Earlier this year, shortly following the national shutdown of the concert industry, 800+ independent venues across the country banded together to form the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). The grassroots movement has spent the last three months growing its ranks and attempting to secure financial aid to preserve the ecosystem of independent venues and promoters as live event spaces have begun to shut their doors without any income from live events, and more are sure to follow.
On Tuesday, over 150 independent venues in New York City including the Bitter End, Bowery Ballroom, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Baby’s Alright, Knitting Factory, and more announced the formation of the New York Independent Venue Association (NYIVA), which is affiliated with its above-mentioned parent organization with the same goals on a regional level. The announcement coincides with NYIVA’s proposed day of action on Tuesday (August 4th) where the collection of venues is asking fans to help in contacting their congressional representatives and urge them to support the Save Our Stages Act and the RESTART Act—the two pieces of bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn and Senators Todd Young and Michael Bennet, respectively, last month.
According to NYIVA’s announcement, venues in the busy New York City metro area will require roughly $300,000 (on average per venue) to sustain their businesses with staff payroll and overhead costs if they are to remain closed through the rest of the year. The announcement also states venue landlords could claim $150,000 in money owed from the past few months. It’s also estimated that over 80% of the city’s venues have no definitive arrangement with their landlords, which could lead to some grey areas of legality to add to the mess of this entire situation.
“Music venues were the first to close and we will be the last to re-open. Most venues are at risk of going out of business if nothing is done,” NYIVA said with Tuesday’s announcement in a press statement. “Our voices are powerful and we must ensure our elected officials realize that no action will result in the forfeiture of NY’s cultural identity.”
Click here to take action and contact your state legislators and help save the backbone of the live music industry before it’s too late. For a full list of members of the National Independent Venue Association, head here.
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