INDEPENDENT VENUE WEEK
Here at The Wedge we are celebrating our 4th year as an official Venue for Independent Venue Week! Whilst the last 10 years have been tough for UK music venues, it has been amazing to witness the progress made by Independent Venue Week, in educating the public, and UK government about the many issues facing grassroots venues today. Set up to promote Independent Venues throughout the UK, Independent Venue Week champions the work grassroots venues do in bringing Live Music and Comedy to each or their local communities.
Since The Wedgewood Rooms opened 25 years ago as a Live Music and Comedy Venue, the Live Music Industry has gone through significant changes. Social, economic, and political shifts have made grassroots venues a business venture not for the faint-hearted. However, we at The Wedge believe that the role of the Music Venue is more important than ever. At a time of such social division, venues are crucial at bringing communities together, regardless of people's social background or religious and political beliefs. At The Wedge this has involved us widening our events programme. We have always done Music and Comedy, but in this last year we have added more theatre shows, alongside working with colleges and local groups. We have maintained the essence of what The Wedge has always been about, but have increased our support for local groups in all areas of the community.
We have changed our business structure to reflect this. The Wedge is now registered as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company – with aims which are an extension of what the Wedge has been doing for quiet some time. Any profits that we make from events we do are put back into supporting the local community and the CIC’s aims. ‘Being a CIC also gives us access to some of the funding and grants that other arts venues – like the Kings Theatre and New Theatre Royal have access to, and it levels the playing field a little.This business change is one that most independent venues will be adopting as they all work very closely, like The Wedge, with the community they serve.’
For 25 years The Wedgewood Rooms has been at the heart of the local community; bringing International Musicians and Comedians to Portsmouth. With the continued support of bands, promoters, staff and most importantly our customers we aim to be here for many more years to come.
Independent Venues week 2018 runs from January 29th to February 4th inclusive