NIVA Announces Inaugural Conference, ‘Independent AF’ Awards And Formal

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) announced today its next step as a trade organization – NIVA ‘22, its inaugural conference taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, July 11-12. Early Bird registration begins today at the association’s website.

It’s a monumental step for NIVA, which formed out of necessity in 2020 as the independent live concert, comedy, promoter and festival industries faced certain collapse as the COVID-19 pandemic brought business to a dead halt.

NIVA at Rock Hall
NIVA advocacy team at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum prior to being honored at the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. (Photo/Rustin McCann)

The inaugural conference will focus on the future of the live industry and its varied interest groups that have benefited from the existence of the trade organization that formed at the onset of COVID-19 shutdowns.

NIVA created the NIVA ‘22 conference “to provide its diverse members, affiliates, and partners with two days of in-person programming, education, networking, entertainment, and more,” according to a statement.

NIVA ‘22 will also feature an Independent Awards Formal – Independent AF – at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“We started NIVA to help independent venues and promoters survive the pandemic,” said NIVA Co-Founder and Executive Director, Rev. Moose. “Together we fought for and won the passage of the Save Our Stages Act, which resulted in a historic $16 billion emergency relief grant program. Though the impetus was a crisis response, we’ve planned from the very beginning to continue growing NIVA into a full-service trade organization that serves its membership today and in the future.

“Our mantra from the start was ‘First we survive, then we thrive.’ We’re excited to bring the live industry together in a new way that is truly impactful while highlighting the importance of connectivity. Our goal is to create positive momentum within the touring and live industry, altering the course beyond the pandemic and providing the necessary tools for our members to succeed while returning to in-person events and entertainment.”

The importance of NIVA’s formation and continued work – not the least by pushing through the Save Our Stages Act in Congress and winning crucial federal funding for many sectors of the live business, as well as its workers – was noted by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which honored the group’s advocacy during its induction ceremony last year.

“Independent venues are a vital part of rock & roll. For all of us who love this music, these venues have greatly impacted our lives,” said Rock & Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris. “We are honored to welcome NIVA’s members to Cleveland as we host the first-ever NIVA Independent Awards Formal at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to recognize those who work tirelessly to help this music ecosystem thrive. Our shared vision is to champion and support live music and its power to enrich local culture and communities. It connects us all.”

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NIVA ‘22’s daytime program will provide a full schedule of curated events addressing the present and future state of the live industry in the current stage of COVID and beyond, and will focus on new technologies, featuring panels with industry professionals, specialized educational sessions, brand activations, and ample networking opportunities for attendees. Programming topics include safety, inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility, booking, ticketing, and marketing. The events will take place in multiple NIVA-member venues in the host city of Cleveland. During the evenings, conference attendees can take advantage of Independent Venue Week’s concert programming.

The first NIVA Independent Awards Formal, a black-tie gala for members and guests, will be take place Monday, July 11, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

More about registering, media credential applications, and hotel information is available at

Early Bird Registration Now through May 26.

Conference programming and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Register here:
Non-member tickets are available to anyone.

Member pre-sale: $249 (ends May 26)
Member full price: $299
Non-member pre-sale: $599 (ends May 26)
Non-member full price: $699