The House of Representatives passed a revised $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, called the “Heroes Act,” Oct. 1 that includes the Save Our Stages Act, which would provide financial support to independent music and live entertainment venues around the country. The Save Our Stages Act would give $10 billion to the independent music venue industry, according to Variety.
The Republican-controlled Senate seems unlikely to vote on the stimulus package, however, unless an agreement is reached between Democrats and the White House.
Harvey Mason Jr., the chair and interim CEO of The Recording Academy, said the Academy is “gratified that this legislation includes support for music creators and thanks Speaker Pelosi and the legislators involved.”
Independent music venues have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as they’ve been unable to operate for more than six months now. Ninety percent of the 2,600 members of the National Independent Venues Association said they will be forced to close permanently without federal assistance, according to Variety. In June, the National Independent Venue Association 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 Save Our Stages Act was written by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Senator John Cornyn. Klobuchar said of the House including the Act in the revised stimulus package: “Independent venues were some of the first establishments to close down and will likely be some of the last to open. I refuse to sit by and let the music die, which is why I was proud to introduce the bipartisan Save our Stages Act in Congress. Now that the new coronavirus relief bill includes Save Our Stages, we are one step closer to getting small entertainment venues the help they need to make ends meet and serve our communities for generations to come.”
In June, more than 600 artists including St. Vincent, Foo Fighters and Bon Iver signed a letter to Congress urging them to help save music venues.
Photo credit: Owen Ela