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Photo by Sebastian Ervi on Unsplash

Senators Are Proposing A Bill to Protect Independent Concert Venues

The bill would provide six months of financial support for independent concert venues.

For the past few months, many festivals and concert venues have closed their doors permanently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of industry professionals have pleaded with the government for financial support during shutdowns across the country. On Wednesday, two senators proposed a bill to support venues impacted by the shutdown.

The move comes on the heels of relief bills like the RESTART Act.

Senators John Cornyn from Texas and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced the "Save Our Stages" bill on Wednesday. If passed, independent concert venues would receive six months of financial support. The grant amounts would be the lesser option between 45% of their business operation costs from 2019 or $12 million. The recipients would be able to use the money in a variety of ways including: to cover costs incurred during the pandemic, and pay rent, utilities, mortgages, PPE costs, maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, and expenses that would allow venues to meet local and federal social distancing guidelines.

"Minnesota's concert halls, theaters, and places of entertainment," Klobuchar said in a statement, "like First Avenue in Minneapolis, where Prince famously performed, have inspired generations with the best of local music, art and education. This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate and serve our communities for generations to come."

"Texas is home to a number of historic and world-class small entertainment venues," Cornyn added, "many of which remain shuttered after being the first businesses to close...this legislation would give them to reopen their doors and continue educating and inspiring Texans beyond the coronavirus pandemic."