U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at providing relief to independent live venues, promoters and festivals across the nation. Or as you know it, the Save Our Stages Act. Since the pandemic shutdowns began in March, music venues, comedy clubs, and festivals have been shuttered with no revenue, high overhead and no timeline for when they can fully reopen. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said that if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no meaningful federal assistance, 90% of its members would be forced to fold forever.
“Independent venues, like theaters and concert halls, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to reopen,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why it’s so important to provide dedicated federal assistance to independent venues so when it is safe, we can gather again for music, comedy, theater and other live performances in venues that have been around for generations. I’m proud to co-sponsor the Save Our Stages Act, and I’ll fight to include federal funding for independent venues in any coronavirus relief legislation.”
The Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258), introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), provides vital support for independent live music venues that have lost nearly 100% of their revenue since the pandemic began in March. The companion bill in the House (H.R. 7806) is led by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX).
“Local independent scenes are the cultural lifeblood of our communities as well as an economic driver throughout America,” said NIVA Executive Director Rev. Moose. A Chicago study last year showed that for every $1 spent on a ticket at a local venue, $12 of economic activity was generated for area businesses such as restaurants, retailers, and hotels. “These mom and pop venues are unable to fully reopen until well into 2021 due to safety concerns posed by large gatherings. These institutions draw most of their revenue from acts that tour the United States, and until it’s safe to gather people en masse, it won’t be possible for venues to bring back their staff, which is one reason why the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) does not work for this industry.”
Learn more about Save Or Stages here.