YouTube Music and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) on Wednesday announced a partnership with the goal of helping to preserve independent live music venues across the United States through the Save Our Stages initiative.
Details were not immediately available, but the announcement reads, “Together, YouTube and NIVA will work on unique programming that will help bring live performances back into music venues safely. In addition, YouTube will help raise awareness and funding for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund.” Reps for YouTube and NIVA did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for more information.
NIVA is a coalition of independent music venues that formed earlier this year to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of venues and promoters throughout the United States, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 lockdown. The now 2,600-member organization hired the powerful lobbying firm Akin Gump, and got to work. Last month, Senators Amy Klobuchar (a Democrat) and John Cornyn (a Republican) authored the Save Our Stages act, which requests $10 billion in relief for independent venues.
Some 90% of America’s independent music venues expect to shut down within the next few months if they do not receive federal aid, according to a NIVA poll conducted in June.
However, despite a letter signed by everyone from Billie Eilish to Billy Porter to Billy Joel and more than 1.6 million emails sent to legislators, Save Our Stages was just one of many pieces of legislation left off of the table as Congress went into recess last month.
“YouTube is a place where artists and fans around the world come to connect and build community. 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.” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube Chief Business Officer.
“With the entire independent venue and promoter industry on the verge of massive collapse, we’ve been fighting urgently for the Save Our Stages Act which will provide meaningful relief to our members and the independent music community,” said Stephen Sternshein, co-founder / treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin. “YouTube’s direct involvement helps us generate awareness for the plight of independent live music and raise funds for NIVA’s Emergency Relief efforts. This could literally be the difference between some venues going under or holding on until Congress comes back from recess to pass much-needed federal relief. The independent concert industry will be reeling for years to come from the devastating revenue loss related to COVID-19, so we’re excited about what YouTube and NIVA can do together to bring the live experience back.”
The announcement concludes, “This is just the beginning so stay tuned to NIVA’s Official YouTube Channel for more details and official announcements coming soon.”