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Independent Venue Week shines spotlight on traditional Welsh music venues

Talk Show and Panic Shack
Above L-R: Talk Show and Panic Shack

Arts Council Wales and PRS for Music have come together with Independent Venue Week (IVW) to host a small tour in venues across Wales away from the traditional touring circuit.

Often either ignored or forgotten, these venues are the lifeblood of live music and culture in those villages, towns and cities. Usually, touring artists tend to visit bigger or more recognised venues in more accessible locations when they are on a national tour. It means that many of these communities miss out on great artists.

Independent Venue Week, which has just successfully completed its seventh consecutive year in the UK, has worked tirelessly to include as many venues from small villages to major city centres since its inception. Whilst IVW takes place officially for seven days, the team behind the project is increasingly running more and more activity in venues throughout the year.

Supported using funding from Arts Council Wales and PRS for Music, the tour sees venues across Wales hosting BBC 6 Music hotly tipped Talk Show from England who are headlining with Panic Shack supporting the four dates and a local artists in each location opening the show.

Venues on the tour are:

  • The Dolls House, Abertillery - 27 March
  • Le Public House, Newport - 29 March
  • The Bunkhouse, Swansea - 30 March
  • Undegun Arts Space, Wrexham - 31 March

The aim of the tour is to bring these venues into the bigger Welsh music picture. It will also allow audiences in those locations to access these artists close to home, open up the artist to new audiences and offer local bands the chance to play on a bigger line up.

The tour is being backed by BBC DJ Huw Stephens who was also named the inaugural IVW Ambassador for Wales this year.

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We’re really happy to be partnering with Independent Venue Week in Wales to showcase some fantastic artists and songwriters, during a period when several venues in Wales have closed or are under threat. Independent venues are where music creators hone their craft and gig-goers discover their new favourite artists and as such, they should be celebrated for their essential contribution to the live music landscape.

John Morris, Senior Relationship Manager - Wales, PRS for Music
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I’m looking forward to seeing the tour take place across venues away from the traditional circuit. It’ll put areas often overlooked in Wales into the public eye and supports the venues which are often only visited by people in the local area. Panic Shack are a brilliant band, they smashed it at the BBC Horizons show for IVW this year, and it’s great to see them support Talk Show on the tour.

Huw Stephens, BBC Radio
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We believe that music is born everywhere, and not just in the obvious places, it's these places that are at the back shouting the most where you will find the uncommon and against the grain.

Jordan, The Bunkhouse, Swansea

By encouraging more people to explore these alternative venues, the hope is to nurture relationships between artist, venue, promoter and gig-goer, so that they remain sustained and healthy throughout the year.

Tickets are available now £6 at https://www.wegottickets.com/talk-show

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2019, 18.8 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £810.8m collected on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

About Independent Venue Week

Independent Venue Week is a 7-day celebration of music venues around the country and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out. These venues give artists their first experience of playing live in front of an audience. They give fans somewhere to get up close to artists that one day, may well be playing stadiums and festival main stages. They also provide those wanting a career in music, off the stage, the chance to learn their craft up close in a small venue. Independent Venue Week is unique in that it is a nationwide initiative with a completely local feel.

By championing these venues, we are able to highlight why they are so much more than just places for live music – they are cultural hubs for learning, creativity, arts and culture more widely in the local community for people from all walks of life.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Wales and Creative Scotland in the UK as well as the wider music industry and brands globally, Independent Venue Week brings together these venues along with breaking and established artists, promoters, labels, media and tastemakers to create a nationwide series of gigs.

These venues, all local businesses, are the backbone of the live music scene and Independent Venue Week recognises all that they have done to create some of the most memorable nights of the past so they can continue to do the same in the future.

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