Independent Venue Week (IVW), in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Wales and See Tickets, is to return in person for its ninth consecutive year from 31 January – 6 February.

So far 121 venues in 66 locations around the UK have signed up to take part in the annual celebration, 89% of which are outside of London .

Isle of Wight musical duo Wet Leg has been declared the ambassador for the event representing England, while Joesef is representing Scotland, Mace The Great is Wales’s ambassador and SOAK Northern Ireland’s.

IVW founder Sybil Bell said, “There is such an overwhelming desire to see everybody, on and off stage, safely packing out these brilliant venues with some of the best talent in the world, enjoying the best of our arts and culture up close all around the country.”

Arts Council England director of music Dr Claire Mera-Nelson said, “As we move beyond lockdown and into a recovery phase, the importance of independent, grassroots music venues to the local and artistic communities they serve is greater than ever.

“Independent Venue Week is a vital ingredient in the success of our grassroots live music sector, showcasing our brilliant independent venues and artists across the country each year.”

Launching as part of IVW’s announcement is the new #JustAsk campaign from charity Attitude is Everything’s artist development initiative, ‘Next Stage‘. The campaign aims to ensure next year’s IVW is as accessible as possible for acts on the line-up. Attitude is Everything said it will share guidance and run open training sessions for IVW promoters.

Attitude is Everything artist development manager Rich Legate said, “This campaign is going to be a hugely positive and beneficial collaboration between promoters and artists, aiming to enrich our future live music landscape. Attitude is Everything’s Next Stage research shows that many artists with access requirements face challenges disclosing their health condition or impairment.”

See Tickets global CEO Rob Wilmshurst said, “See tickets are once again proud to support IVW into 2022 and accordingly the acts, promoters, agents and managers that combine to place some fantastic emerging talent onto the stages of some incredible venues in the UK.”