This week between Monday 28 January and Sunday 3 February, the UK’s music scene has been taken over by Independent Venue Week.
IVW is the UK’s leading celebration of its independent music venues. These venues give upcoming artists some of their earliest experiences of playing in front of a crowd and music fans the chance to discover artists in an intimate and unique setting.
TickX decided to celebrate these venues by awarding six venues across the UK our new Independent Venue Award. Here’s a recap of the six venues we selected and the fantastic work they do in their local music scene.
Monday: Gullivers, Manchester
Gullivers’ upstairs ballroom boasts a standing capacity of 150 and hosts live music and entertainment from local and breaking acts. Previously it has welcomed acts such as InMe, Snail Mail and Ghostpoet and has hosted shows for festivals such as Dot to Dot Festival.
Tuesday: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
The Hare and Hounds is Birmingham’s most prolific independent venue and, famously, the first venue that reggae legends UB40 ever played back in 1979, a fact commemorated on its wall by a PRS Music Heritage plaque.
Its two upstairs venues host gigs and club nights most nights of the week, in recent years having welcomed future stars such as Alt-J, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and Wild Beasts.
Wednesday: The Louisiana, Bristol
The Louisiana in Bristol is a family-run venue has been showcasing musicians for over 20 years and has become seen as a milestone venue for new bands undertaking national tours.
This 140-capacity venue has an illustrious list of previous visitors making it one of the must-stops for any music fan in the South West of England.
Thursday: Windmill Brixton, London
While it looks unassuming from the outside, the Windmill has slowly grown out of its Blenheim Gardens location to be regarded as one of London’s finest independent venues, featuring highly in polls by Time Out, The Guardian and The Independent.
The Windmill’s cheap entry prices and even cheaper beer make it a popular destination for indie fans in this residential suburb, all without compromising the venue’s reputation for championing quality new music.
Friday: The Hug And Pint, Glasgow
Named after the 2003 album Monday at the Hug and Pint by the Scottish indie rock band Arab Strap, this vegan kitchen, bar and 120-capacity music venue on Great Western Road has rapidly become one of the hotspots of the Glaswegian indie scene.
Renowned for its friendly and inclusive atmosphere, The Hug and Pint boasts one of Glasgow’s strongest indie schedules, with a live music programme featuring up-and-coming and well-established local acts as well as national and international touring artists.
Saturday: Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London
Now run by Mothership Group – the team behind other live venues such as Queen of Hoxton and Brighton’s Patterns – this bar and music venue facing the verdant Hoxton Square is one of East London’s most vital live music venues.
While Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen offers a great selection of food and drinks, such as its New York-style buffalo chicken wings, the venue particularly stands out thanks to its live room. Fitting 300 people, the venue’s live room has played host to many acts early in their careers as well as the occasional star guest.
In the spirit of Independent Venue Week, make sure to support your local music venues to keep the independent music scene alive!