Today marks the start of Independent Venue Week – a yearly national event on the UK’s music calendar and this year it’s bigger than ever. With 120 local venues taking part (30 more than 2016), there’s bound to be something for everyone over the course of the week.
Whether it be due to noise complaints, licensing fees or simply a decrease in attendance, both nightclubs and live music venues across the country are being forced to close their doors for good. Although smaller venues appear to be the main victims, some of the more popular stages have taken the hit too, including the Roadhouse in Manchester, the Cockpit in Leeds and Hammersmith Palais in London where huge name acts including The Beatles, The Who, The Sex Pistols and David Bowie have performed.
The UK music market is currently valued at around £4.1 billion pounds, with a staggering £904 million of that being pumped in by the live music sector. However, it’s estimated that 35-40% of small grassroots venues and nightclubs have been shut down in the last decade in London alone, affecting these figures massively. The importance of these venues on our industry as well as the UK’s economy is hugely under appreciated. These venues are crucial to many parts of the music industry, allowing artists to grow and hone in on their craft as well as being home to many independent promotors.
2016 saw approximately 40,000 people in support of Independent Venue Week and with names such as Frank Turner, Sir Paul McCartney and Colin Greenwood of Radiohead all throwing weight behind the campaign, 2017 holds promise for an even larger boost. This year’s events include 2017’s IVW’s ambassador Tim Burgess, frontman of The Charlatans, who will perform at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room on Monday 23rd January. Other performances come from the likes of Beans On Toast, MassMatiks, Kayla Painter and so many more.
Both the venues themselves and the bands that play them are the future of music, but they need our support. Take a look at what’s going on in your area and support your local music scene simply by having a night out – what better way to beat the winter blues anyway?! Full listings of participating venues and gigs can be found on the Independent Venue Week website.