If you have never heard of Independent Venue Week you have perhaps been hiding under a rock for the last five years.
Independent Venue Week is a 7-day celebration of small music venues around the UK and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out.
These venues give artists their first experience of playing live in front of an audience and for fans, somewhere to get up close to artists that one day, may well be playing stadiums and festival main stages.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Independent Venue Week brings together these venues along with breaking and established artists, promoters, labels, media, bloggers and tastemakers to create a nationwide series of gigs at the end of January.
These venues are the backbone of the live music scene in this country and Independent Venue Week wants to recognize all that they have done to create some of the most memorable nights of the past so they can continue to do the same in the future.
With so many music venues falling by the wayside due to dwindling audience numbers it is up to us, the LIVE music fans, to support those that are still with us and thriving. We do tend to over quote Ed Sheeran’s achievements here in Suffolk but he played many a gig in Framlingham and Ipswich (including Ipswich Music Day!).
Our plea is simple, if only for one week, support your favourite local venue by rocking up and buying a ticket to get in. There are plenty about but in particular there are seven ‘official’ IVW venues in the East of England and they are:
- Esquires, Bedford
- Junction, Cambridge
- Portland Arms, Cambridge
- The Bassment, Chelmsford
- The Smokehouse, Ipswich
- Norwich Arts Centre
- John Peel Centre, Stowmarket
Click on the links for each and see what they have on offer during Independent Venue Week 2018 – we thought we’d squeeze in this from Darko… you can catch them at The Smokehouse.