Indie Music

Legislators Introduce “Save Our Stages Act” To Aid Independent Venues

While the music industry as a whole – and independent venues in particular – continue to face major challenges in the wake of the pandemic, new legislation being put forth could offer a desperately needed lifeline.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

The fight is far from over, but there is new hope that independent venues across the United States may soon receive some much needed financial relief.

The battle cry of NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association, has been loud and clear since day one: Save our stages. While many sectors of the economy have benefitted from the federal relief programs made available in response to the coronavirus pandemic, indie venues and the people who work in them were left out in the cold. That is, until today.

Earlier today, Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced a new piece of legislation called the “Save Our Stages Act”. It’s a relief bill that aims to provide financial support to music and entertainment venues across the country, particularly those that are in danger of shutting down permanently, reports Rolling Stone.

According to a press release, the “Save Our Stages Act” will offer six months of financial support to “keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.” The legislation is geared towards operators, promoters, and talent reps at primarily small, independent venues.

The specific grant amounts would range in price, being either 45% of a business’ operation costs from the previous year or $12 million in total — whichever is the lesser amount. Venues that are granted money are then allowed to use those funds to pay off “costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic” as well as rent, utilities, mortgages, personal protective equipment, maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, and expenses to meet local and federal social distancing guidelines.

News of the “Save Our Stages Act” comes after a NIVE study revealed that 90% of all independent venues are likely to shudder forever if the pandemic stretches into September. Several venues have already announcing a permanent closing, including The Satellite in Los Angeles. The recent surge of new COVID-19 cases makes the possibility of any shows happening in 2020 highly unlikely, which is why this legislation matters.

You can still do your part to help. Join Haulix and countless others in demanding this legislation pass by filling out the form on NIVA’s website.

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