With the global COVID-19 pandemic still in full effect, independently owned concert venues are amongst the ones who are feeling the economic impact the worst. Even as the global economy begins to reopen and recover, events larger than 50 people are last on the list to begin operating again which leaves both venues and event companies up a creek with no paddle.
The National Independent Venue Association released a troubling new survey which outlines how 90% of independently owned venues will be forced to cease operations permanently if the shutdown lasts six months or longer.
In order to save some of the world’s most iconic venues, the NIVA has called upon congress to amend the rules for the Paycheck Protection Program to provide economic relief. Specifically, NIVA is requesting 6 months of payroll and 6 months of fixed operating costs. Costs such as rent, taxes, utilities, insurance and more still require timely payments during the pandemic despite current circumstances and if relief isn’t provided soon, venues will have no other choice but to close.
NIVA sent a letter to both the house and senate outlining the dire situation and the consequences that would ensue if action wasn’t taken:
“Live event venues were among the first to close as COVID-19 spread across the country, and they are likely to be among the last to reopen.
“Concerts and live events may not be possible until a vaccine is readily available to the public, which could be months away. Until that time, live event venues will remain shuttered, leaving employees without jobs and businesses without revenue. The continued closures will impact the hundreds of contractors, suppliers, and business partners that support the live entertainment industry in our states and districts.
“These venues support the economies of communities across the country, are a crucial component of the music industry’s ecosystem, and serve as incubators and launch pads for the most popular talent in the world,” the letter continued. “We can provide a vital lifeline for the industry that will help to sustain the iconic venues that are central to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of so many of our communities. This industry is not going to make it without our help.”
While it is on the United States Government to take action, which is already a scary notion given their current inability to pass any legislation, artists and fans can still show their support by visiting SaveOurStages.com and sending letters to their local and sate representatives.