YouTube announced a partnership with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) last month, to help preserve independent music venues across the country through the Save Our Stages initiative. One of these initiatives included the virtual “Save Our Stages” festival, which took place from October 17 to 18, and raised $1.8 million for independent venues.
This event was broadcast for free, and featured 35 different musical acts including Miley Cyrus, Foo Fighters, Reba McEntire, Marshmello, Demi Lovato, The Lumineers, The Roots and YG. Each of the artists broadcast their set from different independent venues across the country during this weekend long event. Some of the archival footage of these sets are currently available on YouTube.
The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund plug-in featured on the event’s YouTube videos indicates that supporters have donated $1.28 million to this cause, with the additional $500,000 coming from merchandise sales. Some of the merchandise for this event included t-shirts, hats, masks, artist-specific posters.
Several prominent politicians have voiced support for helping save independent venues, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holding an event in support of the Save Our Stages Act alongside LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy back in August. Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, wrote a letter to Congress in July expressing support for a similar piece of legislation called the RESTART Act. The Save Our Stages Act was brought forth by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Texas Senator John Cornyn and passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.
“YouTube is a place where artists and fans around the world come to connect and build community,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube Chief Business Officer said in a statement to Variety. “With traditional concerts on hold, never has there been a more important time to support the live music industry through our partnership with NIVA. We’re committed to doing our part in saving independent venues and continuing to bring artists and fans together through music.”