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January 27 – February 2, 2020 marks Independent Venue Week in the UK, “celebrating the spirit of independence & the culture of live music”.

I don’t know about you, but I love smaller venues when seeing and listening to music. Many of my favourite artists play the independent venues being championed this week, and many of them were discovered at these venues supporting another musician or band I went along to see. The venues are so important to musicians and music lovers alike, here’s why…

Grassroots venues give new artists their first shows, and the audience a chance to get up close and personal with their favourite musicians. These independently run venues allow for musicians to go on tour, and to build up fan-bases, while also allowing for audiences to discover new artists, many of whom become their favourite artists due to the intimate nature in which they fell for their music.

The venues also allow for learning. Musicians can hone their craft, experiment with their sound and their performance. Those wanting a career behind the scenes in music can learn first-hand about events, artist management, promotion, marketing, sound engineering, ticketing – the lot – by scoring a job at these venues rather than huge arenas. They also add to the vibrancy of a local area, bringing life, creativity, jobs and income to the neighborhoods many have so firmly stood in for so long.

“We are proud to be ambassadors of this year’s Independent Venue Week and ask for peoples support so these kind of unique, intimate and sweaty shows continue for everyone to enjoy. Venues that we started off playing along with so many other bands have created some of our funnest memories to date. We’d love for that to continue for us and for other bands…”

Wolf Alice, Independent Venue Week

The backbone of the live music scene in towns and cities across the country, Independent Venue Week celebrates the people who own, run and work in these gems, those who support them as customers, and the musicians who play shows in them.

“Small venues are the lifeblood of British music. There’s a particular kind of excitement when you go to a gig at these venues. They’re visceral and intimate.”

Philip Selway (Radiohead), Independent Venue Week

There are so many gigs listed on IVW, with venues across the UK taking part this week (check it out!), so we’ve picked a few that you can get yourself to in London this week…

Monday, 27.01.2020 (TONIGHT!!)

so young exhibition launch party: do nothing, drug store romeos, legss, norman, The Social

Do Nothing (Tom Morley)

To celebrate IVW and the launch of their latest exhibition, So Young Magazine is hosting a show at The Social, headlined by Do Nothing with support from Drug Store Romeos, Legss, and Norman. Take a listen below, and get your £5 tickets here.

Tuesday, 28.01.2020

I See Rivers, The Half Moon

I See Rivers (Eline, Gøril and Lill) have released two EPs, toured with many sell-out shows, and are gearing up to release their debut album this year. On Tuesday they’ll be playing an intimate show at The Half Moon, Putney.

I See Rivers (Flora Diamond)

“The multi-instrumentalist Scandi ‘float-pop’ trio are renowned for encapsulating audiences with their interweaving harmonies and distinctive Nordic sound which over time has evolved with heavier production and indie-electronic influences.”

The Half Moon

With support from STORME, this is a show you won’t want to miss. Get your tickets here.


AmericanaFest UK 2020, Hackney

Across six independent venues, over two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday), you can see 75 artists from across the globe in some of the most intimate settings.

Ferris & Sylvester (Sam Parish Rookes/The Brighton Studio)

Get your wristband here.

Wednesday, 29.01.2020

Best New: Mice on Mars + Memes, Tooting Tram & Social

A great venue, with two bands offering some of the best live shows in London at the moment. Full of energy, confidence and able to create A LOT of noise, Mice on Mars will be playing Tooting Tram & Social on Wednesday with Memes, another one to watch in 2020 after last year’s Steve Lamacq live session on BBC 6.

Grab your tickets here.

Thursday, 30.01.2020

Bath Days & Cinema Gold & Paddywak & Bella Barton, Sister Midnight Records

Cinema Gold (Jūratė Trimonytė)

Hidden on a back street in Deptford, Sister Midnight Records want you to come down a celebrate the fact that 2019 had the smallest number of small venue closures in years! That’s right, the calls to support our independent venues and live music are being heard. Join them in celebration with sets from Bath Days, Cinema Gold, Paddywak, and Bella Barton.

Get tickets here.

Friday, 31.01.2020

The Acoustic Project, The Slaughtered Lamb

On Friday, Trauma PR will be presenting their first showcase of 2020. With a line-up including Jack KaindFred Lessore Music, Thou Alone, Livonia BandZoe Zori Music4 Repeats Sake (Members of Best of Enemies), Matt Churchill, Jamie Granahan & Tommy Coyne, the night will be full of stripped-back sets from singer-songwriters and band offering acoustic renditions of their songs.

Get your tickets here.

Saturday, 01.02.2020

The Winter BBQ, The Windmill

The Windmill, Brixton, will be showcasing some of the bands who’ve played and made a big impact at their venue over the past year. From Paddywak, to Folly Group, to Honeyglaze, it’s a big line-up! And they also decided February seemed like a great time to light up the BBQ. Who’s going to turn down free food between 5 and 7pm?! We also like to light up the BBQ, because, why not, February is a good time to get the grill going. Even better, it’s free food between 5 and 7pm!

Folly Group (Holly Whitaker)

Get your tickets here.

Sunday, 02.02.2020

Hump Presents: Valeras (Acoustic), Lion Coffee + Records

Valeras (Marcus Dick)

Catch a stripped-back set from Valeras at this intimate show for Independent Venue Week.

With support from Blackaby. Get your £5.50 tickets here.

Enjoy another week full of sounds you love and sounds you’re yet to discover x

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