NIVA Announces Second Annual Conference

NIVA 22’ panel with Ethan Millman of Rolling Stone, Michael Dorf of City Winery, Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, Tobi Parks of xBk and Shahida Mausi of The Right Productions.  

Following the inaugural NIVA conference in Cleveland last year, the National Independent Venue Association has announced details for its second event. The conference is set for July 10-12 in Washington, D.C., bringing together executives from the independent music and comedy venues, festivals and the promoter industry.   

“We have an incredible community of music industry stakeholders here in Washington, D.C.,” said Chris Naoum, co-founder of Listen Local First D.C., Down in the Reeds Festival and Vice Chair of the NIVA’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter. “The music and comedy communities rallied together during the pandemic to build a coalition that continues to work together on a weekly basis to advocate for live entertainment and uplift each other through the incredibly difficult times. The coalition we have built is one of the reasons D.C. was chosen for NIVA ‘23 and I am ecstatic that so many members of our community are excited to host this one-of-a-kind event.”

The programming at the conference will include keynote panels featuring industry leaders, members of the media, recording artists, and NIVA members. Panel topics will examine industry diversity, mental health, safety, insurance, economic impact of live entertainment, booking, artist development, ticketing, and the role of live entertainment in policymaking.

Today’s announcement notes that with the event taking place in D.C., there will also be the opportunity to engage with NIVA’s federal and national partners on Capitol Hill, in the Administration and throughout the region. 

“In welcoming the NIVA conference to the District, we look forward to showcasing the independent venues and creatives who keep D.C. the capital of creativity,” The Honorable Washington, D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “And we have a lot to be proud of – from our vibrant Go Go scene, to the venues that have hosted and built generations of music fans, to the festivals that bring Washingtonians together year after year. D.C. residents love going to festivals and shows and supporting artists, and we know the important role our creative community will continue to play in D.C. ‘s comeback. We look forward to bringing NIVA members and industry experts together in D.C., and we’ll see you in July.”

NIVA is bringing the conference to D.C. in partnership with member venues and festivals including All Things Go, Black Cat, DC Improv, DC9 Nightclub, Down in the Reeds Festival, I.M.P. (The Anthem, 9:30 Club and Lincoln Theatre), Listen Local First D.C., National Cannabis Festival, Pearl Street Warehouse, Rhizome, Songbyrd Music House, The Hamilton, The Pie Shop, The Pocket, U Street Music Hall Presents, and Union Stage.

Along with the NIVA programming, the conference boasts a pre-party on July 9, an awards gala July 10 at The Anthem and live performances, with events at multiple NIVA music and comedy venues throughout the D.C. With the conference coinciding with Independent Venue Week, July 10-16, it’s the perfect opportunity to check out shows at your favorite indie venues. 

 “Thousands of music and comedy venues across the country spent 2020 and 2021 focused on making the case to Washington D.C. policymakers that small businesses in live entertainment needed help to prevent the permanent loss of stages in every community, and NIVA’s efforts led to the largest arts investment in U.S. history,” said Stephen Parker, who was named Executive Director of NIVA in January. “This summer, the nation’s music and comedy community will return to D.C. to illustrate why the partnership between government and the independent live entertainment industry must continue beyond the pandemic, to forge the future for independent music and comedy venues, festivals and promoters and to demonstrate their place in America’s culture and economy.”

Early Bird Registration for NIVA members and non-members opens today, with pricing good through April 1. Visit for more information. 

NIVA Names Stephen Parker Executive Director (Exclusive)

NIVA Partners With r.Cup To Reduce Single-Use Plastic Usage