With the entire industry at a standstill, independent venues and promoters and the multitude of people they employ are facing an existential crisis–revenues are frozen, while significant overhead and financial obligations remain. With no concrete date of return, leading industry magazine Pollstar estimated a $9 billion loss in ticket sales alone–not counting food and beverage revenue–if venues remain closed through the end of the year. Ninety percent of NIVA members predict they will not be able to reopen if there is no financial support and the shutdown extends to six months–yet there have been forecasts that the shutdowns will go into 2021.
In addition to supporting employees and artists who are dependent upon live music for their livelihoods, the industry serves as a magnet and financial engine for local economies; for every dollar small venues generate in tickets sales, area restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments realize $12 in revenue. While independent venues and promoters are small businesses, the estimated direct annual impact they provide to their local communities nears $10 billion.
When the shutdown swept across the country the music did not just stop–it has put many beloved venues in peril of ever restarting again.
“In the midst of all this depressing uncertainty, the formation of NIVA has at least given us a glimmer of hope that our nine plus years of blood, sweat, and tears will not go down the drain,” says Seven Steps Up co-owner Michelle Hanks.
National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is fighting for the survival of independent venues, their employees, artist, fans and their communities. NIVA is seeking modifications to small business loans and the Payroll Protection Program, tax relief, mortgage and rent forbearance, continued unemployment insurance for employees and guidance on how to reopen safely when the time comes.
Membership is at no cost to independent venues, and is accessible here: NIVA
Seven Steps Up Live Music + Events is West Michigan’s original listening room. Located in downtown Spring Lake, Michigan in a renovated Masonic Temple (circa 1919), it is just beginning its ninth year of operation. With over 500 concert performances featuring GRAMMY winners/nominees, music legends, and rising stars it has become an anchor of Spring Lake’s revitalization and a beacon for live music lovers throughout Michigan and surrounding states.