In a growing number of countries, Covid-19 lockdown measures are easing, and some concerts are coming back – albeit with careful social distancing measures. But independent venues are still under threat of closure, as the #SaveOurStages (US) and #SaveOurVenues (UK) campaigns are making clear.
The former campaign, from the National Independent Venue Association, has just coordinated a letter to Congress from artists including Billie Eilish, Dave Grohl, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Neil Young calling for more federal assistance for venues and promoters.
“90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again,” it reminds politicians.
In the UK, meanwhile, the Music Venue Trust (which is behind the #SaveOurVenues campaign) has warned the British government that “an immediate cash injection of £50m is needed to prevent mass closures in July, August and September”. The call, this morning, also asks for a one-off cut in VAT on ticket sales for the next three years, as venues and promoters get back on their feet. As in the US, the Trust is claiming that 90% of venues and festivals are facing permanent closure without more help.