Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, Dave Matthews, the Roots, Brittany Howard, G-Eazy, Leon Bridges, YG, Finneas and Phoebe Bridgers are just some of the 35 acts who will perform at the #SOSFEST, a three-day virtual music festival to spread awareness of the $10 billion Save Our Stages Act currently before Congress, and raise funds for independent venues that are the beneficiaries of the act — if it passes. The act, which is attached to the Heroes Act, is currently before the Senate but delayed by conflicting messages from President Trump.
The festival, which takes place from Friday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 18 is produced by YouTube Music and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and hosted by Reggie Watts. The all-original performances will be staged from 26 different independent venues across the country.
Other performers confirmed so far are: Adam Melchor, Alec Benjamin, Bea Miller, Black Pumas, Brothers Osborne, Cautious Clay, Dillon Francis, Dizzy Fae, Finneas, Gus Dapperton, Jason Mraz, JP Saxe, Kelsea Ballerini, Leon Bridges, Little Big Town, The Lumineers, Marshmello & Demi Lovato, Macklemore, Major Lazer, Miley Cyrus, Monica, Nathaniel Rateliff, Phoebe Bridgers, Portugal. The Man, Reba McEntire, The Revivalists, Rise Against and Sebastián Yatra. The complete list of venues appears below.
#SOSFEST will livestream in its entirety on NIVA’s Official YouTube Channel with segments simultaneously airing on performer’s Official Artist YouTube Channels — with a prominent “donate” button on the right-hand side of the screen.
“The smaller music venues and the ones that are really struggling are not only culturally important, they are emotionally important,” said Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.
“Live concerts are the heart and soul of the music industry so it’s critical we do everything we can to save independent music venues,” said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube.
“There’s not much good in trying to read the Twitter tea leaves — we need Congress and the White House to come to an agreement on the Heroes Act,” says Audrey Fix Schaefer of NIVA. “This underscores the importance of the Save Our Stages Act to the venues that are most at risk.” A NIVA survey in June found that 90% of the independent venues across the U.S. will close if they do not receive federal aid.
“The vibe of this event has been collaborative beyond anything I’ve ever seen,” Ali Rivera, Head of Artist Partnerships and Live Music at YouTube, tells Variety. “Artists moved things around on their schedules to make it happen, and even the acts we approached who couldn’t perform, almost all for logistical reasons, said ‘How can we help in other ways?’”
Stephen Sternschein, who owns the Parish in Austin, Texas (which will host some performances for the festival) and is also NIVA’s board treasurer and executive producer of #SOSFEST, tells Variety, “We’re presenting something like 26 hours of original performances for this, I’m not sure whether anything has been done on this scale since the pandemic began.
“But also, for the first time in months, artists are getting back toget with their teams, venues are getting their crews together and filling their rooms with sound — everybody’s so excited. I actually teared up when I told the Parish staff, ‘Hey guys, we’ve got a show.’ Just to be able to say that was so moving.”
Presented by Bud Light Seltzer who will donate $1 million to NIVA as part of #SOSFEST, and with the help of production and livestream partners Big Room and Bulldog Digital Media, performances are being shot in some of the nation’s most storied independent concert venues, all with the common goal of preserving our nation’s independent venue infrastructure.
“We have proudly partnered with iconic artists and venues around the country and now we want to do our part to ensure that small music venues can remain in business for when we can all come together in-person again,” said Azania Andrews Vice President, Consumer Connections at Anheuser-Busch.
#SOSFEST To Feature Original Performances Recorded Live At Independent Venues: Adam Melchor – Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles, CA), Alec Benjamin – Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles, CA), Bea Miller – Teragram Ballroom (Los Angeles, CA), Black Pumas – The Parish (Austin, TX), Brittany Howard – Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN), Brothers Osborne – Mercy Lounge (Nashville, TN), Cautious Clay – World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA), Dave Matthews – Jefferson Theater (Charlottesville, VA), Dillon Francis – Teragram Ballroom (Los Angeles, CA), Dizzy Fae – First Avenue (Minneapolis, MN), FINNEAS – Teragram Ballroom (Los Angeles, CA), Foo Fighters – Troubadour (Los Angeles, CA), G-Eazy – The Independent (San Francisco, CA), Gus Dapperton – Le Poisson Rouge (New York, NY), Jason Mraz – Belly Up (San Diego, CA), JP Saxe – Troubadour (Los Angeles, CA), Kelsea Ballerini – Exit/In (Nashville, TN), Leon Bridges – Troubadour (Los Angeles, CA), Little Big Town – Exit/In (Nashville, TN), The Lumineers – Boulder Theater (Boulder, CO), Marshmello & Demi Lovato – Troubadour (Los Angeles, CA), Macklemore – Neumos (Seattle, WA), Major Lazer – Gramps (Miami, FL), Miley Cyrus – Whisky a Go Go (Los Angeles, CA), Monica – Center Stage (Atlanta, GA), Nathaniel Rateliff – Boulder Theater (Boulder, CO), Phoebe Bridgers – Troubadour (Los Angeles, CA), Portugal. The Man – Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR), Reba McEntire – Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN), The Revivalists – Tipitina’s (New Orleans, LA), Rise Against – Metro (Chicago, Il), The Roots – Apollo Theater (New York, NY), Sebastián Yatra – Amaturo Theater (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), and YG – Troubadour (Los Angeles, CA).
Additionally Featured Independent Venues: Cain’s Ballroom (Tulsa, OK), Preservation Hall (New Orleans, LA), and 9:30 Club (Washington, DC).