Act that includes $10 billion in relief for independent music venues introduced in U.S. House


The marquee of Ferndale's Magic Bag. - JIM COHEN
  • Jim Cohen
  • The marquee of Ferndale's Magic Bag.

After weeks of delays, a proposed federal bailout for independent music venues has taken a step forward.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday amended the Heroes Act, a broad pandemic relief bill, to include provisions from the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act.

If passed, the new package would include $10 billion in emergency grants for independent venues, producers, and promoters, most of which have been without income during the COVID-19 crisis. Detroit venue owners have been among those lobbying for the legislation.

"We hope our elected officials come together on COVID-19 assistance in the coming days, not weeks or even months," said Audrey Fix Schaefer, communications director for National Independent Venue Association. "Our small, independent businesses, which normally contribute billions of dollars to local economies, are on the precipice of mass collapse if this critical funding doesn’t come through."

Under the proposal, venues could apply for federal dollars to cover rent, mortgages and utilities and other expenses that have continued to mount during the pandemic.

The Save Our Stages Act was introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, in July, but its progress was halted amid partisan gridlock and a congressional recess.

The House version was introduced by U.S. Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, and Roger Williams, R-Texas.

Fix Schaefer said she was "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects of the bill moving forward, adding that every $1 spent on a concert ticket at an independent venue equates to $12 for area restaurants, bars and hotels.

Michigan-based NIVA members include:

20 Front Street, Lake Orion
Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, Detroit
Aretha's Jazz Cafe, Detroit
Armageddon Beachparty Lounge, Detroit
Audiotree Presents, Detroit
Black Crystal Group, Ann Arbor
Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac
Deluxx Fluxx, Detroit
Diesel Theatre, Chesterfield
El Club, Detroit
Elektricity, Pontiac
Elevation, Grand Rapids
eXodos Rooftop Lounge, Detroit
Flint Local 432, Flint
Fusion Shows, Lansing
Gopherwood Concerts, Cadillac
Grand Circus Media, Grosse Pointe Park
Historic Masonic Temple of Bay City, Bay City
Kalamazoo State Theatre, Kalamazoo
Listening Room, Grand Rapids
Mac’s Bar, Lansing
Magic Bag, Ferndale
MeanRed Productions, Detroit
Meridian Entertainment Inc, Lansing
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
Midland Center for the Arts, Midland
Midtown Music Venture, Detroit
MiEntertainment Group, Grand Rapids
Murray & Peter Present, Southfield
National Rock Review // Dearborn
Necto, Ann Arbor
Obscurrus Diem Productions, Kalkaska
Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette
Otus Supply, Ferndale
Overdrive, Lansing
Park Theatre Foundation, Holland
PJ's Lager House, Detroit
Seven Steps Up Live Music + Events, Spring Lake
St. Cecilia Music Center, Grand Rapids
Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, Grand Rapids
The Acorn, Three Oaks
The Ark, Ann Arbor
The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor
The Block, Muskegon
The Crofoot Presents, Pontiac
The Franke Center for the Arts, Marshall
The Grassshopper Underground, Ferndale
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
The Loft, Lansing
The Machine Shop Concert Lounge, Flint
The Majestic Theatre Center, Detroit
The Marble Bar, Detroit
The Mint, Grand Rapids
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
The Robin Theatre, Lansing
The Sanctuary, Detroit
The Showroom at Younger's Tavern, Romeo
The Stache, Grand Rapids
The Token Lounge, Westland
The Vault, Saginaw
The Ypsi, Ypsilanti
Trinity Horse Theatre, Livonia
Trinosophes, Detroit
TV Lounge, Detroit
Wayside Central, Mount Pleasant
Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids
Ziggy's, Ypsilanti

A version of this story was originally published by our sister paper, San Antonio Current.

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