Live & Touring

FIRST TO CLOSE, LAST TO OPEN: 800 Indie Music Venues Ask Gov’t For Help

The 800 strong National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has sent a letter to Congress proposing solutions to address the unique and dire situation facing the industry.

Independent venues were among the first businesses to close as COVID-19 spread across the country and are also likely to be among the last to reopen resulting in zero revenue for the foreseeable future. So the NIVA has requested specific funding programs to assist for the duration of the government’s mandatory shutdown.

“Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handouts,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA Board President and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis. “But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is a legitimate fear for our collective existence.”

The NIVA is made up of more than 800 independent music venues and promoters across 48 states and Washington, D.C. Studies show that for every $1 spent on a ticket at small venues, a total of $12 in economic activity is generated within communities on restaurants, hotels, taxis, and retail establishments bringing the direct annual economic impact of this group to nearly $10 billion.

The goal of the requested funding is to enable independent venues to survive the crisis, reopen in the future, and once again contribute to the economic revival of our communities.

Read the full text of the letter here.

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