WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAcess) — As independent music venues across the country face grave economic peril amid the coronavirus pandemic, more than 600 artists have banded together to support the National Independent Venue Alliance’s calls for financial support from the federal government.
A roster of artists that includes Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, Mavis Staples, Lady Gaga, André 3000, Coldplay, Willie Nelson, Billie Ellish, Gary Clark Jr, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Miranda Lambert, Billy Joel, Earth Wind & Fire, Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges, Wyclef Jean, and Bon Iver, along with beloved comedians such as Jay Leno, Tiffany Haddish, Jeff Foxworthy, Jerry Seinfeld, and Tig Notaro, all signed an open letter to Congress asking legislators to provide urgent financial support for independent venues during this moment of crisis.
Formed at the onset of the Covid-19 shutdown, NIVA has grown to include nearly 2,000 members in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C.
These independent venues and promoters were the first to close in the early days of the pandemic and will likely be the last to fully re-open. Without assistance, many of the venues that were shuttered amid the outbreak will never open again.
The 600 artists sending the letter to Congress are joining more than 500 other touring artists and comedians with a combined social media presence exceeding 900,000,000 who have urged their fans to have their voices heard at SaveOurStages.com.
So far people across America have written more than 500,000 emails asking Congress to #SaveOurStages.
The artists’ letter in part said:
artists’ letter to Congress says, in part:
“We will know America is “back” when our music venues are filled with fans safely enjoying concerts with abandon. The live music experience is inextricably tied to our nation’s cultural and economic fabric. In fact, 53% of Americans – that’s 172 million of us – attended a concert last year.
“Independent venues give artists their start, often as the first stage most of us have played on. These venues were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. With zero revenue and the overwhelming overhead of rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance, 90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.
“We are asking you to support NIVA’s request for assistance so these beloved venues can reopen when it’s safe and welcome us and our fans back in. The collapse of this crucial element in the music industry’s ecosystem would be devastating.”