Spotify and NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) announced their partnership on Spotifiy’s annual Wrapped Campaign to help preserve independent stages across the United States on December 1, 2020.
The annual Spotify/NIVA Wrapped Campaign unveiled the top artists, albums, songs, playlists and podcasts that more than 320 million people around the world listened to and discovered audio this year. This year’s Wrapped Campaign will be a little different. Spotify will be in partnership with NIVA this year trying to bring light to the detrimental state live independent venues are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephen Sternshein, co-founder / treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin spoke on the partnership saying, “As 2020 draws to a close, the live music industry enters month nine of no shows, no income, no federal support, and ever-mounting debts. Music is what connects us all – as Spotify shows us, it’s what helped our friends, our families and our communities get through this tumultuous year.”
Spotify is attempting to help support these independent venues by trying to shine a light on their plight by taking over space on the marquees of more than 30 COVID-shuttered music venues and donating a total of $500,000 to those stages and the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund. So far the announced artist and venue and artist pairs include Alicia Keys at the Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lady Gaga at the The Ritz Ybor in Tampa Florida, Childish Gambino at the The Aladdin in Portland, Oregon, The Weeknd at the The Orange Peel, in Asheville, Tennessee, and Jessie Ware at the Center Stage, in Atlanta Georgia. The partnership will be rolled out across the next few weeks announcing more artists and venues.
“In a year that has taken on so many twists and turns, a first reaction might be to look forward and forget the challenging times. However, that would discount all of the amazing work that creators, fans, venues and activists have poured their hearts into this year,” said Dan Brill, Global Group Creative Director at Spotify. “That’s why, instead of turning our backs on 2020, we wanted to give our appreciation for those who gave us hope — the people who, despite challenging circumstances, found ways to infuse magic into our world and give us hope for a better tomorrow.”