and the audience (sometimes bigger than a small venue in itself) that can have bored security and technical people in which takes a while to get used to.
“It’s sad if you don’t get to experience this and start your career in arenas which I’m sure some people do. Some music only suits small spaces……it’s so cool to see music that isn’t amplified at all and you can sit close and hear.”
Both musicians will be curating shows, and Shah will also be headlining a show at Hebden Bridge on Saturday 3rd February.
More info at https://www.independentvenueweek.com/