Today sees the release of the inaugural INDIE50, a new award celebrating some of the most influential, unsung heroes of independent live music in the UK. Following an open, public nomination phase earlier in the year, the Award’s judging panel, including BBC 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft and Pitchfork’s Laura Snapes, deliberated the final 50, turning out a diverse selection, covering the many corners of the live landscape today.
Saluting those more likely to be found away from the stage than in the spotlight, but no less instrumental in cultivating scenes and providing platforms for emerging talent, the list takes in promoters, such as Eat Your Own Ears & Field Day founder Tom Baker and the woman responsible for booking Sheffield’s immense Tramlines festival, Kate Hewett; digital impresarios like Jamal Edwards of web-broadcast brand SBTV and Femi Adeymi, of ever-rising online radio hub NTS; and label founders including Simon Williams of rugged imprint Fierce Panda.
Elsewhere the final 50 includes cult-venue figures like the man behind Leeds’ iconic Brudenell Social Club, Nathan Clark; Jeff Horton of London’s long-running punk mecca The 100 Club; and Kathianne Hingwan, general manager of Dalston’s No. 1 jazz destination, the Vortex, plus bookers, artist managers, journalists, festival organisers, and even a certain local celebrity, known only for his superhuman commitment to gig-going – Bristol legend Big Jeff. For full list see Notes to Editors.
Dave Newton – Co-Founder @ WeGotTickets – the company behind the award
“We started out in 2000 as a small ticketing company working on local gigs in Oxford. We now work with thousands of venues and promoters across the UK, and we’ve seen first hand, time and time again, the effect that certain individuals can have on a local scene. INDIE50 is all about celebrating those people and giving them some recognition on a national level.”
Also announced is the INDIE50 photographic exhibition, launching on 1st September with an evening private view, and running until the 8th September at 71a Gallery in London. Commissioned to shoot each of the INDIE50 within their natural habitat, lauded music snapper Dan Wilton travelled from Totnes to Glasgow, Margate to Manchester, Liverpool to Leeds to capture this vital, if disparate, group of pros and passionate behind-the-scene-ers. Previously turning in work for the likes of James Blake, Dizzee Rascal, Caribou and Stormzy, Dan’s images were all shot on 35mm film, giving the striking collection a raw aesthetic and energy in line with the subject matter. The exhibition will show for a week, launching with a Private View on Thursday 1st September.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited edition Zine produced by longtime collaborator of Dan’s, journalist Josh Jones. Having previously teamed up for their homage-to-LA, “Canyon”, and various projects for US lifestyle mag ‘SUP, the pair were tasked with collecting photos and interviews with each of the final 50. All will be available online at www.indie50.com as of the exhibition launch on 1st September.
Dan Wilton – INDIE50 Photographer
“Josh & I spent a week travelling the country to meet, photograph and interview the INDIE50. To say it was an eye opening experience is an understatement. The passion & sense of community that underscores the country’s independent live scene, that gives grass roots music a platform, really shone through. We were on a really tight schedule so we didn’t have long with each person – the fact we wished we could have had a pint with many of them speaks volumes to the individual people that make the scene what it is.”
The exhibition launches at 71a Gallery, 71 Leonard St, London EC2A 4QS on 1st September, with a private evening view from 6 – 9pm. Please RSVP to email@example.com to confirm your place
For more information visit www.INDIE50.co.uk.