(CelebrityAccess) –The National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) has issued an urgent call to action to its members and the general public to support passage of the RESTART Act via its web site at https://nitolive.org/resources/take-action
Without long term support for the multitude of small shuttered businesses, COVID-19 will permanently change the landscape of the entire live touring industry, negatively affecting artists, touring personnel, agents, managers, and independent venues across the country.
The next coronavirus relief bill, which the Senate will begin debating this week, is of crucial consequence to the live music sector which remains shuttered, with no realistic timeline for safe reopening. NITO’s Executive Board Members shine a light on the urgency of the message, “We urge Congress to swiftly enact bills to provide relief that will save performing artists, agents, managers, touring personnel, theaters and live music venues, event management teams, and the millions of jobs resulting from and surrounding concerts and concert tours across the country. Since mid-March, our industry has closed down with virtually no performances or revenue for the foreseeable future, and yet we have all seen our fixed expenses and overheads continue to mount week after week.”
Rapidly growing, NITO’s Membership is now composed of 81 independent music booking agencies, 90 independent artist management firms, 352 touring artists, and 190 touring entities.
United in support of the bipartisan RESTART Act, even large music industry businesses such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Spotify and YouTube amplified the plight of independents last week in a letter collectively urging Congress to provide essential relief to over 2,000 mom-and-pop music venues and promoters, quantifying their contributions under normal circumstances as $9 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and NITO will continue their call to action campaigns this week, and together, they have already fueled over 1 million letters to Congress.
RESTART’s sponsor Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) acknowledges the importance of the messaging, “We’re grateful to the music industry for their support of RESTART. I urge my colleagues in Congress to include this bipartisan proposal in the next COVID-19 relief package to save the music economy and the many other hard-hit small businesses across the country.”
NITO, in partnership with over 25 national and international trade associations ranging from the music industry to manufacturers, endorse Senator Bennet’s bipartisan bill which is now cosponsored by 20 U.S. Senators.
NITO’s Letter to Congress:
I write today in support of the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) to ask you to please support/co-sponsor the RESTART Act (S. 3814/H.R. 7481), introduced by Senators Young and Bennet in the Senate and Representatives Golden and Kelly in the House, and call for the act’s inclusion in the next COVID-19 relief bill.
The live music industry, including musicians, agents, managers and touring professionals was one of the first to shut down as the pandemic swept across the country. Live music and the independent venues that support us will be among the last industries to return once this pandemic abates. In short, the current pandemic has shuttered and decimated our industry and every hard-working professional who depends on tours and concerts for their livelihood.
NITO appreciates the work that Congress has done to respond to COVID-19, but our membership is experiencing upwards of 90% revenue loss and have exhausted funds made available to date. Long-term support with the maximum flexibility possible is vital without which many of our businesses will not survive.
Please help NITO to #SaveLiveMusic and the entire live music ecosystem, by supporting the RESTART Act and by encouraging Congressional leadership to include it in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package.
Join the campaign to endorse RESTART; visit the NITO web site at https://nitolive.org/resources/take-action