As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit our economy hard and the music industry is not exempt from this. With bands not being able to tour and play live shows, not only are the artists and their crew not getting paid, but the live music venues are also severely suffering.
To help the independent music venues, 2 U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX), have introduced a new relief bill that will help provide the necessary funds for these independent venues to survive.
The Save Our Stages Act, asks that $10 billion be given out over the course of 6 months, thru grants. The maximum a venue can receive is $12 million or 45% of the venues operating costs last year, ultimately whichever is less. The money can be used to help with any costs that happened during the pandemic. The money can also be used to pay their rent/mortgages, building maintenance, PPE, utilities, taxes owed, and anything that could help the venue meet social distancing guidelines provided by their local and federal governments.
Amy Klobuchar stated, “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. This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate and serve our communities for generations to come.”
John Cornyn also said, “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. 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.”
Adam Hartke, from the National Independent Venue Association, released a statement saying: “While existing government assistance programs have helped other industries, they weren’t tailored to meet the needs of small businesses like ours that have zero revenue, enormous overhead and no visibility into when we can fully re-open. The Save Our Stages Act will provide the assistance we need to get through the shutdown until we can reopen safely and once again become the economic generators for our communities that we’ve always been.”
While the bill has yet to be approved by the Senate and House before ultimately being signed by the President, many feel that it is a step in the right direction.