Independent Venue Week (IVW), the annual seven-day celebration of independent music and arts venues, is to return between January 30 and February 5, 2023.
At a launch event hosted at Lafayette London, Radiohead’s Philip Selway was unveiled as the first of IVW’s 10th anniversary ambassadors by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq. Selway will perform shows in Norwich, Cambridge, Hebden Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees and Guildford as part of the week’s activities.
He said: “I’m honoured to be an ambassador for IVW in their 10th anniversary year. This past decade has seen IVW do incredible work in supporting and nurturing this vital musical community of independent venues. For me, these venues are the lifeblood of music in the UK, and after the great challenges they’ve faced these past few years, I’m excited to represent them in this way.”
Further IVW ambassadors, including champions for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, will be announced in coming weeks.
With more than 200 venues already confirmed to participate in Independent Venue Week 2023, IVW founder Sybil Bell has revealed the organisation's ambition to reach 300 sign-ups. All with the overarching goal of encouraging more music fans than ever to come out to celebrate the diversity and vitality of the UK’s grassroots music scene.
Speaking at the launch, Bell said: "We all know it’s an incredibly tough environment right now, so it’s really heartening that so many venues have already signed up for next year, and we’re over the moon to have such a widely-respected artist as Philip confirmed as our first 10th anniversary ambassador. We’ll be announcing more names in the weeks ahead, and, with the continued support and backing of our partners, I’m confident we’ll see some absolutely jaw-dropping shows as we strive to make IVW 2023 the best and biggest yet.”
Of the 210 venues confirmed to participate in IVW 2023, 187 are based outside London and 27 are taking part for the first time.
Dom Frazer, director at The Boileroom, Guildford, said: “We are so pleased to have been part of the celebrations that shine a light on truly independent and vibrant spaces like The Boileroom from all over the country. For 10 years IVW has championed and supported not only the programming, but the teams that work so tirelessly to maintain these vital cultural hubs. IVW has steadily and consistently pushed to be progressive and at the forefront of our industry. Thank you from us all.”
Tash Loveage and Cai Greenacre at Dros Ben Tân, Neath, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to be given this opportunity, especially as we are very new to the music scene. Myself and Cai share a huge passion for live music and after the last few years everybody has had we feel we can really bring something new and exciting to the community. We have so many thoughts and ideas on how we can use our space ranging from book clubs, open mic nights, comedy nights and of course live music. We want to allow each and every artist an opportunity to perform and get themselves out there.”
Earlier this year, IVW launched a new initiative called Independent Venue Community. This encourages venue owners to open their doors during daytime hours and provide programming targeted at underserved audiences, including early years, young people, the deaf, disabled and neurodivergent, mental health and wellbeing, LGBTQIA+, and older years.