Nashville’s Mercy Lounge, High Watt and Cannery Ballroom Join National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) created to fight for venue survival amid mandated, extended shutdowns
More than 1,000 venues and promoters across the U.S. have already joined the newly established National Independent Venue Association as industry fights for survival
NASHVILLE, TN (4/27, 2020) – As COVID-19 closures swept Tennessee, independent music venues and promoters were the first to shutdown, and expect to be the last to reopen. Local venues (including Exit/In, The Blue Room at Third Man Records, 3rd & Lindsley, The 5 Spot, and others) have joined the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to fight for survival alongside more than 1,000 other independent venues and promoters across the country to ensure that vibrant local music scenes return after the pandemic has passed. NIVA is headed to Capitol Hill to request emergency relief, and is providing member venues with resources and education to help preserve the live music ecosystems in Tennessee and beyond which play a vital role in each member state’s economy.
With the entire industry at a standstill, independent venues and promoters and the multitude of people they employ are facing an existential crisis – revenues are frozen, while significant overhead and financial obligations remain. With no concrete date of return, leading industry magazine Pollstar estimated a $9 billion loss in ticket sales alone – not counting food and beverage revenue – if venues remain closed through the end of the year. Ninety percent of NIVA members predict they will not be able to reopen if there is no financial support and the shutdown extends to six months — yet there have been forecasts that the shutdowns will go into 2021.
In addition to supporting employees and artists who are dependent upon live music for their livelihoods, the industry serves as a magnet and financial engine for local economies; for every dollar small venues generate in ticket sales, area restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments realize $12 in revenue. While independent venues and promoters are small businesses, the estimated direct annual impact they provide to their local communities nears $10 billion.
When the shutdown swept across the country the music did not just stop – it has put many beloved venues in peril of ever restarting again.
“I’m inspired by the way we’re all joining forces,” says Todd Ohlhauser, owner of the Cannery venues. “We have a chance to preserve the essence of what made Nashville the place to play in the first place. We are all very proud to have remained truly independent all these years and through our joint resources, I believe we’ll be able to successfully persevere through and past the pervasive corporate influence and challenges we all face.”
National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is fighting for the survival of independent venues, their employees, artists, fans and their communities.
NIVA is seeking modifications to small business loans and the Payroll Protection Program, tax relief, mortgage and rent forbearance, continued unemployment insurance for employees and guidance on how to reopen safely when the time comes.
Membership is at no cost to independent venues, and is accessible here: NIVA
Thank you for supporting our venues and independent live music in Nashville.
We can’t wait to see you at shows again soon,
Mercy Lounge Team
Mercy Lounge media contact:
NIVA media contact:
Nashville NIVA Members:
Exit/In, The East Room, The End, 3rd & Lindsley, The Lovenoise Group, The Blue Room at Third Man Records, The Bluebird Cafe, The 5 Spot, Station Inn, Springwater Supper Club, Rudy’s Jazz Room, Drkmttr Collective, Bowe Inc., Apogee Promotions, Mercy Lounge, High Watt, and Cannery Ballroom.
How can you help?
We need your support now more than ever. You can help us and other independent venues in Nashville (and nationwide) by contacting our state representatives and letting them know how important independent live music is to you and the community.
Here’s an example letter (feel free to personalize it):
I’m writing to you today as your constituent, community member, and a music lover. For all those reasons, I ask you to support the National Independent Venue Association’s (NIVA) effort in Washington to protect independent venues and promoters in this time of existential crisis.
Every day in conversations, on the news, and especially in our social media feeds we see wildly hyperbolic messaging. But the reality of this one is that if concerts don’t resume in 2020, 90% of independent venues across America will most likely not open again. Ever. Including the venues in our community.
Of course this is terrible for music lovers but this affects so many more angles. Independent music venues are economic multipliers, community builders, and beloved institutions. A Chicago study estimated that $1 spent at a small venue resulted in $12 of economic activities for neighboring restaurants, hotels and retail shops – and we believe that level of financial contribution is consistent in cities and towns across America. What would our communities look like without them? We must ensure their survival.
Rolling Stone did a pretty in depth piece last Wednesday and I wanted to make sure this was on your radar. It includes NIVA’s letter to Congressional leadership.
Thank you for your extremely hard work for our state and our country in these absolutely uncharted times.
Here’s contact info for our state representatives:
Bill Darden, District Director, Office of Representative Phil Roe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Bill, Legislative Director, Office of Representative Phil Roe: email@example.com
Jennifer Linginfelter, District Director/Communications Director, Office of Representative Tim Burchett: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Witherspoon, Legislative Director, Office of Representative Tim Burchett: email@example.com
Steven Howell, District Director, Office of Representative Chuck Fleischmann: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Tidwell, Legislative Director, Office of Representative Chuck Fleischmann: email@example.com
Richard Vaughn, Chief of Staff, Office of Representative Scott DesJarlais: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Quigley, Chief of Staff, Office of Representative Jim Cooper: email@example.com
Jason Lumia, Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director, Office of Representative Jim Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Foster, District Director, Office of Representative John W. Rose: email@example.com
Alexandra Igleheart, Legislative Director, Office of Representative John W. Rose: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Allbrooks, District Director, Office of Representative Mark E. Green: email@example.com
Jay Kronzer, Legislative Director, Office of Representative Mark E. Green: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Hogin, Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director, Office of Representative David Kustoff: email@example.com
Edward Jackson, District Director, Office of Representative David Kustoff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marzie Thomas, District Director, Office of Representative Steve Cohen: email@example.com
Reisha Buster, Legislative Director, Office of Representative Steve Cohen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Jaynes, Deputy Chief of Staff/State Director, Office of Senator Lamar Alexander: email@example.com
Allison Martin, Legislative Director, Office of Senator Lamar Alexander: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Farrell, Legislative Director, Office of Senator Marsha W. Blackburn: email@example.com
Nick Kistenmacher, State Director , Office of Senator Marsha W. Blackburn: firstname.lastname@example.org