NIVA’s #SOSFest Raises Nearly $2 Million For Independent Music Venues

The three-day virtual Save Our Stages festival, held Oct. 16-18 via the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)’s YouTube channel, featured more than 30 artists, including Reba, Brittany Howard, and Little Big Town, offering live performances from 25 historic indie music venues across the nation.

The festival raised more than $1.8 million to aid independent music venues that have been forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds raised include donations from YouTube Giving’s donate button, #SOSFEST merchandise sales, the Save Our Stages official website and more.

NIVA was launched this year in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown, and now represents more than 2,900 members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. According to NIVA, 90% of closed venues report that they could be forced to shut down permanently if they do not receive aid, and many have already closed.

NIVA has been aggressively lobbying Congress to pass legislation to help indie venues weather the pandemic and support the Save Our Stages Act, which was authored by Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn in July. On Oct. 1, the House of Representatives passed the revised HEROES Act stimulus package, a $2.2 trillion package which includes provisions of the Save Our Stages Act.

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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