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Independent Venue Week to return for fifth edition in 2018

By | Published on Friday 24 November 2017

Independent Venue Week

Independent Venue Week will return for its fifth edition in January next year, with 160 venues due to take part around the UK – 65 of those getting involved for the first time.

Five ambassadors will be the public faces of the event, which will take place from 29 Jan to 4 Feb, with the first two, Nadine Shah and Portishead’s Adrian Utley, just announced.

“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”, says Shah. “Being so close to a stage and properly submerging yourself in a show is hard to top. 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”.

Utley adds: “I love smaller venues. 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. 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 [performing in small venues] and start your career in arenas which I’m sure some people do”, he adds. “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”.

Shah and Utley will both curate their own shows within the IVW 2018 programme, while Shah will also put in a headline performance in Hebden Bridge on 3 Feb.

BBC Music has also been confirmed as the broadcast partner for the event, with Commissioning Editor Rachel Davies saying: “Independent Venues Week shines a light on the UK’s grassroots venues and the work they do to unite artists and music fans across the country. We are proud to be an official IVW partner this year”.

Find more information on Independent Venue Week 2018 here.