Image Credit: IVW UK

The ban on live gigs won’t stop Independent Venue Week celebrating the best UK music venues.

Looking for gigs to watch this weekend? Independent Venue Week has you covered. Taking place every year in the UK and the US, and this year the UK event runs from 25th to 31st January. The country is currently in its third national lockdown but that hasn’t stopped the event from going ahead, albeit in a different form to usual. In its eighth year, events have gone digital, and virtual shows and conversations have been taking place all week on Facebook, YouTube and the Independent Venue Week website.

Streams and videos have included IDLES sharing a live recording of the band performing ‘Carcinogenic’ in their favourite Bristol venues. Guitarist Mark Bowen commented:

Now more than ever independent musicians and the music industry at large need to unite to keep from being decimated… Independent venues are the fertile soil in which the future of the performing arts will grow. They are where your future favourite band will play, where the best song ever written will be tested out, where the new can bud and flourish.

Mark Bowen, IDLES guitarist

Close to RouteNote HQ, vital local venue Old Bakery Studios in Truro, Cornwall are releasing celebratory behind the scene interviews and performances from The Rezner, Bailey Tomkinson, Flats & Sharps, Daisy Clark, Sam Richardson and The Velvet Hands.

The event airs at 8pm on Sunday 31st via The Old Bakery’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

To help spread awareness Independent Venue Week have nominated four ambassadors to represent England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: Arlo Parks, whose debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams released today, Gruff Rhys, Amy Macdonald and Jordan Adetunji. BBC Radio 6 Music has aired archive session tracks and special guests on Steve Lamacq’s show throughout the week, and BBC Introducing hosted conversations between musicians and venue owners.

Ironically Independent Venue Week is usually an antidote to our constant consumption of music via a screen, but despite the move online the event has been a success nonetheless. It’s extremely timely, putting a spotlight on struggling venues whilst celebrating them at the same time, encouraging gig-goers to engage with their local venues even while they can’t visit in person.

The full line-up can be found here.