[UPDATE 4/2/21]: The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and Goldflyer have announced the second round of NFT auctions after their initial digital art auction raised more than $200,000 earlier this month.
Goldflyer is a fundraising initiative put together by Neon Gold Records, Venue Group, and All Things Go, in collaboration with NIVA and ten of the country’s most iconic independent venues: 9:30 Club, Bowery Ballroom, EXIT/IN, First Avenue, The Independent, Mohawk, The Metro, Neumos, Tipitina’s, and The Troubadour.
All ten venue-specific 1 of 1 “Golden Ticket” NFT (non-fungible token) items from the initial auction were sold, with various artists claiming items in order to support their favorite local venues. Notable buyers included musicians Shawn Mendes (The Troubadour), Tove Lo (First Avenue), Dillon Francis (Neumos), Pabllo Vittar (9:30 Club), and Tycho (The Independent).
As Shawn Mendes said in a statement, “I’m so thrilled to be able to support independent venues like the historic Troubadour with this fundraiser. We are all missing live shows right now, and we need to make sure when touring comes back, that the venues we all love have the support they need to stay open, especially the small independent venues that fuel new artists breaking and earning a living.”
Dayna Frank, president of NIVA and CEO/owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, added, “This NFT drop included such an incredible collection and the fact that so many of the winning bids were placed by artists who have connections to the independent venues, it’s just really special. Now, these artists are stepping up and supporting the cause even further with this additional NFT portrait drop benefitting NIVA. It’s an honor.”
The second NIVA/Goldflyer NFT drop, this time hosted by top NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, will take place this Friday, April 16th at 1:30 p.m. ET. Per Variety, the new lots will include collaborations with several of the artists who have already supported the cause. Tove Lo, Dillon Francis, Pabllo Vittar, and Tych have donated their likenesses for “Nifty For NIVA,” a portrait series created by artist Young & Sick.
The second drop comes as most independent venues across the country remain in dire straits following a year of empty stages. While Congress heeded calls for venue support with the Save Our Stages Act, the Small Business Administration‘s online portal for relief grant applications quickly crashed upon launching earlier this week. On Wednesday, the SBA announced that it had finally fixed the initial issues related to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal.
The booming NFT craze and the music industry have begun to intersect in a variety of ways. NIVA is also among the beneficiaries of a new NFT auction by Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl surrounding the release of their new lockdown song, “Eazy Sleazy“. In other music NFT news, the infamous viral “Leave Britney Alone” video just sold as an NFT for more than $40,000.
[4/2/21] Several of the country’s most iconic independent music venues are coming together for a “Golden Ticket” NFT (non-fungible token) fundraiser which will offer fans the opportunity for VIP tickets, exclusive perks, and more when concerts return. Venues set to issue “Golden Ticket” NFTs for the fundraiser, organized Young & Sick and Goldflyer in partnership with NIVA, include 9:30 Club, Bowery Ballroom, EXIT/In, First Avenue, The Independent, Mohawk, The Metro, Neumos, Tipitina’s, and The Troubadour. The collective announcement marks the first-ever NFT launch by brick-and-mortar institutions.
Starting on Wednesday, April 7th at 6:00 p.m. ET, fans and collectors can bid on a series of extremely limited Young & Slick-designed crypto art NFTs specifically designed for each participating venue. Each venue’s 1-of-1 NFT comes with a “Golden Ticket” component, granting the owner of the piece real-life perks at the corresponding venue like VIP tickets and more. Specific perks for each venue’s “Golden Ticket” NFT will be available when the auction launches.
In addition to the 1-of-1 “Golden Ticket” NFTs depicting each of the ten participating independent venues, the fundraiser will also offer a series of open edition collectible NFT pieces, available for a limited time, allowing a broader audience to support the cause. The collection was brought to life by animator Joe Motion, while Goldflyer will collaborate with Offsetra to ensure that the activation in 100% carbon-neutral.
Preview the NFT art collection via MakersPlace ahead of its drop on April 7th. All of the exclusive independent venue NFTs were created by renowned designer Young & Sick (Nick van Hofwegen), a touring musician and trailblazer in the NFT-space whose debut collection recently grossed over $1,000,000 on Nifty Gateway in March 2021.
As Hofwegen said of the collection of “Golden Ticket” NFTs, “Having been inside most of these venues both as a performer and a fan, I jumped at the chance to get involved with NIVA and these iconic venues as fast as I could. I – like most people – can’t wait to go back to seeing live music, and these legendary venues hold a special place in my heart. I hand-drew these venue interpretations with classic show posters in mind. I hope you love ’em as much as I loved making them. Your help is worth so much.”
The fundraiser directly benefits the 10 historic institutions as well as the National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVA), which raises money to assist independent live music venues still struggling due to the ongoing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Independent Venue Foundation supports a transparent, competitive marketplace serving a diverse and inclusive community of artists, fans, and industry workers.
“The outpouring of support for NIVA and these independent venues has helped us through this devastating time,” said Stephen Sternschein, founding board member and treasurer of NIVA and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin. “We’re all really excited to meld this new marketplace of NFTs and our fundraising together to help the National Independent Venue Foundation foster this vital aspect of the live music ecosystem.”
Added MakersPlace’s Greg Harder, “We at MakersPlace are incredibly excited to support this independent venues initiative through the innovation of NFTs and a historic partnership with Young & Sick. With the power and passion of both digital art and music, so much can be accomplished and we couldn’t be happier to be part of it all.”
Having been inside most of these venues both as a performer and a fan, I jumped at the chance to get involved with NIVA and these iconic venues as fast as I could. I – like most people – can’t wait to go back to seeing live music, and these legendary venues hold a special place in my heart. I hand-drew these venue interpretations with classic show posters in mind. I hope you love ’em as much as I loved making them. Your help is worth so much.”
Check out the trailer for the independent venues “Golden Ticket” NFT fundraiser for below.
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