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Superstar songstress Amy to blaze trail for independent music venues

By Alan Beresford

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SCOTS songstress Amy Macdonald is set to help blaze a trail in the promotion of independent venues.

Amy Macdonald is set to be Scotland's ambassador at this year's IVW 2021.
Amy Macdonald is set to be Scotland's ambassador at this year's IVW 2021.

For the first time in its eight-year history, Independent Venue Week will this year be represented by four ambassadors – one for each of the Home Nations – who will lead the way in championing independent venues across their respective countries in the build-up to IVW 2021.

Amy will be Independent Venue Week 2021’s official ambassador for Scotland and will be joining the already announced Arlo Parks, Gruff Rhys (Wales), Jordan Adetunji (Northern Ireland) to complete the line-up, which takes place from Monday, January 25 to Sunday, January 31.

Since her platinum-selling debut album, This Is the Life, topped the UK Albums Chart in 2007, Scottish superstar, singer-songwriter and guitarist, Amy Macdonald, has gone onto release five acclaimed albums, and this year received the coveted ‘Women in Music’ award at the Scottish Music Awards.

Speaking of her appointment as IVW 2021’s ambassador for Scotland, Amy said: “Small and independent venues are so important to developing new music in the UK, and I say this with experience: without the places for me to cut my teeth as a performer starting out, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

"Additionally, they are places where local young people can learn their trades as sound engineers, lighting technicians, promoters, poster designers etc etc, giving them careers for life.

"I am super proud to be Scotland’s ambassador for Independent Venue Week 2021, at a time when venues across the country find themselves in a perilous position, and we need to remember everything they offer so we do what we can to keep them going for both the future of British music, and the communities in which they exist."

Historically, IVW sees hundreds of venues across the UK take part in Independent Venue Week, inviting a huge host of exciting artists to play exclusive shows up and down the country in celebration of independent venues and their communities.

The initiative provides a huge spotlight on the grassroots ecosystem within the live music sector – an ecosystem which includes not only the venues and the people that own, run and work in them, but also promoters, artists, managers, crew as well as labels, kit, merch, ticketing and tour transport companies and the all-important music fans and gig-goers.

With live music in grassroots venues likely off the table for some time to come, IVW is responding by adapting the way shows are available across the week with a range of digital events. From 'In Conversations' with artists, labels, promoters, gig goers and other industry organisations to album listening parties, pre-recorded live streams, comedy and quizzes.

There will be fewer venues and artists taking part than in previous years, but there are still stories to be told and experiences to be shared and they are as important now as they have ever been. Many of these will be with people who are usually behind the scenes, giving a new opportunity to find out more about how the industry works. IVW is committed to putting venues and their communities at the heart of what they do by continuing to shine a spotlight on them, all around the UK, as it has done for the last eight years.

Recently, UK Music welcomed experienced campaigner, communications expert and former political adviser, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, as the trade body’s new chief executive and Independent Venue Week is pleased to announce his support. He plays a role in campaigning for the survival of the live sector post the pandemic and to ensure an effective Brexit deal is struck so British music can continue to thrive internationally.

Jamie said: “UK Music is delighted to support Independent Venue Week, which has rightly become a firm fixture in the music industry calendar.

"Independent venues are at the heart of our industry, which contributed £5.8 billion to the UK economy before Covid-19 and supports almost 200,00 jobs. This year will be critical as venues fight to get back on their feet so they can showcase the very best of British talent and help drive our post-pandemic recovery.

"I’m sure that Amy MacDonald, Gruff Rhys, Jordan Adetunji will do a fantastic job as national ambassadors alongside Arlo Parks as overall Independent Venue Week ambassador and highlight the huge cultural, social and economic importance of independent venues right across the UK.”

So far this year, 79 venues from 53 different villages, towns and cities have signed up to take part, 82 per cent of which are outside of London.

For more information, visit Independentvenueweek.com

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