Independent Venue Week Announces Artist Ambassador Fantastic Negrito, First Round of Shows

Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Fantastic Negrito performs at Santeria Social Club in Milan, Italy on Nov. 11, 2018.

Venue-curated UK concert series Independent Venue Week is continuing to grow its American footprint, returning for its second-ever stateside edition July 8-14, 2019. This time, the venue-curated concert series will be joined by roots artist Fantastic Negrito as its official artist ambassador, and include shows across 43 venues in 33 cities and counting.

"Fantastic Negrito started playing on the streets, and independent venues gave us our first shot," says the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, née Xavier Dphrepaulezz. "In a business that doesn't know what to do with artists that don't fit in a box, they're on the front lines, bringing great live music to people everywhere."

Founded by Sybil Bell, Independent Venue Week first launched in the UK in 2014 with a mission to highlight and celebrate independently-run concert spaces, and made its American debut last year with inaugural ambassador Chuck D of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage. Backed by Eventbrite as its exclusive ticketing partner, and produced by Marauder, IVW will this summer include iconic venues like Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club and New York City's Pianos. “It’s just brilliant to see Independent Venue Week growing in the US and returning for a second year," Sybil says. "We’ve just wrapped up our sixth edition here in the UK and it’s been a magical week touring the country. We can’t wait to get back out to the U.S. and discover some equally magical venues and artists.”

Adds Andrew Dreskin, president of Eventbrite’s music division: “As the technology that powers many of the independent venues across North America, we’re fired up to be partnering with Independent Venue Week for the second year. These venues and promoters work tirelessly day in and day out to bring great music artists to fans around the country and we’re proud to partner with an initiative that provides acknowledgment and support for this critical part of the live music industry."

IMV just wrapped its sixth UK edition on Feb. 3. See the first round of this year's participating U.S. venues, below.

191 Toole -- Tucson, AZ
9:30 Club* -- Washington, DC
Arlene's Grocery -- New York, NY
Beachland Ballroom* -- Cleveland, OH
The Broadberry -- Richmond, VA 
Cafe du Nord* -- San Francisco, CA
The Caribou Room* -- Nederland, CO
City Winery -- New York, NY
City Winery -- Chicago, IL
City Winery -- Nashville, TN
City Winery -- Atlanta, GA
City Winery -- Boston, MA
City Winery -- Washington, DC
Club Cafe -- Pittsburgh, PA
The Crocodile* -- Seattle, WA
Deep Ellum Art Co.* -- Dallas, TX
Doug Fir Lounge* -- Portland, OR
The Echo* -- Los Angeles, CA
Empty Bottle -- Chicago, IL
First Avenue* -- Minneapolis, MN
HI-FI -- Indianapolis, IN
High Dive -- Gainesville, FL
Higher Ground -- Burlington, VT
The Kent Stage -- Kent, OH
Mercy Lounge* -- Nashville, TN
The Middle East* -- Boston, MA
Mohawk* -- Austin, TX
Motorco* -- Durham, NC
Mr. Smalls Theatre* -- Pittsburgh, PA
Narrows Center for the Arts -- Fall River, MA
Pianos* -- New York, NY
The Pour House Music Hall -- Raleigh, NC
The Rebel Lounge -- Phoenix, AZ
The Red Herring Lounge -- Duluth, MN
Reggies -- Chicago, IL
The Rialto Theatre -- Tucson, AZ
S.O.B.'s -- New York, NY
Schubas Tavern* -- Chicago, IL
Swedish American Hall -- San Francisco, CA
The Turf Club* -- St. Paul, MN
The UC Theatre* -- Berkeley, CA
Wave -- Wichita, KS
World Cafe Live* -- Philadelphia, PA

*Returning venue