A newly formed organization of independent venue owners, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), has sent a letter to Washington appealing for help and proposing solutions for their industry during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Local venues supporting the efforts include 1720, the Bootleg Theater/Sid the Cat Presents, the Fremont Theater, Ham and Eggs, Hotel Café, Junior High, L’Affaire Musicale, Largo at the Coronet, the Rainbow Bar and Grill, SOhO, the Teragram Ballroom, the Hi Hat, the Satellite, Troubadour, Whisky A Go Go, Wisdome LA and Zebulon.
“Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handouts,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA Board President and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, in a press release. “But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is legitimate fear for our collective existence.”
The letter, sent to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, expresses concerns about the fact that concert venues may well not be permitted to reopen until 2021 as we seek to protect the health of everyone.
“In our present situation, in order to ensure public health, we have no opportunity to generate revenue and we have no work to offer most of our employees,” the letter reads.
It goes on to suggest solutions in the form of tax relief, unemployment insurance, and mortgage and rent forbearance.
They stress that they are not looking to reopen until it is safe to do so, and with safety policies in place, but that their industry is in crisis and requires help.