An overwhelming majority of U.S. independent venues are at risk of closure due to COVID-19 according to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). The nonprofit organization has launched an initiative called #SaveOurStages in support of the RESTART Act, arguing that 90% of independent venues are at risk of closure.
Despite only recently being formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, NIVA counts the owners of over 2,000 independent venues among its members. A survey found that without federal funding, 90% of them will have to discontinue business operations “in a few months.” Noted in their findings is a Pollstar report which projects economic losses of $9 billion.
RESTART, which stands for “Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty,” has reportedly been backed by 538 members of congress after 500,000 individuals emailed them via SaveOurStages.com. Said congressman and congresswomen have written letters to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy in the House as well as Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer in the Senate.
NIVA is by no means the first organization to request government aid for music institutions. The AIF recently forewarned of an “independent festival wasteland” in the U.K., and German organization Booking United advocated for DJs and other performers to receive aid in an open letter.
Read NIVA’s full report here.
Image credit: Lucian Alexe