It is no secret that the music industry is getting hit harder than any other industry in America, and unfortunately, it is not getting any better. With no end to the pandemic in sight, major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella are already forgoing the 2021 summer season and preparing for fall festivals once again. We all are in disarray as we desperately wait for live music to return to the way it was. We have made the best of the cards we’ve been dealt with and found creative, safe ways to enjoy live music, but everyone knows it is not the same. Drive-in raves and socially distant concerts, as fun, as they may be, are not sustainable and certainly won’t save the dying music industry.

I wish it were as simple as snapping our fingers to get live music back once the pandemic is over, but it’s not. The hard pill to swallow is that without venues, our favorite artists can’t perform. One may think that just because festivals are announcing dates that everything will be okay, but the truth is that touring and small venues are the backbone of the music industry. If they fall, everything else falls with it.

Without government funding and financial support, 90 percent of independent music venues could close its doors for good. It would be a devastating blow to the music industry and a steep climb back up.

Recently the House passed the “Heros Act.” which included provisions of the Save Our Stages Act, which would give 10 billion in funding to independent venues. The bad news is that the republican controlled senate is unlikely to pass the bill unless a deal is reached with the Democrats, leaving the “Cares Act’ in limbo.

The good news there is something we can do. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is partnering with YouTube for a 3-day virtual music festival called Save Our Stages to raise awareness and donations for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund to support our most vulnerable venues.

The festival will kick off Friday, October 16, at 8 pm on youtube and end on Sunday the 18th. The festival will host performances by Miley Cyrus, The Foo Fighters, Major Lazer, and more.

You can subscribe on youtube to watch #SOSfest for free and donate at Save Our Stages.

It’s also not too late to take action, by sending a message to your local representatives to drive support for government assistance. NIVA has a letter made up to send if you wish to lend your support.