YouTube Music and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) have announced a partnership with the goal of helping to preserve independent live music venues across the United States through the Save Our Stages initiative. NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues, such as Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion and Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, and promoters throughout the United States.
Together, YouTube and NIVA will work on programming that will help bring live performances back into music venues safely. In addition, YouTube will help raise awareness and funding for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund.
NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund was created to support America’s most vulnerable venues and is intended to provide short-term relief for independent music venue owners and promoters on the precipice of eviction or permanently shuttering due to the COVID-19 shutdown. The fund is intended to work hand-in-hand with federal and local programs, assisting with the most immediate needs facing the country’s independent venues and promoters and making it more likely that they will be able to reopen, fully, when it’s safe.
“YouTube is a place where artists and fans around the world come to connect and build community. With traditional concerts on hold, never has there been a more important time to support the live music industry through our partnership with NIVA. We’re committed to doing our part in saving independent venues and continuing to bring artists and fans together through music,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer.
“With the entire independent venue and promoter industry on the verge of massive collapse, we’ve been fighting urgently for the Save Our Stages Act which will provide meaningful relief to our members and the independent music community,” said Stephen Sternshein, co-founder/treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin. “YouTube’s direct involvement helps us generate awareness for the plight of independent live music and raise funds for NIVA’s Emergency Relief efforts. This could literally be the difference between some venues going under or holding on until Congress comes back from recess to pass much-needed federal relief. The independent concert industry will be reeling for years to come from the devastating revenue loss related to COVID-19, so we’re excited about what YouTube and NIVA can do together to bring the live experience back.”