We know it feels like every other day there is a national appreciation of something.
There was even one about eggs the other month – don’t get us wrong, we love eggs just as much as the next person but not enough to dedicate a day to them. Amid the hashtag chaos, there are a few with genuine reason. Valiant efforts that sweep the nation and encourage people to do on one particular day, what we should do all year-round.
From Monday 25th January – Sunday 31st January 2016 it is Independent Venue Week (IVW), a 7 day celebration of small music venues around the UK and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out. Liverpool has always been famous for music. Whether it be those four lads who took the world by storm or the new generation working just as hard, the city has moved to the Mersey beat and had a strong music affiliation for some years now. Whilst artists are incredibly important, the world isn’t short of them, what we need to concentrate on is the venues that they may wish to grace.
These venues are the backbone of the live music scene in this country and IVW recognises all that they have done to create some of the most memorable nights of the past, so they can continue to do the same in the future. Cast your mind back to your fondest memories of Liverpool. We guarantee a few, if not the majority, are with a drink in your hand and a good band in front of you. Behind the curtains of those nights are a dedicated few spending a good majority of their lives to create these memories for you.
The reason for these closures is multifaceted; a combination of soaring rent prices, disproportionately tough licensing scrutiny and property developers out to make a fortune. Small venues are often about more than just music. They can be places of rebellion and good for the community they belong in. Independent music venues aren’t just incubators for bands – they play a vital role in a healthy urban ecosystem. The success of Record Store Day shows the impact a small grassroots movement can have and we hope the same enthusiasm will be carried onto IVW.
We have seen the final encore of enough venues in Liverpool to make this week and mission poignant. Take MelloMello or The Kazimier for example, two institutions that are recent casualties in Liverpool’s music scene and are still painful to discuss. Whilst their spirit lives on, they remind us that DIY music venues are about non conformity. It shouldn’t take the possible closure of somewhere for us to take action but as long as we’re taking action, that is the important thing. They’re fuelled by passion, inspired by culture and art, and stand for good times. For those things alone, we should never stop fighting.
Check the official site here for more info. Constellations, Zanzibar and The Lomax (which plans to re-open soon according to their Facebook) have all been featured. We’ve got our own favourite venues we would like to throw into the mix and we’re sure you’ve got your own too. So, head down there this week and watch a band. For old time’s sake and for the sake of independent venues everywhere.