Barrow Underground Music Society (BUMS) has been recognised as one of the UK’s best independent music places as part of Independent Venue Week 2020 (IVW20).
Supported by BBC Sounds and starting on January 27, IVW20 is a seven-day celebration of independent music venues across the country and gives a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out.
In total, IVW20, which is in its seventh year, puts a spotlight on 232 venues across the UK, giving artists firsthand experience of playing live in front of an audience.BUMS was first set up in 2016, offering a host of gigs and inviting local music lovers to sign up for free membership.
Created by the team behind Magic Orchard music festival, Sonic Zoo Radio, and the Amigos stage at Another Fine Fest, the exclusive club gives members the chance to buy tickets to see some high-profile visitors performing in an incredibly intimate space.
Based out of Sonic Zoo’s headquarters at 2 Carlisle Street – downstairs from the East Beach Studios – the venue is the work of Graham ‘Gripper’ Newby and Rob Dunphy.
Mr Newby said: “We wanted to create a membership club that brings a little bit of exclusivity to what we do.
“The people that attend will already know what we’re about, and will be enjoying a varied cross-section of music that you wouldn’t normally find on your doorstep.
“Yes, people will be paying similar prices, maybe even a little bit more than what they might pay in places like Manchester to see these guests, but without having to travel there or pay for a hotel.”
Independent Venue Week is unique in that it is a nationwide initiative with a local feel.
A spokesman from the IVW20 said: “By championing these venues, we’re able to highlight why they’re so much more than just places for live music.
“They are cultural hubs for learning, creativity, arts and culture more widely in the community for people from all walks of life.”
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Wales and Creative Scotland in the UK as well as the wider music industry and brands globally, IVW20 brings together these venues along with breaking and established artists, promoters, labels, media and tastemakers to create a nationwide series of gigs.
IVW20 describes these venues and businesses as ‘the backbone of the live music scene’.