Conventions & Awards

NIVA sets first indie venue Conference and Independent AF Awards

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has announced that its first ever conference will be held on July 11 and 12 in Cleveland. OH.

July 11 also marks the start of National Independent Venue Week. NIVA ’22 will debut the Independent Awards Formal (Independent AF) during the conference at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

NIVA along with NITO (National Indedent Talent Organization) formed at the start of the pandemic to help keep the independent live music sector afloat. These two aong with a handful of other live event trade groups successfully lobbied Congress to create the SBA’s $16 billion SVOG (Shuttered Venue Operating Grants) which is credited with saving thousdans of independent venues, promoters, booking agencies and management companies.

“We started NIVA to help independent venues and promoters survive the pandemic,” said NIVA Co-Founder and Executive Director, Rev. Moose. “Together we fought for and won the passage of the Save Our Stages Act, which resulted in a historic $16 billion emergency relief grant program. Though the impetus was a crisis response, we’ve planned from the very beginning to continue growing NIVA into a full-service trade organization that serves its membership today and in the future. Our mantra from the start was ‘First we survive, then we thrive.’ We’re excited to bring the live industry together in a new way that is truly impactful while highlighting the importance of connectivity. Our goal is to create positive momentum within the touring and live industry, altering the course beyond the pandemic and providing the necessary tools for our members to succeed while returning to in-person events and entertainment.”

“Independent venues are a vital part of rock & roll. For all of us who love this music, these venues have greatly impacted our lives,” added Rock & Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris. “We are honored to welcome NIVA’s members to Cleveland as we host the first-ever NIVA Independent Awards Formal at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to recognize those who work tirelessly to help this music ecosystem thrive.”

The Conference

“NIVA ‘22 focuses on uniting the independent live entertainment community,” the organization said in a statement

That includes daytime programming in multiple NIVA member venues throughout Cleveland including panels, industry experts, specialized industry educational sessions, showcases and more, 

Sponsorship and brand activation opportunities will be offered by NIVA leading up to and during the conference. For any inquires regarding sponsorship, email


Member Pricing

  • $249 Early Bird Member Registration
  • $299 Full-Price Member Registration

Non-Member Pricing

  • $599 Early Bird Non-Member Registration
  • $699 Non-Member Registration

    Early bird registration ends on May 26

Register here.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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