With Senate recess looming at the end of the week and Congress still in talks over the details of the next COVID relief bill, the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) is urging Senate leaders to continue support in its Call to Action Campaign for the RESTART and SaveOurStages (SOS) Acts. Without bipartisan support, the survival of live music industry would be uncertain as many venues remain shuttered to the public. This is a call to save live music as we know it.
“So many people in our industry live hand to mouth, day to day. There are no pensions and no health insurance or retirement plans for indie musicians or the people who tour with and support them. At least musicians can try to reach out to their audience online for support, but what is a guitar tech to do? What of the drum tech or the sound engineer or the road manager or driver — not to mention the promoters, the booking agents, the bartenders? The ripple effects of the world of live entertainment going dark are vast. Let’s shine a light on all the people whose work helps all of our lives to be enriched by live music. Let’s support them through NITO’s advocacy.”Buffalo singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco
Both acts have gained momentum with a total of 44 cosponsors in the Senate according to a press release from NITO. If passed by Congress, RESTART and SOS would aid the hardest-hit small and mid-sized businesses, potentially for the next 6 months. Among the supporters of RESTART is ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NAMM, NIVA, Spotify, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, American Society of Travel Advisors and YouTube, all of whom have recognized how devastating it would be for the U.S economy to lose the nine billion dollar contribution that independent music businesses make under normal circumstances.
RESTART’s sponsor Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) recently acknowledged the importance of the live music industry’s survival in a tweet of support of NITO.
That is why NITO is imploring “lovers of live music and all performing arts” to take part by sending letters of support via email and social media to Senators and House Representatives encouraging them to #SaveLiveMusic.
During the past four month NITO has grown tremendously. From 14 founding agencies to over 800 active live touring organizations including; management companies, talent agencies, artists and a vast array of industry professionals. All have seen a significant financial impact as the doors to our venues remain close for the unforeseen future.
If you would like to share your story or show support fill out a Call to Action form here.