The Rebel Lounge owner and talent buyer Stephen Chilton sits on the board of the newly formed association

Wire*—The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), whose members, employees, artists and local communities are facing an existential crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are in urgent need of targeted legislative and regulatory assistance. Today [April 22] NIVA sent a letter to Washington leadership proposing solutions to address the unique and dire situation facing the industry. Local Venues including Crescent Ballroom, The Rebel Lounge, The Marquee Theatre, Club Red are strongly supporting NIVA’s ongoing efforts.

“Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handouts,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA Board President and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis. “But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is legitimate fear for our collective existence.”

The letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is HERE.

The Rebel Lounge

The Rebel Lounge

NIVA is comprised of more than 960 of the most influential independent music venues and promoters across 50 states [as of April 24], including The Rialto Theatre in Tucson, The Nile Theatre in Mesa, The Orpheum Theatre in Flagstaff, and Washington, D.C. Independent venues were among the first to close as COVID-19 spread across the country, and unfortunately, are also likely to be among the last to reopen.

Due to unique circumstances such as the indefinite closure of our industry and zero revenue for the foreseeable future, NIVA has requested specific funding programs to assist while we are completely shut down as the result of government mandates.

Crescent Ballroom

Crescent Ballroom

The goal is to enable independent venues to survive the shutdowns, reopen in the future, and once again contribute to the economic revival of our communities. It is estimated that for every $1 spent on a ticket, a total of $12 in economic activity is generated within communities on restaurants, hotels, taxis, and retail establishment.  While we are small businesses, the estimated direct annual economic impact we bring to local communities is nearly $10 billion.

It will likely take months for venues to resume to their full performance schedules, but once they are permitted to reopen, capacity reductions may be required for safety. NIVA is also seeking national guidelines for large gatherings to occur in a safe manner. Uniformity across the country and throughout the industry will ensure artists can resume a tour schedule and fans can come and enjoy shows once again.

NIVA members in Arizona:

Chopper John’s
Rialto Theatre
191 Toole
The Rebel Lounge
Relentless Beats
Club Congress
Club Red
Last Exit Live
Greenhouse Productions
The Pressroom
Nile Theater
Pub Rock
The Lunchbox
National Comedy Theatre
The Trunk Space
The Orpheum Theater
Universatile Music
Yucca Tap Room
Psyko Steve Presents
Phenomenon Concerts
The Rock
Crescent Ballroom
Valley Bar
Phoenix Amazon Entertainment
The Lost Leaf
Celebrity Theatre
Green Room Entertainment
The Pressroom
Marquee Theatre
Lucky Man Concerts

Independent venues and promoters can join NIVA here: NIVA Membership

*DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from trusted sources without translation. Some updates have been made for clarity.