Save Our Stages Initiative Has Congressional Support

#SaveOurStages is a recently launched movement initiated by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), whose mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States. Newly formed in the midst of the impact of the COVID pandemic, NIVA currently includes nearly two thousand venues in all fifty states. These include upstate New York’s Abilene and Anthology in Rochester, Putnam Place and Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs, Cohoes Music Hall, Fanatics Pub in Lima, Troy’s Hangar on the Hudson, The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, the Nelson Odeon, Albany’s Palace Theatre, Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, The Stanley Theater – Utica, The Low Beat – Albany, Saranac Lake’s Waterhole Music Lounge and both The 443 Social Club & Lounge and The Westcott Theater in Syracuse. These are just some of the music businesses that are scrambling to plan a way to reopen when possible, if possible. Stop and think of how many shows and how many bands you’ve seen at these locations and others, and how you would feel if most or any of them went away. It’s easy to get involved with Save Our Stages in a number of ways.

The 443 Social Club & Lounge

There are links on the Save Our Stages website to support NIVA financially and to petition your federal representatives through email and Twitter to urge them to support, cosponsor and pass S. 4258, the Save Our Stages Act. The bill was introduced by Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar and S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act, introduced by Senators Young and Bennet in the Senate and Representatives Golden and Kelly in the House, both of which would ensure the survival of independent venues across the nation. It should be noted that all three of these resolutions and proposed legislation are co-sponsored in bipartisan support. Particularly noteworthy are Cornyn and Klobuchar, whose congressional districts include Austin, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, respectively. Both of those locations have decades of rich musical history.

Funk N Waffles, Syracuse

More than six hundred artists have added their names and voices to this cause, including the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters.

“Live music is built on the foundation of indie music venues. Right now, we need to stand up with them so they can come back stronger than ever. Visit to tell your representatives to #SaveOurStages and keep the music alive. ” 🤘

– Foo Fighters, via Facebook

Currently, legendary venues in these and other cities are struggling and are facing the grim reality of possibly having to shut their doors. Independent music venues are where your favorite musicians got their start. Without these clubs, bars, theaters, and performance halls, we would all have far less enjoyment of, and available choices for live music. If you are an operator or promoter for an independent venue, there is no charge for you to join NIVA, which can be done here. Save Our Stages t-shirts and other merchandise can be purchased here. Support the cause.

The Stanley Theater – Utica, NY. Photo credit: Flashback Photography
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