Shuttered since March with no reopening dates in sight, America’s independent concert venues are in dire financial straights. Bills are still coming; tickets have been refunded, comprising “negative revenue.” Running a venue is a fledgling enterprise under the best of conditions and under an on-going pandemic, it’s impossible, which is why nearly 2,000 independent venues have banded together to petition Congress for targeted legislation to help them survive, and they need your support.
Head over to saveourstages.com to send a modifiable form letter to your Congressional representatives, asking them to support the RESTART Act and the SAVE OUR STAGES Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation introduced by senators Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn, which will help venues to survive until they can safely reopen. It only takes a moment, but demonstrating your support could be the difference between having this essential part of the music ecosystem when this is over and losing out.
The letter makes a case for the economic impact of the venues, explaining that “these venues drive significant spending at other businesses, as much as $12 for every dollar spent on a ticket in small music venues to $5 million a month in economic impact from larger regional centers. In cities and towns across America restaurants, bars, hotels, airports, taxis, and retail shops, our communities will suffer without these significant economic drivers….Closing our stages impact the entire live performance economy and ecosystem in America – artists, talent agents, stagehands, ushers, security, restaurants and concessions, artist managers, tour bus industry, production, radio/social media/tv/print advertising, record companies, and many others.”
Making Afropop as we have wouldn’t be possible (or nearly as much fun) without the late nights at (le) Poisson Rouge, Baby’s All Right or Barbès and all of them are threatened right now, and even large organizations like BRIC, which produces Celebrate Brooklyn, and City Park’s Foundation, which runs SummerStage, are hurting too.
They've given us unforgettable musical experiences with the artists we love, and they need your support. Now is the time to tell your representatives—and then tell your friends—that live music is important to you.