Calderdale music locations chosen for UK's Independent Venue Week

Five music venues across Halifax and Calder Valley are set to be highlighted as part of Independent Venue Week 2020 (IVW20).

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:55 pm
Owner Michael Ainsworth at The Grayston Unity, Halifax

Supported by BBC Sounds and starting on January 27, IVW20 is a seven-day celebration of independent music venues across the country, giving a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out.

The five chosen venues are Square Chapel Arts Centre, The Grayston Unity, and The Lantern - all of Halifax, while Hebden Bridge's Trades Club and Wadsworth Community Centre make up the rest of the pack.

Michael Ainsworth, owner at The Grayston Unity, said: "Small venues serve an immense purpose as they give a platform to artists to get their music out there.

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Grayston Unity

"They also help the industry on a broader sense by giving opportunities to sound technicians and designers to learn their trade too.

"The Grayston Unity is known in Halifax for only allowing 18 gig-goers at a maximum.

"In the past, this has allowed fans to literally go toe-to-toe with artists that could be filling Wembley one day.

"It's an intimate and unique venue that has created a lot of special memories for people.

"Above all, small music venues can have a huge impact on the cultural life of a town, especially for a place like Halifax which has big artists play at the Piece Hall."

In total, IVW20, which is in its seventh year, puts a spotlight on 232 venues across the UK, giving artists firsthand experience playing live in front of an audience.

As well as providing musicians an opportunity, the venues give fans somewhere to get up close to artists, which one day may well be playing stadiums and festival main stages.

They also provide those wanting a career in music, off the stage, the chance to learn their craft up close in a small venue.

Independent Venue Week is unique in that it is a nationwide initiative with a completely local feel.

A spokesperson from the IVW20 said: "By championing these venues, we're able to highlight why they're so much more than just places for live music – they are cultural hubs for learning, creativity, arts and culture more widely in the community for people from all walks of life."

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Wales and Creative Scotland in the UK as well as the wider music industry and brands globally, IVW20 brings together these venues along with breaking and established artists, promoters, labels, media and tastemakers to create a nationwide series of gigs.

IVW20 describes these venues and businesses as "the backbone of the live music scene" and the week event recognises all 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.

IVW20 has confirmed there will be performances at various chosen venues will include the likes of Self Esteem, Anna Calvi, Pigs x7, Frank Turner, Twin Atlantic, Flamingods, Goat Girl + many more.

Also, The Long and Winding Road documentary with Radiohead's Phil Segway will be screened at The Lantern and streamed across venues in the UK and live record available only on vinyl.