The Save Our Stages Act was included in the COVID-19 relief bill that passed this week in Congress. The act allocates $15 billion in funding to independent movie theaters and concert venues. The legislation was promoted through the National Independent Venue Association’s Save Our Stages campaign over the past few months which included a streaming musical festival featuring the Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, and many WKQX bands you know well. In a study conducted earlier this year as the pandemic raged on, 90% of NIVA’s 2,800 member venues stated they would close permanently without federal assistance.
The Chicago Independent Venue League which includes beloved music halls like the Metro, the Rivera, Liar’s Club, Bottom Lounge, and many more is expected to benefit from the SOS act. Earlier this year, 101WKQX was proud to hold a 34-hour radiothon to benefit CIVL with Brian, Allie, and Justin doing a lot of ridiculous things on-air to get donations for our friends at the local music venues.
USA Today’s Nicholas Wu tweeted the bill will provide six months of financial support to “keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.”
In a statement following the news, NIVA posted the following statement on their website:
NIVA hopes to work with the Small Business Administration to ensure the emergency relief is dispersed as Congress intended, that the instructions and process to apply for grants ensure that the process is implemented accurately, fairly, and as expediently as possible.
Since it could take many weeks, even months for the funding to flow, the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, with The Giving Back Fund as its 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, continues to raise money to assist the venues at greatest risk of permanently going under as we wait for the grants to be issued.