Since the coronavirus pandemic, many music venues are struggling without live audiences. In an effort to keep independent venues from closing, the National Independent Venue Association, NIVA, has launched a partnership with YouTube Music to preserve live music venues across the United States.
Through the #SaveOurStages initiative, NIVA and YouTube are working to adopt a plan to safely bring live music back to venues. According to NIVA, “90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.” The Save Our Stages initiative includes a letter to Congress urging that funding be given to these venues, as they not only are important for art and entertainment, but contribute greatly to their town’s and city’s economy. An overwhelming amount of people have signed this letter, and artists can still sign here.
In the meantime, YouTube is boosting NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund, which NIVA has created to help the country’s most vulnerable venues while waiting for Congress’ response. The fund will provide short-term relief to independent venues that are currently at risk of closing due to the COVID-19 shutdown. It will aim to work closely with federal programs to keep venues open. Applications for venues will be open until September 24.
YouTube’s involvement in the project will spread awareness to a large amount of people that would not have heard about #SaveOurStages. “YouTube’s direct involvement helps us generate awareness for the plight of independent live music and raise funds for NIVA’s Emergency Relief efforts,” says Stephen Sternshein, co-founder and treasurer of NIVA. “This could literally be the difference between some venues going under or holding on until Congress comes back from recess to pass much-needed
“YouTube is a place where artists and fans around the world come to connect and build community. With traditional concerts on hold, never has there been a more important time to support the live music industry through our partnership with NIVA. We’re committed to doing our part in saving independent venues and continuing to bring artists and fans together through music.”Robert Kyncl, YouTube Chief Business Officer
You can help NIVA’s goal to preserve independent music venues by donating to the Emergency Relief Fund. If you can’t donate, petition to your Congress representatives to back the plan, and check NIVA’s YouTube channel for upcoming announcements.
The independent concert industry will be reeling for years to come from the devastating revenue loss related to COVID-19, so we’re excited about what YouTube and NIVA can do together to bring the live experience back.Stephen Sternshein