Home Around Town Around Town: Emergency Relief Funds for Music Venue Staff

Around Town: Emergency Relief Funds for Music Venue Staff

Around Town: Emergency Relief Funds for Music Venue Staff

2020.03.16 DC People and Places in the Age of Coronavirus, Washington, DC USA 076 05012
A sign announcing a coronavirus closing (Photo by Ted Eytan)

DC has closed its music venues to efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19). As such, staffers at concert halls around town are out of work.

Management at several music venues have established relief funds for their workers, allowing the public to donate directly to efforts to provide money directly to venue staff.

Should you ever have enjoyed a show at any of the venues below, please consider a donation to thank the hard-working staff who helped make it a great experience. Parklife has compiled a list below of music venues administering support funds, along with a statement posted by the management of each.

Parklife will udpate this list as relevant. Feel free to add info on relief efforts for music venue staff in the comments.

9:30 Club and The Anthem

We always say we have the best staff in the world, and right now they need us more than ever.

The prohibition of gatherings in the city was just extended to April 27, which frankly, is painful. The majority of our hourly staff is effectively out of work until we are able to reopen, which is why we’ve created the IMP Family Fund to assist in these difficult times.

Starting right now, IMP will match the value of every gift card purchased in the next week (through March 28) with a donation to the IMP Family Fund. Your gift card purchase is really a double whammy. Not only does it help our staff now, it is support for future concerts, artists and the venues when we reopen. (We cannot wait for that day!) What’s more, Friends With Benefits members will earn double points on the gift card purchase.

So, head on over to our merch page, and grab a gift card (or maybe a few) today to use for tickets to a future show, merch or concessions, and know that the same amount will go towards helping out our stellar team.

(Editor’s note: This is a great deal, as not only are you donating to out of work employees but you are getting club credit in the same amount for yourself!)

Contribute to the IMP Family Fund

Black Cat

It is no understatement to say that the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has affected everyone in unique ways. Small businesses have been particularly hard-hit, and the employees of those businesses even more so.

For more than 25 years, the staff of the Black Cat has been at the core of the club’s identity. We’re a family. Today the Black Cat family needs your help. The club, like many others, is now closed and our staff out of work until late April (if not longer).

Many of you have asked how you can help and we’re thankful for your concern. We’ve created this fund to collect donations for the employees of the Black Cat. 100% of the donations raised will go to our staff.

Donations will be matched by Black Cat owners Dante and Catherine Ferrando.

Thank you and we’ll see you soon.

Contribute to the Black Cat Employee Fund


Due to the Mayor’s emergency ruling that all nightclub licensed establishments must close immediately due to the COVID-19 outbreak, DC9 will be closed until further notice.

We appreciate all of the love that we have received throughout the years of operation and look forward to many more.

We ask that you please support nightlife friends in these troubled times.


Management and Staff of DC9 Nightclub

Donate to DC9 staff

Songbyrd Music House

As our industry continues to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Songbyrd Music House has been forced to close our doors indefinitely for gatherings, shows and events. While we continue to monitor this situation, the reality is that over 40 of our hourly employees and gig workers are out of work, and with an uncertain economic future.

It’s absolutely imperative to us that the same people who have given their time to lifting up our artists, patrons, and community for the past 5 years in Washington D.C. are also taken care of in their time of need.

We ask that if you are able, please consider donating to our GoFundMe. 100% of the funds donated toward our goal will go to supplementing the income of our night-time hourly and gig staff until we can open our doors again to you.

Stay healthy, be kind to one another, and we can’t wait to see you all on the other side of this.

Donate to Songbyrd staff

Union Stage and Jammin’ Java

In light of the recent health & safety concerns, Union Stage & Jammin Java have been forced to postpone all events for the foreseeable future, with no end in sight.

As a result, our beloved staff is feeling a major impact – especially our hourly workers, who are looking at little to no income over the next several weeks. This includes our door staff who greet you all, our servers and bartenders who keep your glasses full and the good times flowing, and our cafe and event staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our venue clean and keep the crowds fed.

We have always said that our staff are the “secret sauce” that sets our clubs apart. We are now asking the Jammin Java and Union Stage community to ensure our staff have a job to come back to after this terrible pandemic passes. Their work, along with the support of live music lovers like you will keep the clubs alive and vital for many years to come.

Please consider making a donation to this fund. Every cent goes straight to the staff. We will be matching all donations made up to $20,000.

With the deepest gratitude,

Luke, Jonathan, and Daniel Brindley

Donate to Union Stage and Jammin’ Java staff

U Street Music Hall

This is a difficult moment in time for us all.

On March 11, the D.C. government recommended the postponement of mass gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Later that day, U Street Music Hall made the difficult but important decision to shut its doors to the public in support of this measure. By the end of the week, an emergency ruling was put into place that required many D.C. nightlife and hospitality establishments city-wide—including U Hall—to close until further notice. This was to be the first day of U Hall’s weeklong 10-year anniversary celebration.

We absolutely understand why this decision was made. We have a great responsibility to our community to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But the closures no doubt have hit the music and nightlife community particularly hard, and as a result, our team is feeling this impact.

We owe the success of U Hall in large part to the incredible work of our bar staff, barbacks and cleaning staff, security personnel, box office and coat check employees, production staff, and the many wonderful people behind the scenes that make our shows go off without a hitch. They depend on the income made from our shows to support themselves and their families and they are feeling the effects of our temporary closure the most.

So if you are in a position to do so and are a fan of U Hall, we kindly ask for your financial support during this time of need. All donations from this fund will directly benefit U Hall’s staff.

U Street Music Hall has added donation incentives and prizes. See the GoFundMe account for more details.

Donate to U Street Music Hall staff.

City Winery

Little did we know a few days ago that the hospitality and entertainment industries, the very ones whose passion and existence is designed to bring people together, would be confronting the reality that our purpose is now a threat to the community.

On Sunday evening, City Winery made the very difficult decision to cease operations due to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

We want nothing more than to regain normalcy and revive the beating pulse of our company by being able to re-employ all of our temporarily laid-off team members.

Please consider making a donation to support our affected team members. After 30 days, we will distribute all accumulated funds equally amongst all temporarily laid-off employees. We understand that many of you may also be struggling personally right now, so if you cannot donate, please consider sharing our efforts with your friends & family. Thank you.

We sincerely look forward to welcoming you home.

Donate to City Winery staff



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