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Despite the impact of Covid-19, organisers of Independent Venue Week (IVW) are pressing ahead with the annual event and have already signed up 64 venues from across the UK, with 82% located outside London.

The eighth edition of IVF will take place on 25 – 31 January, even though there is uncertainty as to what Covid-event guidance will be in place at the time.

IVW founder Sybil Bell said the event will not be the usual seven days of hundreds of shows with three-artist bills: “This presents us with opportunities to dig deeper and hear from a whole range of people and organisations about their role in grassroots live music, often from those who are behind the scenes.

“We will start to get a clearer picture of specific activity as January comes around – it’s hard for lots of people to plan too far ahead in terms of what can be done live physically and what will need to be done digitally. But we are so pleased to have the venues signed up we do, and excited to see the shows that are already on sale.”

BBC’s 2020 Introducing Artist of the Year Arlo Parks has been announced as the ambassador of the event, which is funded by Arts Council England along with support from DCMS via its Culture Recovery Fund.

Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage said, “Initiatives such as Independent Venue Week are crucial in showcasing fantastic talent in grassroots venues. 2021’s event will help shine a spotlight on emerging stars and give audiences a chance to enjoy live music safely in wonderful environments. I urge people to support this week and independent venues across the country.”

See Tickets CEO Rob Wilmshurst said, “We’re very proud to be supporting IVW 2021 in what has been a challenging time for live event venues. These spaces are at the heart of the live music scene and we feel strongly that their contribution should be both recognised and celebrated.”