Celebrating Independents Day

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The Independent Culture

On 4 July, we will celebrate Independents Day, a new annual initiative from AIM in the UK designed to raise awareness and celebrate the importance and success of independently released music across the globe.

A double CD, featuring well known artists covering their favourite independently released songs and a selection of new and upcoming acts, as chosen by the acts featured on CD1, will be on sale from Friday 4 July for a limited period only, making this an instant collector’s item.

The compilation Independents Day ID08 features specially recorded and rarely released tracks from Maxïmo Park, Feeder, Tom Smith from Editors, Prodigy, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Jack Peñate, José González, The Cribs, Futureheads, British Sea Power, The Charlatans, Infadels and others to bring you a tribute to independent artists and independent music made and released by independent companies.

And if you’re interested in music memorabilia, there is a fabulous auction online at eBay – find the link at www.independentsday08.com – where you can bid for rare collector’s items from the companies and artists who made the records, and for money-can’t-buy experiences. The auction starts on 9 June and runs until 6 July. Want to play guitar with The Cult’s Billy Duffy, drums with Basement Jaxx or grab a piece of musical history? Now is your chance!

All this is to promote the independent sector, to celebrate who we are and what we do, and to underline the fabulous spirit of the artists and the companies involved.

The recording of the album will also be documented on a series of four TV shows which will be aired on Channel 4 from 30 June. The shows will include fly-on-the wall footage of the making of the album and interviews with the artists as well as exclusive live performances from a specially organised Independents Day 08 gig at London’s Cargo.

From the establishment of Island Records in 1959, independent labels have long played a vital role in UK music. The likes of Chrysalis, Rough Trade, Factory, Beggars, Mute, and more recently XL Recordings, Domino, Warp, Wichita, Dance To The Radio and many others have often led the way in terms of both new talent and new music genres.

In the UK, Independents Day 08 is raising money for CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably), a charity helping with the issue of suicide among young men – www.thecalmzone.net – and The Musicians Benevolent Fund – www.mbf.org.uk.

Join us, join in, enjoy your music and celebrate your independence.

Alison Wenham is chairman and chief executive of AIM