Live Industry Rallies For RESTART Act, #SaveOurStages Builds Momentum


With Congress set to return to session on July 20, organizations like National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and even the GRAMMYs are encouraging political advocacy to help struggling businesses get access to much-needed aid.

The RESTART Act, sponsored by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Todd Young (R-IN), proposes to extend the period businesses can be covered to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and proposes a new loan program to provide funding to cover six months of operating expenses, some of which can be forgiven, the rest of which can be repaid over seven years.

Sources tell Pollstar the next session of Congress may well determine where relief funding goes for the rest of 2020, so this weekend provides a crucial opportunity to get the ears of congresspeople and Senators to make sure the live industry’s needs are on their agenda.

To this end, the Sens. Bennet and Young organized a national Day Of Action to encourage the industry to show support, which drew support from NITO, the GRAMMYS, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and artists, and is continuing throughout the weekend. The hashtag #SaveOurStages is also becoming a social media rallying cry for those concerned about the survival of independent venues.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”und” dir=”ltr”><a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SaveOurStages</a> <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) <a href=””>July 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Music industry giants: Amazon Music, BMI, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Sony Music Entertainment, Sirius XM + Pandora, Spotify, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group have stepped up to lend their support for the bipartisan RESTART Act. <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#saveourstages</a> <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; National Independent Venue Association (@nivassoc) <a href=””>July 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#RESTART</a> Act will help the hardest-hit businesses––music venues, recording studios, and performers––get back on their feet.<br><br>We’re calling on Congress to pass <a href=””>@SenatorBennet</a> and <a href=””>@SenToddYoung</a>’s legislation<br><br>Join us––take action!<a href=””></a></p>&mdash; GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) <a href=””>July 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Dayna Frank, the cover feature for this year’s Impact 50 issue, is president of NIVA and scheduled to participate in a Pollstar Live! Digital session on Monday, July 20 at 2 p.m. EST/ 11 a.m. PST.

Nadia Prescher, an honoree on this year’s Impact 50, is Co-Founder of Madison House and a founding member of NITO.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Independent music agents, managers, artists, event staff &amp; touring crew <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NITO</a> call on Congress to provide relief to small US businesses by including <a href=””>@SenatorBennet</a> &amp; <a href=””>@SenToddYoung</a> <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#RESTART</a> Act on next pandemic relief bill. LAST CHANCE to provide urgent support for our industry! <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; National Independent Talent Organization (@Nito_Live) <a href=””>July 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Michael Strickland, an honoree on this year’s Impact 50, sent a letter to many in the industry outlining specific ways people can reach out to their Senators and congresspeople to join NAMM’s advocacy for the RESTART act.