The bipartisan bill was, which was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R -TX), advocates for immediate economic relief to save independent venues, promoters, and festivals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the United States, independent music venues were part of the first wave of businesses to shut down. Losing critical revenue and facing mounting uncertainty over the future of their businesses, more than 2,500 venue owners from all 50 states banded together to create the National Independent Venue Association. NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues, promoters and festivals throughout the United States, an industry that is currently on track to suffer a $9 billion loss by the end of 2020.
“Our members told us months ago that if the shutdown lasted six months or longer and there wasn’t federal relief to hold them over, 90% of them would fold permanently,” Dayna Frank, president of NIVA and CEO First Avenue Productions said. “With no revenue and immense overhead, four months in, it’s already happening. The warning light is flashing red and our only hope is for legislation like Save Our Stages Act or RESTART Act to be passed before Congressgoes on August recess. Otherwise, most businesses in this industry will collapse.”“On behalf of our more than 2,000 member venues, promoters and festivals, as well as their employees, artists and local communities who are facing an existential crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re incredibly grateful to Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar,” Adam Hartke, co-chair of NIVA’s Advocacy Committee and president of Hartke Presents added. “While existing government assistance programs have helped other industries, they weren’t tailored to meet the needs of small businesses like ours that have zero revenue, enormous overhead and no visibility into when we can fully re-open. The Save Our Stages Act will provide the assistance we need to get through the shutdown until we can reopen safely and once again become the economic generators for our communities that we’ve always been.”
The main initiatives of the Save Our Stages Act are to:
In many cities across the country, independent venues are the bedrock of culture. We need to save these institutions, and we need to act now by notifying our local representatives.