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Independent Venue Week 2019

From pubs to clubs, Beth Colquhoun explores and celebrates the best indie music venues that York has to offer

Photo Credit: Adam Robertshaw
Independent Venue Week marks a seven-day celebration of small venues across the nation, showing a mass appreciation of owners, workers and particularly performers. Small venues allow for artists to experience their first live performances, and so facilitates space for future acts to blossom, who have the potential to play arenas, stadiums and festivals. The celebration hopes to give a platform to smaller venues across the country to honour and promote what essentially is the backbone of the nation’s music culture. Acknowledgement and appreciation are at the core of this national celebration week by emphasising independent venues that are crucial in aiding individuals and groups, without commercial help, to promote their music. Supported by BBC Music, the national platform means this celebration will be widely recognised. Within this, York is no exception. The city finds itself amongst one of the most celebrated for live venues, with all agents involved being as worthy of praise and appreciation as this week permits.

BBC Radio 6's Steve Lamacq's IVW Tour of UK Photo Credit: Steve Lamacq via Twitter

From 28 January till 3 February, independent live venues will be hosting a multitude of entertainment, showcasing the talents that the nation has to offer and hosting some of the best evenings of the year. This is the fifth consecutive year of the celebration, hosted across 120 venues across the UK, yet retaining a clear and strong local focus. York is offering the festival three popular venues that showcase a multitude of talents
throughout the year. Venues include The Crescent, The Fulford Arms and Fibbers. Each venue offers its own unique quality, highlighting the variety of talents that are part of York’s identity.

Here is a further breakdown:

The Fulford Arms offers the most locally focused feature of all the venues. Despite enjoying over 200 acts last year, the Fulford Arms can confidently offer more than just its venue. While operating as a local pub, the Fulford Arms has a personal air about it that appeals to families and locals, with a popular, large beer garden and a dog friendly policy.

The Fulford Arms, York Photo Credit: Theatres Online

The Crescent is a slightly larger, redeveloped working man’s club, with a capacity of around 250, and so attracts bigger names to its venue. The Crescent has a historical century-long relationship with the community and its musical culture, and since its re-opening it has quickly become one of the most accredited independent live venues in York.

The Crescent, York Photo Credit:

Fibbers has a wide reputation amongst York for its capacity; this venue can host over 550 people.

Fibbers facilitates an amazing space for more popular national bands to perform in an independent establishment. This is crucial for the partnership between York and the national music scene. This partnership is vital for smaller venues, as it allows for independent acts to have an entry point to the national stage at a local level.

Fibbers Photo Credit:

Although York is offering a great selection of venues for the national eye, the city has a multitude of independent venues that will also be celebrating this week-long festival. Amongst them are smaller stages such as The Basement, as well as endless bars and cafes such as Fortyfive Vinyl Café; promoted by Nouse last year for its involvement with the local music scene in York.

Independent Venue Week is the perfect opportunity to experience the spirit and entertainment that York’s music scene can offer. Nevertheless, it also offers the perfect opportunity to experience different forms of venues, with each presenting a distinct quality that embellishes different forms of live music. Each venue guarantees a different night out, and an exciting discovery of this musically cultural city.

Photo Credit: Liela Moss via Seetickets

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