Revised COVID-19 Relief Bill Now Includes $10 Billion for the Music Industry
Save Our Stages (saveourstages.com)
Independent venues, producers, promoters and talent representatives have seen financial upheaval due to the pandemic. Without federal assistance, many face permanent closure and layoffs.
On Monday, September 28, one of the numerous COVID-19 relief bills, the Heroes Act, was revised with provisions from the Save Our Stages Act. Totaling ten billion dollars in grants, this bill could help music businesses pay their rent, utilities and other recurring costs.
In July, the Save Our Stages Act was proposed by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX), appealing for ten billion dollars in relief for music venues and businesses. Save Our Stages gained major bipartisan support from the Senate and House of Representatives. Klobuchar states on behalf of Cornyn and herself that “we hope our elected officials come together on COVID-19 assistance in the coming days, not weeks or even months." The importance of keeping the live-music industry alive in this time of crisis can not be understated. "Our small, independent businesses, which normally contribute billions of dollars to local economies, are on the precipice of mass collapse if this critical funding doesn’t come through."
Because live performances typically include an audience, venues were among the first businesses to close and will most likely remain inoperable for a while. But the longer they go without financial support means they're less likely to reopen after a vaccine is produced and we settle into a "new normal."
Though government aid for these venues is potentially on the horizon, it's presumably a long time before the bill is authorized, and for the time being, the live-music industry remains in grave danger. Here are some actions you can take to help protect live-music venues.