As Music Venue Trust secures a 50% business rate cut for SME venues, Independent Venue Week has kicked off.

A BBC 6 Music bus will visit various venues with supporters Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland, BBC 6 Music, BBC Sounds, Fred Perry, HARMAN, Musicians Union, PPL, PRS For Music, Yamaha and Yorkshire Tea.

On-air coverage will feature, with the BBC 6 Homecoming Tour with Steve Lamacq heading out around the country starting on Monday in Newcastle, Tuesday in Sheffield then on to Cardiff on the Wednesday, Thursday they’re in Exeter and finishing off their week on Friday in Brixton.

Lamacq will be speaking to venues owners and operators, artists, promoters and fans about the music scene in their area.

Big Jeff is also out on tour and will be sharing his experiences on a blog on the Independent Venue Week website which we will be publishing after IVW.

Each night after the broadcast, Lamacq and his team, supported by BBC Music, will be heading out to a show put on by IVW in an official Independent Venue Week venue.

There are over 800 gigs taking place across the UK alongside other tours and shows including BC Camplight, Pigs x7, TOY, Sinead O’Brien, Demob Happy on a DIY tour, Toyah Wilcox, Stereo MC’s Twin Atlantic, Morcheeba, Goat Girl, Black Country New Road, Raging Speedhorn.

A documentary, Long and Winding Road, will be filmed at venues, with Philip Selway (Radiohead) showing in a small number of venues following the worldwide premiere, which took place on 21 January.