One of the COVID shutdown’s greatest threats is the permanent closure of America’s many independent live music venues. The death of concerts has revealed to music fans that most of their favorite venues live hand to mouth, using the money from the previous week’s shows to fund those of the next week. But now, Congress has announced a new COVID relief bill, with one portion of it being $15 billion for independent theaters and live music venues in need.
On Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement in which they revealed the long-awaited $900 billion COVID relief bill, which includes “$15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.”
As reported by Blabbermouth, this comes on the heels of July’s Save Our Stages Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX). The act would provide Small Business Administration grants to independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19’s quarantine and shutdown. They would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat and pay their staff.
“We’re thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill,” said Dayna Frank, owner and chief executive of First Avenue Productions and board president of the National Independent Venue Association. “We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.”
Let’s hope the independent venues and theaters around the country that we love can stay afloat until it’s okay for us to rage once more.
Words by Chris Krovatin