Record Store Day, but for venues: the highly successful UK event Independent Venue Week is making its US debut this summer, July 9-15 across the country. Independent Venue Week, which debuted in the UK in 2014 with Colin Greenwood of Radiohead as its ambassador, is a celebration of, a display of gratitude for, and a series of shows in independently-owned and -run music venues. It gives a nod to the people that own, run, and work in them day in, day out to bring the very best new live talent to eager audiences. The fifth UK Independent Venue Week, which boasts the helping hand of BBC Music as its broadcasting partner, is currently underway, running through this weekend. Its ambassadors include Adrian Utley of Portishead, Nadine Shah, Jamie Cullum, esteemed UK concertgoer Big Jeff Johns, and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels.
Independent Venue Week's founder, Sybil Bell, says of the US debut:
"Having run Independent Venue Week in the UK for 5 amazing years, we felt ready to explore an international territory. We’ve been speaking to the industry and partners across the US for around three years, and now finally feels like the right time to bring this celebration to the America.
Bands still need to play and tour small venues here in order to get a foothold. They need to learn their craft before playing bigger shows in bigger venues. The industry still needs artists to start small and build up as they get better. And those working behind the scene also need to start small. Local communities too need somewhere on their doorsteps that knows how to put live music on.
With five years under our belts in the UK, we’ve learned a lot about what the venues gain from the project and what matters to them. Speaking to the industry for the past few years, we believe that these same things matter in the US, so we’re beyond excited to bring IVW overseas, and for the industry and public to celebrate the vital work the venues do."