Independent Venue Community (IVC) supports, nurtures and celebrates independent music venues and the communities around them, on and off stage, all year round. We do this by bringing a programme of activity, aimed at new audiences, to be delivered in the venues during the day, throughout the year, around the country. The program unlocks the potential of venues and the talent of the communities around them, by developing new skills, opening up opportunities to engage with like-minded people to enjoy arts and culture and create greater local community spirit on a national scale. 

On 30th Jan – 5th Feb 2023, we will be celebrating ten years of Independent Venue Week (IVW) – the UK’s annual 7-day celebration of independent music & arts venues and the people that own, run and work in them. 

Born out of IVW’s success, we are now rolling out our development, education and community programme here at Independent Venue Community (IVC). The programme offers a range of music focused activities, taking place during the day, throughout the year, across the country, with a strong emphasis on under-served communities and those in low socio-economic areas.

Seeing this activity taking place in venues feels like such a natural fit. Venues are located at the heart of their communities yet often not opening up until 4pm as bands arrive for their soundcheck ahead of their evening show. 

Our goal is to drive more of this additional activity into venues so they can sustain themselves alongside live music, explore additional revenue streams directly and indirectly and grow their relationships with other groups in their local community as well as around the country.  

By championing venues and delivering this activity, we are demonstrating and highlighting why they are cultural hubs for learning, creativity, arts and culture more widely, connecting like-minded people in their local community of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities, sexualities, genders, skills and walks of life.

The programme aims to help further establish venues as vital hubs for arts & culture, at the heart of their local community. Delivering this programme within venues during the day, when so many are closed, feels like a natural progression and an untapped opportunity. 

We currently deliver activity for various, under-served community across the following strands: 
 
– Early Years (parents and toddlers) 
– Young People (education) 
– Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent  
– Mental Health and Wellbeing 
– LGBTQIA+ 
 
With more to follow. 
 
The events delivered within these strands are currently a mixture of our own initiatives, as well as amplifying those from our leading partner organisations. They’re open to all venues, but priority is given to those located in areas of low arts engagement and low socio-economic conditions. They are either free to attend or have tickets priced at a minimum, in some cases with subsidised tickets available for carers and support workers.