MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Music venues around the country are struggling to stay afloat as the pandemic continues to keep them from hosting concerts and crowds. No crowds means no business.
So the National Independent Venues Association is asking Congress to allocate $10 billion to prevent small venues from shutting their doors.
“Venues are going under right now because Congress has not acted,” said Audrey Fix Shaefer, Communications Director for NIVA. “We have no revenue, we have enormous overhead and no view into when we’re going to get to reopen.”
NIVA represents about 2,000 concert hall owners across the country. Most independent venues did not qualify for earlier coronavirus relief from the federal government.
“If there isn’t some sort of help, federal help, the estimation is 90 percent of those venues are going to close," said Ryan Murphy, President of the Huntsville Venue Group. “There’s a lot of venues who are either at the very tail end of drying up every resource and this would at least keep the lights on or keep the overhead.”
The bill before Congress is called the Save our Stages Act. The funding it provides would cover expenses like rent, utilities and other operating costs from the pandemic.
“Music in America is such an important part of our culture, and it’s also a huge economic driver,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D) Minnesota.
The music industry, as a whole, expects it will be 2022 before it makes a real comeback. There are about 25 Alabama music venues that stand to benefit from the Save our Stages Act. Find a list of venues participating at: https://www.nivassoc.org/members.
There are currently 35 senators who have co-signed the bill, including Alabama’s Doug Jones.