San Diego

San Diego Music Venues Join Cause Demanding Federal Help During Pandemic

#SaveOurStages is an initiative calling on people to ask their legislators to help independent music venues survive

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Concert venues have been shut down for for the entirety of the pandemic and some feel they've been forgotten about, especially when it comes to economic relief plans.

It’s unclear what will happen next, so many are turning to Washington D.C. to ask for help.

A talent buyer since 2014, Pete McDevitt books some of the biggest names on the Belly Up Tavern stage in Solana Beach.

“Live music lives in the moment. It’s not something that you can necessarily go back to. You know you can go back to your restaurant and have your favorite meal but you might not be able to go back to a venue and see your favorite band again,” said McDevitt.

The county's public health orders have shut down live venues for more than four months now.

“Safety first. So when we can open safely that’s when we will open,” said McDevitt.

In the meantime, to make it to that point, close to 2,000 independent music venues and promoters have formed an national organization called the National Independent Venue Association, or NIVA. The group is pushing the #SaveOurStages initiative that calls on Congress to create a policy that provides federal funding to the industry. Having been introduced to lawmakers, the Restart Act that would create long-term and flexible funding for an industry that doesn’t necessarily benefit from PPP loans.

It’s a lifeline, McDevitt said, that can help push through the uncertainty of a reopening timeline.

“It’s a matter of survival and doing everything that we can just to see through this storm so we can return to business as usual. Who knows what business as usual is gonna look like once things settle down a bit,” said McDevitt.

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