#SaveOurStages Works to Save Independent Venues

Many venues are dark and have been since the beginning of the COVID-19 distancing measures.  Due to these closures, local and independent venues are struggling with day-to-day costs.  With cases of Coronavirus on the rise, concerts are projected to be postponed until at least 2021. This can make the future of venues look bleak.

An SOS is sent out; the Save Our Stages bill, supported by NIVA. The National Independent Venue Association, is a coalition of venue-owners, promoters, and bookers working to get venues the aid they need.  Two senators proposed the industry-specific bill that would help venues pay expenses that can help them stay in operation and, hopefully, re-open when safe. Another bill, RESTART, proposes to extend the government’s Payroll Protection Program loans to the industry.

The Save Our Stages bill works specifically to aid smaller live music and entertainment venues. In the senators’ proposal, the bill will define the venues who qualify to directly aid independent and local venues, outline how the Small Business Administrator will calculate grants (and can be asked for additional funding, if needed), and guidelines for grant-use.

Oklahoma is home to many historical music sites, and several of these venues are already members of NIVA. Cains Ballroom, The Vanguard, and Tulsa Theater are just a few of the current smaller and mid-size venues supporting Save Our Stages.

The NIVA website has email templates to send local legislators, for those looking to support the bill. There are links on the page where supporters can donate money to the NIVA fund or to Lyte, where people can donate directly to venues and touring crews.

Graphic and banner image from NIVA.org.