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Independent venues: the backbone of the live music industry  ·  Source: Pixabay

A new relief bill called the “Save Our Stages” act has been proposed in the USA. The bill sets out to provide relief for independent live venues currently at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Help for independent venues

For those of us who gig and work within the live industry, independent venues are a crucial part of our landscape. Indeed, think back to some of the most exhilarating gigs you’ve played. We suspect you were probably playing at a privately owned independent venue.

We all know how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has hit us, and it should be noted that independent music venues have perhaps been hit hardest of all. High rents, insurance and other fixed costs still need to be paid even if punters aren’t coming through the doors.

You’ll have noticed that most regular businesses have been able to slowly reopen; you can even go out for a meal at a restaurant. On the other hand, your favourite live venues are likely to be closed for the foreseeable future. With no income and bills to be paid, things are looking bleak for our independent venues.

Save Our Stages

Recognising the crisis at hand, two US Senators have proposed the “Save our Stages” relief act. The bill’s sponsors are senator Amy Klobuchar and Texas senator John Cornyn. If the bill passes, it will provide $10 billion of government aid for independent venues. We think this is a much welcome and needed response. But other governments should be thinking about bold measures like this one. Independent music venues are the backbone and lifeblood of live music. One day, when this pandemic is over, we’ll all want to go back to playing live shows. That simply won’t be possible if the venues we love aren’t there to go back to.

We’d love to see schemes like this pop up globally. Without a doubt, everyone reading this will have a local venue currently in need of help. It’s time to get behind independent venues and ensure we have a live scene to come back to.

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