Independent Venue Week kicks off at The Middle East


Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

Following five years of establishing itself in the United Kingdom, Independent Venue Week is making its Stateside debut this month, kicking off Monday (July 9) at the Middle East. The Cambridge show will feature a psych-rock buffet from locals Zonez (feat. members of Amoroso and CreaturoS), Blueberry Syrup and Mokamazo.

Independent Venue Week has a sort of Record Store Day vibe, when that start-up was in its infancy and really felt like a grass roots driven boost for the indies. There’s even an honorary ambassador for the week-long event, this year it’s Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage frontman Chuck D (who incidentally held a similar position for RSD in 2014).

“I’ve spent a lot of time in independent venues around the world, onstage and as the fan in the crowd,” D says in a statement. “No matter if you’re a superstar or underground act, these places bring music to the people outside of the corporate lines. Let’s celebrate them, not just this week but every day.”

Chuck D joins the ranks of previous ambassadors for past UK editions in Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood, The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, and Portishead’s Adrian Utley. The goal of IVW is recognize those that own, run, and work in the independent venues daily with the goal of delivering a musical experience free of the corporate heavy-hand to audiences.

“It’s so exciting to see the first edition of Independent Venue Week in the US now finalized, and what an amazing group of founding venues and artists are taking part,” says IVW founder Sybil Bell. “Having celebrated our 5th birthday in the UK this year with a ten-fold increase in participating venues from year one, it’s so exciting to think that we can do the same in the US from year two onwards with many more venues, artists and partners taking part. Independent Venue Week sets the scene to make this a true celebration of venues globally over the coming years.”

For the inaugural US edition, IVW has teamed up with Eventbrite and Songtrust as founding year partners. Eventbrite links up with over 2,000 of the top independent promoters, venues and festivals across North America. Songtrust provides a technology platform for music publishing and royalty collection services to help simplify music rights management. The event will run from Monday through Sunday July 15, taking place in cities across the country like Nashville, Chicago and Seattle. The full list of venues and shows can be found at this location.

ZONEZ + BLUEBERRY SYRUP + MOKAMAZO :: Monday, July 9 at The Middle East Upstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, MA :: 8 p.m., 18-plus, $18 in advance and day of show :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page :: Featured photo via Mokamazo on Bandcamp