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NIVA Concludes Its Inaugural Sold Out Conference

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CLEVELAND (CelebrityAccess) — Last week, the National Independent Venue Association wrapped the inaugural in person conference, bringing a host of industry luminaries to Cleveland for two days of panels, workshops, networking, and entertainment across Cleveland venues including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Pickwick & Frolic, Music Box, Happy Dog, Beachland Ballroom, and Grog Shop.

Cleveland Mayor Bibb opened the conference by welcoming members to the city and representatives from NIVA provided an update on the crucial grant programs it pioneered to throw a lifeline to venues struggling amid the carnage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In all, more than 600 registrants attended the event, including NIVA members along with affiliates, and representatives from talent agencies and management companies from the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).

“What an honor to be part of such an impactful two days,” said NIVA Executive Director, Rev. Moose. “Not only did we exceed our attendance goals, we managed to create an even stronger sense of community within our industry focused on fostering authentic connections, sharing impactful knowledge, and empowering our peers, our friends, and our industry to overcome the enormous challenges the pandemic has placed on us.”

No music industry conference is complete without some live music and NIVA ’22 was no exception. Events were scheduled at independent venues around the city and included performances from Big Freedia and Meshell Ndegeocello, along with key politicians who helped pass the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program, including Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Charles Schumer (D-New York), who were all presented with NIVA’s Rxceptional Service Awards.

As part of the conference, NIVA hosted the first annual Independent AF Awards which recognized some of the biggest contributors to NIVA’s mission of preserving independent live entertainment.

NIVA ‘22 Independent AF Winners

Best Community or Charitable Engagement by a Venue, Promoter, or Festival:
Howie Kaplan/Howlin’ Wolf

Best Artist Development by an Agent:
Pat May, Crossover Touring for Billy Strings


Best advancement of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility from a Venue, Promoter, or Festival:
Tobi Parks, xBk Live/D Tour

Best Innovation by a Venue, Promoter, or Festival:
Bop Stop

Best support of an Artist’s Charitable Work by a Manager:
Michel Vega, Magnus

Best Charitable Live Event:
Newport Folk Festival

NIVA’s Award for Exceptional Service:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D- New York
Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters and NIVA Advisory Boardmember
Boris Patronoff, CEO of See Tickets and Chair of NIVA’s Advisory Board

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