For music fans of all ages, usually the place to go to experience live music for the first time is your local independent venue – possibly because your taste in music has never been in the mainstream or one of your friends has just started up a band. Independent Venue Week is a celebration of that; the introduction to the industry for both fans and bands.

The seven day celebration – beginning January 23rd – is an ode to people who put time, effort and passion into running small venues, hosting music, comedy and all types of performance, and the support they give new, local artists with their first live experiences.

Promoter John Helps, said: “They’re essential – shows at arenas and huge venues like the O2 academies don’t exist in isolation. Without the independents there would be nowhere for these bands to learn their trade and start building an audience.”

This coming year, Firebug will host Recreations, the talent behind Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, performing album The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager in its entirety on January 29th.

Also playing the venue is Heck – formerly known as Baby Godzilla – on the 25th and local band Dayflower will be hosting a club night on 28th.

John added: “The music industry as a whole has neglected its independent venues for years and it’s about time someone was shouting at them. “I think it’s incredibly important for bands that produce music which isn’t necessarily part of the mainstream, bands that have no aspirations to graduate to bigger venues. That weirder, understated music thrives in spaces like these.”

The celebration began in 2014 with just 17 venues across the UK taking part, this number has increased by over a hundred, and it’s getting bigger and bigger each year.

Greg Poole from The Soundhouse, said: “The week highlights the vital role independent venues play in giving bands a chance to hone their craft and providing them with a platform to progress.

“After being involved in IVW 2016, we are looking forward to doing more shows as part of the week and bringing some of the most exciting new talent from around the country.”

The Cookie are also getting involved. So far their line up consists of Declan McKenna, performing on 24th, who recently appeared on Jools Holland, and a showcase from Leicester record label Flat Five Record Club on 28th.

Independent Venue Week begins 23rd January. Check each venues confirmed line-ups here

Natasha is a 21 year old Journalism graduate from Birmingham. Interests include live music, food and drink, cats and The Simpsons.

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