NIVA 2022: Developers Key to Thriving Music Venues, Including DC Concert Halls

Michale Dorf
Michael Dorf addresses NIVA 2022 while Ben Lovett (right) listens during a panel on July 11, 2022.

At the inaugural conference of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) in Cleveland, Ohio, this week, venue proprietors emphasized the importance of real estate in sustaining concert halls.

The driving forces behind two DC venues — City Winery DC and not-yet-opened Art Place at Fort Totten — agreed that becoming a developer rather than relying on outside developers was a potential key to long-term success for music venues.

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NIVA 2022: Independent Venues Set Advocacy Priorities for 2023


NIVA Advocacy Co-Chair Adam Hartke (left) addresses NIVA 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 11, 2022.

The city of Cleveland, Ohio, hosted this week the first annual conference of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), fresh from its massive victory in the fight for a federal grant program to compensate shuttered entertainment halls for more than two years of pandemic closures.

Several sessions of the NIVA 2022 conference focused on the Save Our Stages campaign to assist venues forced to close to support social distancing mandates and stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as the resulting Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program established by the US Small Business Administration in response.

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Around Town: Congress Passes #SaveOurStages Act

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calls for support for music venues outside Brookyn’s Baby’s All Right on Aug. 18, 2020. (Photo courtesy NIVA)

Congress on Monday passed a pandemic relief bill that includes $15 billion for independent venues and promotors, providing a vital lifeline to music venues such as DC’s 9:30 Club, Black Cat, DC9, and others.

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Livestream Preview: Tom Petty’s 70th Birthday Bash @ Twitch, 10/23/20

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Tom Petty (Photo by Mark Seliger)

For the first time ever, the Petty estate is working alongside fans and engaging with the music community to celebrate and pay tribute to Tom Petty.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s special Tom Petty Birthday Bash, honoring what would have been his 70th birthday, will be held virtually on Friday, Oct. 23, with 5 hours of performances, testimonials and tributes to Tom from friends and fans including Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Norah Jones, The Raconteurs, Jason Isbell, a very special performance by Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench and many more.

Watch the performance on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel!

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Preview: Save Our Stages Festival @ YouTube, 10/16-10/18/20

FooFighters
Foo Fighters (Photo by Brantley Gutierrez)

YouTube Music and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) today announce Save Our Stages Festival, #SOSFEST, a three-day virtual music festival featuring all original content on Friday, Oct. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 18, via NIVA’s YouTube channel.

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Around Town: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Presses for Relief for Independent Music Venues

Schumer Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) appears in front of Brooklyn Independent Venue Baby’s All Right with Elsewhere’s Druv Chopra, NIVA Executive Director Rev Moose, Baby’s All RIght’s Billy Jones, and Independent Artist Sean McVerry. (Photo courtesy NIVA)

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer yesterday announced at a press conference that he is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at providing relief to independent live venues, promoters and festivals across the nation. Since the pandemic shutdowns began in March, music venues, comedy clubs, and festivals have been shuttered with no revenue, high overhead and no timeline for when they can fully reopen. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said that if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no meaningful federal assistance, 90 percent of its members would be forced to fold forever.

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Around Town: Senate Heavy Hitters Back Coronavirus Relief for Music Venues

The Honorable John Cornyn (R-Texas) of the U.S. Senate
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks to the Brookings Institution in 2016. (Photo courtesy Brookings Institution)

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) last week introduced the Save Our Stages Act, which would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. These grants would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.

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Required Reading: Why I Support #SaveOurStages

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River Whyless perform at DC9 in 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

“Just as we talked about the community, I think it’s one thing to see an artist or a song in a one dimensional way, but what’s really inspiring is when you see an actual human being onstage with an instrument made of wood and wires, and one microphone, do something so moving that it conjures emotion and you fall into like a romantic state of loving life because people do great things.” — Dave Grohl, Alternative Nation, October 2019

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Around Town: Bipartisan Congressional Coalition Supports Music Venues

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (R-Mo.) addresses the Third Way Think Tank on July 19, 2017. (Photo by Third Way Think Tank)

Congressman Roger Williams (R-Texas) and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) and 91 of their colleagues sent a bipartisan letter yesterday to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy urging congressional support for independent music venues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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