90 Percent of Independent Venues May Close if Lockdown Continues
A startling new survey published by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) claims that up to 90 percent of independent music venues could close if lockdown reaches the six-month mark.
The United States, along with other countries, has been on lockdown for roughly three months, causing the closing of all non-essential business. As states continue to open back up, live entertainment will be one the last industries to return, especially when it comes to large, indoor gatherings.
Ninety percent of NIVA members claim they’ll be forced to cease operations if lockdown lasts another few months and if additional federal funding is not allocated. NIVA breaks down the situation further:
● Independent venues were the first to close and will be the last to reopen.
● Venues have zero revenue, but obligations like mortgage/rent, bills, loans, taxes, and insurance continue.
● We have no work to offer our employees for the foreseeable future.
● The shutdown is indefinite and likely to extend into 2021 as our venues are in the last stage of reopening.
● The ability to open at partial capacity is not economically feasible. Rents, utilities, payroll, taxes, insurance, and artist pay are not on a sliding scale matching the capacity we’re permitted to host. They are fixed costs.
● Due to the national routing of most tours, our industry will not recover until the entire country is open at 100 percent capacity. NIVA members need assistance in order to survive until that day.
NIVA continue with a breakdown of the shutdown’s impact on their industry:
● According to a survey of NIVA members, 90 percent of independent venues report they will close permanently in a few months without federal funding. Current PPP funding will not solve the crisis.
● Pollstar estimates a $9 billion loss in ticket sales alone - not counting food and beverage revenue - if venues remain closed through 2020.
● Live events provide 75 percent of all artists’ income.
● For every $1 spent on a ticket at small venues, a total of $12 in economic activity is generated within communities on restaurants, hotels, taxis and retail establishments.
● The estimated direct annual economic impact venues bring to local communities is nearly $10 billion.
Many independent venues have been forced to crowd fund to remain open. Thankfully, beloved New York City venues like St. Vitus have been able to crush their goals, with Vitus supporters pledging $130,000 when only $15,000 was needed.
For updates on how all 50 states are reopening, click here.
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