Launch of York’s Independent Venue Week Events Programme

Next week (25th – 31st January 2021) sees York venues come together as part of Independent Venue Week, to raise awareness of the standout venues across the city and their ongoing support of local and national artists. This year’s eclectic online programme includes pre-recorded content from The Crescent Community Venue, The National Centre For Early Music and The Fulford Arms. There’s something for everyone to enjoy – ranging from participatory singing events and Medieval, Middle Eastern and Celtic music through to spoken word, Americana and upcoming Indie Bands.

For #IVW21 in York the focus will be on digital content for all to enjoy. It features as part of Make It York’s #LoveYork campaign activity, which celebrates the city’s indie businesses and showcases the diversity of York’s offer for residents and virtual visitors.

More details of this year’s programme in York can be found at and each individual venues website for details of their upcoming shows.

Now in its 8th year, Independent Venue Week is a nationwide 7-day celebration of music venues around the country and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out.

Each year, hundreds of venues across the UK take part in Independent Venue Week, inviting a huge host of exciting artists to play exclusive shows up and down the country in celebration of independent venues and their communities. The initiative provides a huge spotlight on the grassroots ecosystem within the live music sector – an ecosystem which includes not only the venues and the people that own, run and work in them, but also artists, managers, crew as well as kit, merch, ticketing and tour transport companies and the all-important music fans and gig-goers. So far this year over 100 venues have signed up to take part nationwide, and three of York’s nationally recognised venues will be taking part.

From the Crescent Community Venue and The Fulford Arms to Viccy Vault and The National Centre for Early Music, 2020 has been a challenging year for the music venues of York, but #IVW21 promises to be a celebration of their resilience and the key part they play in our local communities.

Chris Sherrington from Independent Venue Week and The Fulford Arms York:

“It is a great opportunity for us to champion the amazing cultural venues that York has and bring them straight into people’s front rooms. Whilst we would love to be out enjoying live music in these wonderful venues, #IVW21 offers and opportunity for everyone to enjoy the great online content that these venues and the amazing artists they host, to reach out to their local communities.”

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said:

“York has an eclectic music scene with some outstanding venues – from Fulford Arms and the Crescent Community Venue to The National Centre for Early Music – and we are incredibly proud of the music talent and diversity of venues we have in the city.

“This year’s programme of online content and events is a real celebration of the resilience and creativity of the music industry in the city and we are delighted to be supporting their activity as a key part of our #LoveYork campaign. We’ve created a new website hub to bring together the events on offer for people to enjoy and over the coming weeks will be helping to spread the word and shout about all the great work these venues do in our local community.”

Sybil Bell, founder of Independent Venue Week, comments:

“We are fully aware that as we announce plans for Independent Venue Week 2021, there is still uncertainty about what will be possible across the week even with less than 2 weeks to go. And we are acutely aware that there are still some venues fighting for their survival. It’s hugely important to us that we are sensitive to everyone in our community and where they are at, as we announce our plans.

We have spoken to lots of our venues since lockdown started in March as well as partners we work with who make shows happen, and very early on, so many people asked us to make sure Independent Venue Week went ahead and that it was needed now, more than ever.

More recently, much of our community have been looking at ways to make Independent Venue Week work for them and it’s been heartwarming to see so many people approach us with ideas about how they want to get involved.

It’s clear Independent Venue Week won’t be the usual 7 days of hundreds of shows with 3 artist bills this year but this presents us with opportunities to dig deeper and hear from a whole range of people and organisations about their role in grassroots live music, often from those who are behind the scenes.

What is very clear is that everyone we’re speaking with, ourselves included, want to kick off 2021 with a sense of optimism and to look to the future in a positive way.”

York Independent Venues Week Programme of Activity:

Monday 25th Jan – 1:45pm – Cuppa & Chorus – National Centre For Early Music

This is a participatory singing event where singers are able to see and hear Music Leader Chris and chat to friendly faces. Join from 1.45, with singing starting at 2pm, a virtual tea break half way through (bring your mug!) and finishing up around 3.15pm. Tickets are £3.50 each

Tuesday 26th Jan – 7pm – Joglaresa – National Centre For Early Music

This concert was recorded & live streamed at the NCEM (with a small audience) on 8th December 2020. Joglaresa comprises outstanding classical, world, folk and jazz musicians – a sound that is at once traditional and contemporary – combining intoxicating elements of Medieval, Middle Eastern and Celtic musics, they create a unique sound that is both extrovert and intimate. On booking, customers will receive a link to the concert with access to re-watch up until Sunday 31st Jan. Tickets are £5 each.

Thursday 28th Jan – 8pm – Boss Caine & Katie Greenbrown – The Fulford Arms

To celebrate Independent Venue Week 2021 enjoy this broadcast from two of York’s most talented wordsmiths. Described by BBC legend, Whispering Bob Harris, as ‘stunning talent’, Boss Caine is the main musical vehicle of York based singer songwriter Dan Lucas. He has an amazing ability to tell stories with his songs and combines a beautiful rich vocal with thoughtful melodies and excellent musicianship. This set, recorded in December features some of the new material he has been working on through lockdown.

York-based spoken word poet, Katie Greenbrown also provides a touching, warm but keen view on what our lives offer up, with an incurable appetite for playing with language. Stay Home, tune in and settle down. Pay what you like to support the production

Saturday 30th January – 7pm – Front Bar DJ Sessions – The Crescent Community Venue

Join the Crescent Crew for a night of great tunes to remind you of dancing the night away in the front bar of York’s Best Community Venue

Sunday 31st January – 8pm – Cowgirl – The Fulford Arms

Cowgirl runs a conveyor belt of future indie classics, their well-crafted melodies wrapped in walls of wailing guitar fuzz. Running the gamut of “indie” from shoegaze and jangle pop, toslacker-rock and grunge, Cowgirl’s music shimmers with an inherent pop shine.

They have been receiving praise from GodisinTheTV and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq in recent months and we were really happy to have them come and join us in December to

record this set. Stay Home, tune in and turn it up. Pay what you like to support the production

Available all week to watch on demand:

Michael Chapman: Ancient & Modern (Live from The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall) – The Crescent Community Venue

Watch veteran troubadour Michael Chapman’s special concert, recorded during lockdown in York’s stunning Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. The concert has been recorded in collaboration with local venue The Crescent, and promoters Please Please You and Ouroboros. The recording, titled Ancient & Modern, represents a look back over his long and illustrious career, featuring classics as well as newer compositions, in addition to a support slot and interview by close friend and mentee, Katie Spencer.

Fulford Arms TV:

Watch back any of the recent shows recorded in December at The Fulford Arms. Pick from great gigs featuring the following artists – Nosebleed – Pat Butcher – Borderline – Petrol Hoers – Katie Spencer and Henry Parker. All shows are ‘pay what you like’

Find out more about Independent Venue Week here:


Notes to Editor

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment.

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager Email:

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