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The best of Welsh music unite to celebrate Independent Venue Week 2020

Cowshed has been working with Independent Venue Week to promote all of the small venues that hold the Welsh music scene together and encourage more people to get out and visit them.

From Monday 27 January, Independent Venue Week (IVW) will be back for its annual seven-day celebration where venues, artists, promoters, labels, media and tastemakers will come together to showcase some of the most impressive talent in Wales.

The week will give people the chance to explore new and breaking talent as well as an opportunity to see their favourite touring bands at events including a UK tour from DJ Steve Lamacq, a Welsh language showcase from Huw Stephens and tons of gigs in venues like Clwb Ifor Bach, The Moon and The Gate.

Director of IVW UK, Chloe Ward said: “With the very saddening announcement from 10 Feet Tall and Undertone’s, it’s more important than ever to encourage audiences to head down to their local venue with a mate or two and celebrate these vital spaces and the people that own, run and play in them.”

In its biggest participation of Welsh venues yet, IVW has partnered with 15 locals in Swansea, Cardiff, Rhayader, Llandrindod Wells, Wrexham and Abertillery, some of which are taking part for the first time.

These hubs are not only precious to the community, but they offer a place for new artists to practise their craft and gain valuable experience of live performance. It’s thanks to £9,000 of funding from Arts Council of Wales, that IVW is able to support Welsh artists and venues alike to continue putting on incredible shows.

For the first time IVW have recruited a Welsh ambassador. BBC Radio One presenter Huw Stephens has helped curate two Welsh language showcases featuring Yr Odds and Papur Wal. With support from PRS for Music, the artists will be leaving their homeland to spread some Welsh charm amongst audiences in Edinburgh and Liverpool.

Huw said, “Yr Ods and Papur Wal are two excellent live bands who I have seen make adults bop like they’ve never bopped before. I’m excited that these showcases are happening as part of Independent Venue Week, and both bands bring an energy and a vibe all of their own.”

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales said, “Our independent venues are incredibly important.  They’ve given some of our finest bands their first gigs and they give local audiences opportunities to hear exciting music in their own community centres. A key focus for Arts Council of Wales is to support the development of new and emerging talent in a wide range of genres and the venues that are central to that process.”

In addition, DJ Steve Lamacq will take his BBC Radio 6 show to five infamous venues across the UK. On 29 January, Welsh legend Gruff Rhys will take to the stage of Clwb Ifor Bach with support from Sonny Winnebago, Panic Shack, Lucas J Rowe, Hana2k, Codewalkers, Esther and Darren Eedens & The Slim Pickin’s. All of the money raised from the gig will go towards Children in Need.

Chloe, Director of Independent Venue Week UK said, “Independent Venue Week 2020 is bigger than ever, and it’s no different in Wales. We are so chuffed to have our first ever Welsh ambassador, Huw Stephens as part of the family this year. Huw’s insight into the scene in Wales has been invaluable and we are really excited to have some special shows curated by him. We always want to work with as many venues as possible and this year are partnering with venues in locations for the first time including Rhayader and Abertillery, which is amazing.”

The excitement doesn’t end there…

Very soon IVW will be announcing their ‘destination tour’ across Wales, bringing artists and gig-goers alike into venues that are not in the wider traditional touring circuit. The tour will be heading to areas they may never have been to before including Wrexham, Swansea, Abertillery and Rhayader, shining a light on all that they do.

For more updates of what will be taking place during the week visit: or follow @IVW_UK on Twitter

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