(CelebrityAccess) — The National Independent Venue Association, a coalition of independent music venues has launched with more than 450 charter members in 43 states, including 9:30 Club in D.C., First Avenue in Minneapolis, Chicago Independent Venue League, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pabst Theater Group in Milwaukee, Red River Cultural District in Austin, and Exit/In in Nashville.
According to a statement from the coalition, the association was formed to help preserve the ecosystem of independent live music venues in North America and to “fight for the survival of independent venues, their employees, artists, fans and their communities” amid the COVID-19 catastrophe.
The organization is led by a board of directors that includes First Avenue Productions CEO Dayna Frank, World Cafe Life Founder/President Hal Real, (Le) Poisson Rouge Co-founder Justin Kantor, Heard Presents Managing Partner Stephen D. Sternschein, and Marauder Co-founder Rev. Moose.
“Music venues were the first to close and will be the last to open,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA board member and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis. “It’s just brutal right now, and the future is predictable to no one. We can’t envision a world without these music venues, so we’ve created NIVA to fight for their ability to survive this shutdown, which we hear could go into 2021. Our first order of business is to push to secure federal funding to preserve the ecosystem of live music venues and touring artists.”
“Independent venues and promoters have a unique set of circumstances that require specialized assistance, so we’ve banded together and secured a powerhouse lobbying firm,” said Gary Witt, CEO of Pabst Theater Group and founding member of NIVA. “Akin Gump has been tapped to represent us, and that telegraphs to Capitol Hill that our needs are serious. Most of us have gone from our best year ever to a dead stop in revenues, but our expenses and overhead are still real, and many will not make it without help. Our employees, the artists, and the fans need us to act. But we are also an important income generator for those around us, bringing revenue to area restaurants, bars, hotels, and retail shops. Our contributions to the tax base far exceed our ticket sales.”
Membership is free for independent music venues and an application can be found here.
See Tickets and Lyte have contributions to help cover NIVA’s membership launch and initial lobbying effort, but the organization is seeking additional sponsorship from organizations wishing to support its mission to assist independent venues and promoters.
“NIVA will grow to become a fantastic advocate and nurturer of independent venues and promoters after the pandemic. Survival today, prosperity tomorrow,” said Gary Witt, CEO of Pabst Theater Group and founding member of NIVA.
To learn more, contact NIVA here: https://www.nivassoc.org/contact-us