Following days of negotiations between leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress, independent music venues are finally going to get relief from a newly-ratified bill.

As part of the $900 billion legislation, the aid package includes “$15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions,” according to an email from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as $300 per week unemployment insurance enhancement for the millions of Americans out of work during the pandemic, including nearly 100,000 live music professionals. This move comes far after NIVA announced that 90% of America’s independent music venues would shut down within the next few months if they did not receive federal aid.

“We’re thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill,” says Dayna Frank, owner and chief executive of First Avenue Productions and board president of the National Independent Venue Association.

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Photo: Luis Levrato