As NIVA’s 3,000 members wait for Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act preserving independent music venues across the country that’ve been crushed by COVID-19 shutdowns, Spotify shines a light on their plight by taking space on the marquees of more than 30 venues and donating $500,000 to those stages and the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund. The headline spaces highlight memorable concerts that took place, including performances by The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Childish Gambino and others.
The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund was created to support America’s most vulnerable venues and is intended to provide short-term relief for independent owners and promoters on the precipice of eviction or closure due to the COVID-19 shutdown. According to their numbers, a staggering 90% of the nation’s independent venues will be forced to close permanently if they do not receive federal aid.
“As 2020 draws to a close, the live music industry enters month nine of no shows, no income, no federal support, and ever-mounting debts. Music is what connects us all – as Spotify shows us, it’s what helped our friends, our families and our communities get through this tumultuous year,” said Stephen Sternshein, co-founder / treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin. “Everyone’s favorite artists started somewhere, and we’re immensely thankful to Spotify for helping us to tell these stories. The stories that artists like Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, The Strokes, and so many more began on the very stages that today are struggling to survive.”
Photo: Sorosh Tavakoli