Senators Introduce ‘Save Our Stages’ Bill To Help Independent Music Venues

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced the Save Our Stages Act, a relief bill that offers financial support music and entertainment venues around the country affected by COVID-19.

According to a press release, the “Save Our Stages Act” will offer six months of financial support to “keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.” The act is geared towards operators, promoters, and talent reps at primarily small, independent venues.

Grant amounts would range in price – either 45% of a business’ operation costs from the previous year or $12 million in total — whichever is the lesser amount. Venues that are granted the money can use the funds to handle “costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic” as well as bills, such as rent, utilities, and mortgages.

“Minnesota’s concert halls, theatres, and places of entertainment — like First Avenue in Minneapolis, where Prince famously performed — have inspired generations with the best of local music, art and education,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar in a statement. “This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate and serve our communities for generations to come.”

“Texas is home to a number of historic and world-class small entertainment venues, many of which remain shuttered after being the first businesses to close,” said senator John Cornyn. “The culture around Texas dance halls and live music has shaped generations, and this legislation would give them the resources to reopen their doors and continue educating and inspiring Texans beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”

With live music and entertainment not expected to return until 2021 at the earliest, many small venues have been hit hard during the pandemic with 90 percent of venue owners, promoters, and bookers reporting they are at risk of closing without additional financial assistance.

The Save Our Stages Act is endorsed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO). Show your support and learn more about the organization here.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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