Dave Grohl, Billie Eilish, and More Ask Congress to Support Local Music Venues

600 artists signed a letter to Congress supporting funding for independent venues

June 19, 2020

“We will know America is ‘back’ when our music venues are filled with fans enjoying concerts safely,” opens a letter signed by 600 artists directed to Congress.

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has been active in campaigning for Congress to provide necessary funding and relief to ensure independent venues across the nation can survive the COVID-19 shutdown.

A group of artists signed a letter putting their support behind NIVA in calling for federal funding to save these venues.

Musicians who signed the letter include Dave Grohl, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, Miranda Lambert, Coldplay, Neil Young, Billy Joel, Gary Clark Jr. Brandi Carlile, Earth, Wind & Fire, David Byrne, Chris Stapleton, Mavis Staples, Carly Rae Jepsen, John Mayer, The Lumineers, Wycleaf Jean, Willie Nelson, Kamasi Washington, Jack Black, Jason Isbell, Maggie Rogers, Kesha, Beck, Ozzy Osbourne, André 3000, and more.

Several comedians and television personalities including David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Sarah Silverman, Ilana Glazer, Eric Andre, and more also added their names in the letter of support.

A recent NIVA study found that 90% of independent venues will face permanent closure in the next few months without federal funding.

The association aims to adjust the current Paycheck Protection Program in order to meet the needs of independent venues. Specifically, they’re seeking the equivalent of six months worth of payroll, benefits, and fixed operating costs such as rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes, and insurance.

In their letter, the 600 artists echoed the funding requests NIVA had previously made while highlighting the economic impact of independent venue closures. “The collapse of this crucial element in the music industry’s ecosystem would be devastating,” the letter states.

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