A surefire way to start 2024 as we mean to go on, today is the start of this year’s Independent Venue Week - a seven day celebration of the vital part that grassroots venues play in the UK’s musical ecosystem.
Taking place from today through to Sunday (4th February) IVW24 will see 205 venues host a whole array of shows, all with the aim of encouraging fans to support their locals on a year-round basis. The celebrations are also set to span all corners of the UK, taking in scenes beyond major cities which are often overlooked and under-appreciated.
This year will see Leeds quartet English Teacher (who’ve just announced their highly-anticipated debut album) take up the mantle of artist ambassador for IVW24, following in the footsteps of the likes of Wet Leg, Arlo Parks, Nadine Shah, Wolf Alice and more to fly the flag for grassroots music.
Speaking about their involvement, band leader Lily Fontaine has said: “We’re delighted to be the Ambassadors for 2024’s Independent Venue Week. Over the years that we’ve developed as a band, we’ve always tried to be vocal about our relationship with the local venues, organisations and scenes that have supported us in our careers and practice, and that continues with our tour of some of the most vital grassroots music halls in the country.”
As well as English Teacher’s special show at Hull’s Polar Bear Music Club on 1st February, there’s a slew of other gigs worth getting excited about too - here are just a few:
31st January - Brooke Combe (the initiative’s Scottish ambassador) will take to the stage of Mac Arts Galashiels, alongside support act Devin Casson.
3rd February - Wales’ own L E M F R E C K will mark the occasion in Cardiff, visiting The Gate with support from Rug.
Independent Venue Week 2024 is taking place from 29th January to 4th February 2024. To find your nearest show and join the celebrations, visit the event page of the IVW website for more info and tickets.