Troxy reflects on IVW 2023 celebrations

Simon Eaton, Head of Live at Troxy, informs TPi what it means to be the largest venue to take part in the celebrations and why Independent Venue Week (IVW) is crucial in supporting the independent live music community. 

Following on from Troxy’s surprise show of Four Tet, Fred Again and Skrillex in early January, Simon Eaton, Head of Live at Troxy, talks with TPi on how the venue hosted Editors on 1 February as part of Independent Venue Week (IVW) – an annual week-long celebration of independent music and art venues.

Has Troxy always been involved in IVW?

“We’ve been a IVW member for over five years but this is actually the first time we’ve been able to organise a show to run on that week. We’ve been trying to organise something for a while but the concept of IVW is bigger bands playing smaller venues. Trying to get a big name band who would normally play an arena sized show at our 3,100 capacity venue has been tough. This time everything aligned and it’s been a real pleasure to welcome Editors onto our stage and dive into the celebrations. We feel we’ve a shared ethos and passion – which is to bring the music to the fans in an authentic way.”

Why is IVW so important to independent venues like yourselves? 

“We love the vibrant, eclectic mix of independent venues that form our IVW family and these live spaces are crucial to the fabric of the UK’s diverse communities. The week reminds us all that we don’t stand alone and we have a network of support all around us. IVW doesn’t just shine a light on the crucial work indie venues do, but it provides a tangible way for venues large and small to drive more footfall through their doors in January, which is typically a tough month as artists tend not to tour until later in the year.” 

How do you think independent venues benefit from IVW? 

“With IVW it’s all about working together and being part of a bigger picture. Troxy is a solo, independent business, however the independent network stands stronger together as a larger family. Artists at every point of their career need venues of different capacities to play, while Troxy sits at the larger end of that spectrum, we fully understand and appreciate the work done at all points within the artist journey to reach our capacity. IVW not only unites us as indie venues but it allows us to support each other on another level, being able to offer advice to other venues only strengthens the indie scene in the long-run.”

Why do you think it’s important for bigger artists to play at indie venues? 

“It’s been a great start to the year for us, so far we’ve hosted a sold-out Viagra Boys show, as well as the Skrillex, Four Tet and Fred Again show and now Editors. These sort of names are paramount to venues of our size and independence. When artists choose to play somewhere a bit more leftfield it not only helps the local economy but it keeps it more interesting for the fans, and allows the venue to continue its operations. When they support independent venues like us, it means we can continue putting on great shows for the community. If bands stop playing at places like Troxy then unfortunately there won’t be other options available, bands will only be able to play at corporate branded venues which can get pretty boring.”

Troxy has gone through a huge restoration, what’s new? 

“We’ve been wanting to renovate the venue for some time, but you can never shut for long enough. During the pandemic, we initiated the first major refurbishment to the building since 2006 when we bought it and the first stage of a multi-year plan to restore many of its original features. This huge investment has allowed us to bring back the original stage that had been hidden away many years earlier. We now have functional stage wings, enabling larger scale productions. We’ve also refurbished the box office, revealing its original location, and brought back the original marble flooring in the foyer which brings so much character to the entranceway. With these improvements we can now attract bigger artists and host much bigger productions. It means we not only have the experience but the means to do these bigger shows.”

‘We are fiercely independent and proud to be so’ – Troxy talks IVW 2023