The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) projected a month ago that around 1000 live music venues across the country could close, if they failed to receive federal relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. This association has now updated those figures in a new study, which has now found that 90 percent of venues could close permanently without this aid if the shutdown continues for six or more months.
NIVA is calling on Congress to modify the Paycheck Protection Program, so that it helps cater to the needs of independent venues. The group is seeking federal funding for six months’ worth of payroll, benefits, and fixed operating costs such as rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance, which still need to be paid despite the venues not being in operation.
The association also cited figures made by healthcare experts and state governments, which have called on delaying the reopening of large gatherings until a vaccine is available to the public. California Governor Gavin Newsom stated that concerts are unlikely to return to the state until “therapeutics” for COVID-19 are available, while a healthcare expert speaking to the New York Times stated that concerts are unlikely to return until fall 2021.
“Live event venues were among the first to close as COVID-19 spread across the country, and they are likely to be among the last to reopen,” reads a letter sent to both chambers in late May. “Concerts and live events may not be possible until a vaccine is readily available to the public, which could be months away. Until that time, live event venues will remain shuttered, leaving employees without jobs and businesses without revenue.”
Photo Credit: Owen Ela