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Independent Venue Week Goes Digital, 25-31 January 2021

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Independent Venue Week (IVW) has announced a full online schedule for its eighth edition, taking place 25-31 January. This year will be the first ever digital edition to prioritise the health and well-being of the community, but still with over 141 virtual events taking place across the nations. Over 110 venues across the UK have signed up to take part, playing host to online performances, ‘In Conversation’ interviews, panel discussions with industry professionals, the official IVW Quiz hosted by Douglas Stewart of BMX Bandits and the online premiere screening of ‘On The Road with Independent Venue Week’, with a live Q&A.

We spoke to the founder of Independent Venue week, Sybil Bell, about how they have digitally transformed this music extravaganza:

“It’s been incredibly important to us all that Independent Venue Week went ahead this year. Ironically, IVW was set up to get people off their screens and out into venues, in person, to fully immerse themselves in music and culture and support their grassroots live music community around the country. We, like everyone, have had to adapt and overcome and, at very short notice. It’s been challenging not working together in the same space as a team but everyone has worked so incredibly hard and gone many extra miles, both the core IVW team as well our extended family of reps, venues, promoters, partners and media, to bring as much activity to the week as possible to ensure we can keep the spotlight on those in our grassroots community”.

We asked for any tips she could offer to other arts and culture sector organisations looking to put their content online. This is what she said:

“We have a rule at IVW that we won’t do something unless we can do it properly and that’s never been more true than with this digital edition. We’ve likened doing a digital IVW vs our normal celebration as the difference between stage and screen. It feels like ten times the workload for a fraction of the output. We’ve learned a huge amount but been careful not to try and over program and then have to pull events.

It’s worked well for us – we’re still getting people coming to us a couple of days before the week starts, offering ideas for taking part, and we look carefully to see how deliverable it would be before making a call on it.”

“For the team, working from home is a big consideration of ours, especially when there are lots of ideas and activities flying around and it’s been so important to check in with the team all the time and ensure people are looking after their mental health and well-being – time out and some fresh air is actively encouraged.”

Visit independentvenueweek.com/uk/ivw21-schedule for the full list of venues and artists taking part in this ambitious digital project.


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