We are pleased to announce the launch of Independents Day, a one-day gathering on 20th August at 229 The Venue, in London, supported by Arts Council England. It’s a day where Independent Venue Week (IVW) stakeholders can meet for the first time and share ideas about how to get the most out of IVW during the week, as well as across the year.

We’re delighted to say that we are putting this day on in partnership with HARMAN, the only company in the world to specialise in both lighting and audio technology for over 60 years. They will be showcasing their kit throughout the day for sound engineers and venue owners alike to learn more about them and their products.

By getting together face-to-face, there is a greater chance to learn more about the workings of IVW from the core team, as well as allowing those involved with IVW to meet and share tips and tricks on how to make the most of being part of the project. We are bringing together as many venues and promoters as possible, as well as our contributing partners and we have also invited lots of agents to discuss programming for the week too. In addition to talking about IVW2020, we will be talking about our plans for the rest of the year.

Our Regional and National Reps are also coming along to Independents Day so that venues and promoters can meet them again. The reps  are our expert, ear to the ground, in different places across the UK, with in-depth understanding of their local music scene. We also have a small number of our Venue Reps (Formerly Venue Volunteers) to help us with the running of the day and who will meet potential venue partners.

Throughout the day there will be 6 panels discussing the points of concern at the forefront of the music industry;

  1. Venue Case Study
  2. Venue Funding – Arts Council England & PRS Foundation
  3. Access for All, On & Off Stage
  4. Well-being for Artists, Gig-Goers & Venue Staff
  5. Planning and Booking IVW Shows & Tours
  6. Bringing Music Education Into Local Venues.

The 29 panelists speaking throughout the day all have personal insights and expertise on their topics which they are keen to share with everyone attending. We are very excited by the idea that Independents Day will be a day where our venues and stakeholders can meet and begin to collaborate with one another in a very open, relaxed atmosphere.

The day will be interspersed with Stage Snapshots where companies and organisations who support IVW will give 5 minute introductions into the work they’re doing, and if it is of interest, they will be around to chat about it all throughout the day. These Snapshots will be presented by HARMAN (who will later be exhibiting their tech); Nordoff Robbins (who will be talking on behalf of their Get Loud campaign); FAC; and CD Baby.

In addition to this, Independents Day will also feature a breakout space where attendees will be able to meet our partners allowing them to have more of an in-depth discussion about how they aim to work with our stakeholders, and what they are offering. There will be more of a chance to chat than a panel. Our partners with breakout spaces include: Arts Council EnglandMusicians UnionLoadinOpenLIVECD Baby.

We are also pleased to have 20 agents joining us on Independents Day for 1-2-1 meetings with our venues (and any others interested) to talk about their roster and working with them more closely throughout the year.

Our long-term plans which will now span across the year, rather than just focusing on the week in January, will be introduced on the day too. The four of us at IVW – Sybil, Chloe, Charlie, and Ruby – will be more than happy to speak to anyone about these plans after the day finished (most likely with a Marshall beer in hand). Largely, we hope to see an increase in engagement between venues in smaller towns and villages with agents, and other, similar venues, about routing ‘alternative’ tours to those of the mainstream, in areas which are often overlooked. We also will be introducing Yes We Can, our training, education and development program.

Overall, we are so excited with the idea of everyone coming together, getting to know each other, building up relationships and working together more throughout the year. For our new venues it’s a chance to get to know those who have been with us for a few years, who can share their experiences, as well as meeting those behind the scene at IVW.