COVID Lockdown Can Close 90% Of Independent Music Venues In the US
Bon Jovi live in Rio 2017 - BonJovi Archives / Youtube
The continuing string of lockdowns could force the majority of independent music venues in the US – up to 90% – to permanently close down, according to a new survey.
Conducted by the National Independent Venue Association, the survey polled over 2,000 member-respondents across 50 states. They concluded that these small-time music venues would close down without federal funding.
In a statement, NIVA said, “Independent venues were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. Venues have zero revenue, but obligations like mortgage and rent, bills, loans, taxes and insurance continue. We have no work to offer our employees for the foreseeable future. The shutdown is indefinite and likely to extend into 2021.”
To expand further, the association said that opening under quarantine protocols will force venues to reduce their capacities to abide by social distancing guidelines, which is not economically practical, noting that costs “are not on a sliding scale matching the capacity we’re permitted to host.”
“Due to the national routing of most tours, our industry will not recover until the entire country is open at 100 percent capacity. NIVA members need assistance in order to survive until that day,” the statement continued. The association supported it with arguments like how $9 billion are estimated to be lost in ticket sales alone if business were to be closed till the end of the year – inclusive of food and drink revenues. They also said that over 75% of the income of most artists come from live shows, saying “that for every $1 spent on a ticket at an independent venue, a total of $12 of economic activity was generated.”
NIVA president Dayna Frank said, “Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handout. But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is legitimate fear for our collective existence. … NIVA has requested specific funding programs to assist for the duration of the government’s mandatory shutdown. The goal is to enable independent venues to survive the crisis, reopen in the future and once again contribute to the economic revival of our communities.”