US branch of Independent Venue Week announces 2021 edition

It returns to in-person shows after last year's online edition

The US version of Independent Venue Week has announced plans for its 2021 edition, which will return to in-person events after last year’s online celebrations.

The event will take place from July 12 to 18, with over 200 venues spanning 41 states and territories taking part. The application process is still open to further venues and promoters.

Venues will be curating their own special programmes to mark the event, while the online conference #IVWTalks, discussing issues affecting the live music industry, will return.


#IVWTalks incorporates ‘Get Schooled’ on Thursday July 15, a full day dedicated to students interested in a career in live music.

San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, one of the US venues taking part in Independent Venue Week CREDIT: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

The event is officially partnered with the National Independent Venue Association, whose formation was sparked by Independent Week’s early editions.

“Getting ready for this year’s event feels particularly meaningful,” said Cecilie Nielsen, Director of Special Projects at Marauder, the firm that runs US Independent Venue Week.

“For the past 14 months, independent venues and promoters have collectively fought for their very survival and this feels like the turning point that we’ve all been working for. We were happy and proud to grow Independent Venue Week last year—to even have it, under the circumstances. This year, we hope and believe that fans will return with a renewed appreciation for these uniquely important spaces.”


Independent Venue Week began as a UK initiative in 2014, with the inaugural US edition launching in 2018.

The UK’s most recent edition of Independent Venue Week took place online in January, with 110 venues from across the UK taking part. To mark the occasion, ambassadors Arlo Parks, Gruff Rhys, Amy Macdonald and Jordan Adetunji spoke to NME about how their early live shows.