The first to take the wheel was Sunderland’s Frankie and the Heartstrings, launching the initiative in partnership with Independent Venue Week.
Frankie and the Heartstrings toured the UK throughout Independent Venue Week, beginning with a special gig at Bedford Esquires, in partnership with Vauxhall Motors. At the end of their tour the keys will be passed over to another, yet to be revealed band.
Frankie and the Heartstrings, since forming in 2008, have performed at Glastonbury, supported Kaiser Chiefs on their UK tour and have grown to become a BBC 6 Music favourite. They’re also known for supporting up and coming bands in their local area, and have their own record store. Frankie and the Heartstrings commented:
“It’s great that Vauxhall are supporting Independent Venue Week. There is a strata of band that without independent venues simply could not survive. We are very much in that bracket. Independent bands, venues, labels, promoters and gig-goers live in a unique symbiotic relationship where what we create as a whole is only as much as the sum of its parts. This ethos of individuality can so easily be crushed in the current unstable world of music. So support now more than ever is not just important but vital for its survival.”
Independent Venue Week kicked off with a seven day long series of gigs at 90 independent venues, running from the 26th January with Franker Turner as its 2015 ambassador.
Independent Venue Week’s passion for supporting home grown talent is shared by Vauxhall Motors which has made the specially adapted Vivaro available throughout 2015 to bands like Frankie and the Heartstrings, as well as up-and-coming UK acts. If you’re a band in need of a van to take on tour in 2015 – the British-built Vivaro is up for grabs. Go to www.vauxhall.co.uk/vivaro-on-tour for more information and tweet @Vauxhall using the hashtag #VivaroOnTour.
Sybil Bell, Co-founder of Independent Venue Week, said, “So much of the time bands spend touring is travelling around the country in a van between venues, so Vauxhall is the perfect partner for Independent Venue Week. The van becomes the bands own mini ecosystem – it can be both a lot of fun, pretty intense and where bands really bond.”
Denis Chick, Director of Communications, Vauxhall Motors said, “The UK is renowned for its great pop and rock bands, yet, every successful act has started playing gigs at the diverse array of small and independent venues we have in the UK. Vauxhall has always supported British talent and Vivaro on Tour can hopefully help some of these bands as they start out. Vivaro on Tour also celebrates British manufacturing, our workforce in Luton and the UK’s last remaining light commercial vehicle manufacturing plant.”
The Vivaro on Tour campaign kicked off at Bedford Esquires where Frankie and the Heartstrings started their Independent Venue Week tour. Visit www.vauxhall.co.uk/vivaro-on-tour to see exclusive sessions and behind-the-scenes clips from each and every band who take the wheel of the Vivaro.
The Vauxhall Vivaro supports British manufacturing being built in Luton with 52 per cent of Luton’s production exported to 27 European markets.