Radiohead and Frank Turner support new Independent Venue Week

The project will see 18 UK venues host a six-day long series of music

Radiohead and Frank Turner have thrown their weight behind a new initiative to support the UK’s small gig venues called Independent Venue Week.

The project will see 18 venues host a six-day long series of music. Artists, promoters, labels and blogs will work with the venues to curate and promote new talent across the country.

Venues taking part include Sheffield’s Leadmill, Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach and last year’s winner of NME’s Britain’s Best Small Venue in association with Jack Daniel’s JD Roots campaign, Southampton Joiners. The full list of participating venues can be seen on the project’s Facebook page.

The initiative will be backed on BBC Introducing on national radio as well as 40 regional stations.

“Independent Venue Week is a fantastic idea,” Radiohead drummer Phil Selway says in a statement. Small venues are the lifeblood of British music. There’s a particular kind of excitement when you go to a gig at these venues. They’re visceral and intimate.”

The project’s co-founder Sybil Bell added: “The struggle to compete with large, sponsor-backed venues makes it a tough and challenging time for independents. Combine this with bands finding it harder to tour due to limited revenues and rising on-the-road costs and we can all see what a difficult climate live venues find themselves in.”

Frank Turner, who is also backing the project, said: “Without small, independent venues, there’d be no small, independent bands, and without them there’d be no big acts either.” Watch a video of Turner previously discussing the importance of small venues with NME below.

Earlier this year (June), Frank Turner played a mammoth two-hour gig to celebrate The Joiners in Southampton being voted Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME in association with Jack Daniel’s JD Roots.