Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Texas’ John Cornyn have introduced a new bill called the Save our Stages Act, which would provide up to six months of support for independent live music venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Paste Magazine, the bill been endorsed by both the National Independent Talent Organization and the National Independent Venue Association.
Both mayors have issued statements regarding the bill “Minnesota’s concert halls, theaters, and places of entertainment, like First Avenue in Minneapolis, where Prince famously performed, have inspired generations with the best of local music, art, and education,” Klobuchar stated. “This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate, and serve our communities for generations to come.”
Senator Coryn stated “Texas is home to a number of historic and world-class small entertainment venues, many of which remain shuttered after being the first businesses to close. He continues “The culture around Texas dance halls and live music has shaped generations, and this legislation would give them the resources to reopen their doors and continue educating and inspiring Texans beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”
If passed, the act will let recipients to allocate grant money towards rent, utilities, PPE, administrative costs, taxes, mortgages and all costs incurred from the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Independent Venue Association recently projected that around 1000 live music venues across the country could close, if they failed to receive federal aid due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. The letter also states that the venues generate $9 billion a year to local economies. More than 600 artists including St. Vincent, Foo Fighters and Bon Iver also signed a letter to Congress last month urging them to help save music venues.
A RESTART act had also begun, which is a bipartisan piece of legislation to assist businesses affected by “long-shuttered with dramatic loss of revenue, high overhead and no clear timeframe for fully reopening. President of the National Independent Venue Association Dayna Frank stated “Venues are already folding and with every day that passes with no government support, the risk heightens. The stark reality is If RESTART doesn’t become law before Congress goes out for recess in August, this industry will collapse.”
Photo Credit: Owen Ela