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Help Big Jeff head to SXSW in Austin, USA

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Bristol music legend BigJeff has been invited to Austin Texas for South by South West music conference and festival in March 2020.

Jeff has been an ambassador for the UK Independent Venue Week for the last 3 years and is very much part of the IVW family. They would like him to be part of a panel they are hosting ‘Diversity In Live Music On & Off The Stage’ from 16th – 22nd March.
South by South West (SXSW) is the largest music conference and festival in the world and it is an honour to be invited. Jeff will be the only person on this panel and one of only a handful of people at the conference speaking first- hand about access issues.

Making this trip possible for Jeff will enable him to travel to and stay in the heart of Austin for the festival. He will be sharing his experiences in a blog hosted by Independent Venue Week in the hopes he can inspire others. It will also give him a huge boost  to know that many people love what he’s doing are encouraging him to explore further.
What Jeff says about this trip:

"I have been an avid gig goer for over 20 years in & around Bristol and I am very well known for my passion for and knowledge about music.
I am very open about my personal mental health issues, learning disabilities & anxiety but I’m someone who is driven by passions for being creative & for live music.

Being given the opportunity to travel & speak more openly & publicly will not only help build my confidence but also build my profile & help me be seen as a spokesperson for people with similar feelings.
This takes me out of my comfort zone but I’m really keen to push myself & speak openly about my challenges. To do this in another country is a big opportunity & Independent Venue Week asking me means they feel I am ready for this next step.

I hope to be sharing my experiences through my blog to encourage other people like me who want to take a step towards greater confidence and independence.
This experience would allow me to grow my personal & professional skills &, by publishing my experiences on the IVW channels, I can demonstrate to other gig goers like me, that music & art can help with their personal development."

Jeff’s first blog will be live on the IVW website in February once he has finished his first tour of Independent Venue Week in 2020. His trip to SXSW will be the next instalment of the blog which will continue with potentially more tours of venues and experiences from Jeff about his gig going, music passions and, of course, his art. You can keep up with paintings he does, live at gigs, on Instagram
His first exhibition of painting and drawing called “Here’s My World”  will be held at The Island, Nelson St, Bristol and will be open to the public from the 7th to 10th May 2020. We’re hoping the exhibition will then go to London and beyond….we do hope that you get to see it.


Sue Johns

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