Independent Venue Week announces fifth birthday celebrations

Nadine Shah

Independent Venue Week (IVW) is back next year for its fifth birthday and has announced Nadine Shah (pictured) and Adrian Utley from Portishead as ambassadors.

Both artists will be curating shows, with Shah headlining Hebden Bridge on 3 February 2018.

So far, 160 venues have signed up for the event, which aims to shine a spotlight on the heroes that own and run small venues all across the country.

A total of five ambassadors have been invited to champion the cause, with the final three to be announced.

Speaking about her support of small venues, South Tyneside singer songwriter Nadine Shah said: ‘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.

‘Being so close to a stage and properly submerging yourself in a show is hard to top.’

She added: ‘Do yourself a favour and get yaself down to an independent venue to watch artists you’ve never heard of before, you can be that smug arsehole who says “I saw them first”.’

Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Adrian Utley said: ‘I love smaller venues. To see/hear and to play music…they are where I started and vital for learning how to do it all really.

‘It’s sad if you don’t get to experience this and start your career in arenas which I’m sure some people do. 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.’

IVW 2018 is backed by Arts Council England alongside Creative Scotland and Arts Council Wales.

Founding industry partners PRS for Music will once again be hosting panels for the artist community, as well as Musicians Union.