As NIVA’s 3,000 members await the passage of the Save Our Stages Act in Congress to preserve independent music venues across the country, Spotify is continuing to shine a light on their plight by taking over space on the marquees of more than 30 COVID-shuttered music venues and donating a total of $500,000 to those stages and the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, and commemorating memorable concerts that took place at the venues (like the Aladdin in Portland, OR, above) by artists such as The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Childish Gambino and others.
The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund was created to support America’s most vulnerable venues and is intended to provide short-term relief for independent music venue owners and promoters on the precipice of eviction or permanently shuttering due to the COVID-19 shutdown. The fund is intended to work hand-in-hand with federal and local programs, assisting with the most immediate needs facing the country’s independent venues and promoters and making it more likely that they will be able to reopen, fully, when it’s safe.
A NIVA survey earlier this year found that 90% of the nation’s independent venues will be forced to close permanently if they do not receive federal aid.
“As 2020 draws to a close, the live music industry enters month nine of no shows, no income, no federal support, and ever-mounting debts. Music is what connects us all – as Spotify shows us, it’s what helped our friends, our families and our communities get through this tumultuous year,” said Stephen Sternshein, co-founder / treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin. “Everyone’s favorite artists started somewhere, and we’re immensely thankful to Spotify for helping us to tell these stories. The stories that artists like Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, The Strokes, and so many more began on the very stages that today are struggling to survive.”
“In a year that has taken on so many twists and turns, a first reaction might be to look forward and forget the challenging times. However, that would discount all of the amazing work that creators, fans, venues and activists have poured their hearts into this year,” said Dan Brill, Global Group Creative Director at Spotify. “That’s why, instead of turning our backs on 2020, we wanted to give our appreciation for those who gave us hope — the people who, despite challenging circumstances, found ways to infuse magic into our world and give us hope for a better tomorrow.”