UK Just Saved 1385 Venues, But The US Can’t Be Bothered To Save Any
Yesterday came the news that the UK had awarded part of a £257M/$333M USD grant which will save 1,385 theatres, clubs, and cultural organizations on the brink of financial ruin because of the COVID 19 shutdown.
That’s just the first wave of funding from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund which has seen about 90% of the successful recipients coming from England’s grassroots venue sector. That leaves less than 20 grassroots venues still in danger, according to NME. 71% of the Association of Independent Festival’s applications have been successful so far.
But in the US it’s a very different story.
To date, virtually no US government funding has gone to save independent music and cultural venues and the institutions and people that support them.
It’s not that the live music industry hasn’t tried.
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), and a new coalition of major live event related companies, #SaveLiveEventsNow, have all been lobbying for government relief for thousands of US venues, more than 12 million live event workers and related business.
Pollstar has forecast that the live industry would lose up to $8.9 billion is the rest of 2020 remains dark, and most forecasts show the shutdown continuing well into 2021.
The US House of Representatives did embrace #SaveOurStageAct funding as part of a larger funding bill, but so far the Senate refuses to even consider more relief.
NITO, NIVA and others are asking supporters to contact their elected representatives as part of the #DoNoAbandonUS campaign today.