Congress to vote on COVID-19 relief package that includes 'Save Our Stages' relief bill for independent music venues


JPEGMafia at Will's Pub. Someday this will happen agaiin - PHOTO BY JEN CRAY FOR ORLANDO WEEKLY
  • Photo by Jen Cray for Orlando Weekly
  • JPEGMafia at Will's Pub. Someday this will happen agaiin
After an agonizing 2020 that saw venues around the country shut their doors (some permanently), Congress over the weekend agreed tentatively on a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that includes the Save Our Stages Act, an economic aid bill for a live music industry still reeling.

"We secured the #SaveOurStages Act for indie music venues, Broadway, comedy clubs, indie movie theaters, and more," wrote Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer on Twitter late Sunday night.

The (also bipartisan) Save Our Stages would provide $15 billion in economic relief grants and funding to independent music venues and theaters around the country. This bill would benefit local independent venues left struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic's gut-punch to the concert economy.

“We’re thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill. We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis," said Dayna Frank, Owner & CEO, First Avenue Productions and Board President of the National Independent Venue Association NIVA.

As of this writing, a vote is still pending on the larger relief bill, but all signs point to it passing both houses of Congress.

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