What does the new stimulus package mean for music venues?

The new COVID-19 relief bill provides some much needed help
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Relief is finally on the way for music venues as the industry will see some much needed help after COVID-19 forced their doors to close back in March.

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After months of stagnant negotiations, Congress finally agreed upon a deal that’ll provide aid to individuals and businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The estimated $900 billion package includes a round of $600 stimulus checks sent to individuals as well as aid allocated towards music venues that have been shuttered since the onset of the pandemic.

The new COVID-19 relief bill incorporates the Save Our Stages Act that was first introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). In total, the bill allocates $15 billion towards funding independent theaters and music venues.

“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,” Dayna Frank, Board President of the National Independent Venue Association said in a statement.

“We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.”

The concert industry has faced historic losses in 2020 as a new report from live events publication Pollstar estimated over $30 billion in losses for the industry. This figure includes unreported events, other revenues such as sponsorships, ticketing, concessions, merchandise, transportation, restaurants, hotels, and other economic activity tied to the live events.

The losses just at the box office are staggering as the industry incurred a $9.7 billion loss. At the beginning of 2020, it was projected to set a record high at the box office with $12.2 billion in revenue.

The inclusion of the Save Our Stages Act provides critical funding independent venues needed in order to survive. For months, the National Independent Venue Association has been lobbying for additional federal funding.

An earlier survey found that 90% of the 2,000 music venues in the organization would permanently close without additional federal funding. Now that the bill has been passed, these venues have finally gotten the help they needed to make sure their doors can reopen once live music returns.

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