Independent Venue Week announces 2019 programme

The UK’s leading celebration of independent music venues returns for its sixth year from 28 January to 3 February 2019, with Novelist as ambassador.

  • By Lucy Doyle
  • 15 Nov 2018
  • min read
Independent Venue Week has announced details of its 2019 programme, with Mercury-nominated Novelist (pictured above) confirmed as ambassador.

The UK’s leading celebration of independent music venues returns for its sixth year from 28 January to 3 February 2019, giving gig goers 'the perfect reason to get out and see newly-tipped artists, helping to shake off the January blues and support their local venues.'

Novelist, who put on an electrifying performance at last week's PRS Presents, will be doing a tour across the week. 'I thoroughly enjoy having a close connection to my fans and the opportunity to entertain and interact at close quarters gives me the best buzz,' he said. 'They almost become a part of the performance and I get to rave with them. It’s a blessing.'

Chloe 'Colin' Ward, director of Independent Venue Week (IVW) UK, commented: 'What’s so exciting about having an artist like Novelist as ambassador is that we can bring together a musician with venues and gig goers that might not have crossed paths before, all around the country.

'Bringing something new to IVW is so important to us every year and Nov is a huge supporter of young people. We are looking at routing a tour at venues which have a strong, local youth community partnership.'

Alongside Novelist, artists so far confirmed as playing or going on tour across the week include Beans on Toast, Billy Bragg, Public Service Broadcasting, Swim Deep, This is the Kit and Thurston Moore.

Following on from last year's appointment of a non-artist ambassador, Samantha Renke - actor, music fan and disability campaigner - has also been appointed as ambassador. 'Concerts were my thing! It mirrored my life, how I matured as a young girl into a woman', Renke commented.

'I relished in being part of an environment where who you were didn’t matter. In my case my disability didn’t matter; it was the love of music that brought us all together... You could just be you.'

Nearly 200 venues have signed up to Independent Venue Week 2019 so far, with 92 different villages, towns and cities taking part all across the UK. Partners include Arts Council England and founding IVW partners, PRS for Music.

Paul Clements, executive director of membership, international and licensing at PRS for Music, said: 'Grassroots venues are integral to the UK live music scene and are an essential platform for many of our members to hone their craft and reach audiences across the country, as well as earn an important income stream.

'PRS for Music is proud to support Independent Venue Week’s work to champion and celebrate these vital spaces for emerging talent.”

For details of all participating venues and shows on sale so far, visit