Independent Venue Week is a week-long celebration casting light on independent venues that play host to live events and shows. Such establishments are credited with first echoing artists’ talent, creativity, and music, as well as building their initial fan base. This yearly celebration honors and celebrates the people who own, operate, and work at these venues putting the limelight back on them.
Venues and event spaces have evolved into cultural centers for learning, creativity, arts, and entertainment. Through Independent Venue Week, the artists, audiences, and the entertainment industry as a whole celebrate the contribution that these independently owned venues provide to businesses and local communities.
Live music enthusiasts also get the chance to catch their favorite acts in person and discover new upcoming talents. Additionally, it gives people interested in a career in performing arts, light, sound, and music the chance to hone their skills in a smaller setting. In the run-up to the annual event, independent venues work with artists, promoters, agencies, record labels, and the media to highlight the significance of these venues and retain them as a mainstay for performers.
Sybil Bell, the founder of marketing and experiential consultancy I Like The Sound Of That, established Independent Venue Week in 2013. It started as a grassroots project directed at artists, small venues, and music fans, with headquarters in London, England.
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This year, Independent Venue Week kicked off its fifth edition on July 11, 2022, in the US. The festivities will conclude on July 17, 2022. Its first edition was held in the United States in 2018, with twenty venues hosting events. During the 2022 Independent Venue Week, over 400 independent venues and promoters will be highlighted across the United States in over 1,000 shows across 200 cities.
The Marauder group, an independent creative marketing company, runs the Independent Venue Week in the United States. Independent venues and promoters were asked to sign up to host performances in early 2022. Venues must not be owned, financed, run, or exclusively booked by an international corporation or publicly traded company to take part in Independent Venue Week. As shared on their website’s Venue & Promoter 2022 Code of Conduct, Independent Venue Week has joined the Keychange Project, which promotes the development of female talent and encourages festivals to commit to a gender balance of performers.
According to Cecilie Nielsen, Senior Director of Special Projects at Marauder, in a statement posted on their website, “Independent Venue Week is now the largest national event celebrating independent live music, comedy, and performing arts around the world. No longer is the locally owned or operated room or festival solely on their own; this event serves to unite the individuals within our many communities, reminding those on and in front of the stage what makes these places so special, and of course worthy of a week-long celebration.”
Monkey Barrel – a live entertainment outlet located in Denver, Colorado, The Englert Theatre – a renovated vaudeville-era playhouse in Iowa City, Wichita’s Wave – a concert venue and community space, 9:30 Club – a prominent nightclub and concert venue in Washington, D.C, New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge – a fine dining gourmet restaurant, Manchester Music Hall – an event space for music enthusiasts in Lexington, Kentucky, Chicago’s Winter Jazz Club, and The Vermont Hollywood in Los Angeles are the among the venues set to host live performances.
Bounce and hip-hop legend Big Freedia joined Independent Venue Week as its 2022 Artist Ambassador and will perform a special event at the Official Closing Party at Cleveland’s Grog Shop. In a statement, she mentioned, “I wouldn’t be here without the independent venue. After performing in local clubs for years, it was the independent venues that were the first to book me to play for audiences beyond New Orleans. Live music is still recovering from a tough few years. We need to support independent venues now more than ever.”
Rock band Spoon, indie folk outfit The Mountain Goats, afrobeat, funk and jazz artist Femi Kuti, and the Positive Force, Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, punk rock group The Linda Lindas, singer-songwriters Matt Maeson, Chris Young, and Sheryl Crow are a few of the many musical acts scheduled to perform at different venues throughout the week.
To find more details on the event schedule, performing artists and venues click here