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YouTube Music joins NIVA in fight to save US venues in jeopardy

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has teamed up with YouTube Music as part of its Save Our Stages initiative to preserve independent live music venues across the US.

NIVA will work with the Google-owned online video-sharing platform to provide programming that will “help bring live performances back into music venues safely.”

Robert Kyncl, YouTube chief business officer, said: “YouTube is a place where artists and fans around the world come to connect and build community.

“With traditional concerts on hold, never has there been a more important time to support the live music industry through our partnership with NIVA. We’re committed to doing our part in saving independent venues and continuing to bring artists and fans together through music.”

In addition, YouTube will help raise awareness and funding for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, which was created to support vulnerable venues and is intended to provide short-term relief for independent music venue owners and promoters on the precipice of eviction or permanently shuttering due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Stephen Sternshein, co-founder and treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin, said YouTube’s direct involvement could make all the difference when it comes to saving venues from shuttering.

He added: “With the entire independent venue and promoter industry on the verge of massive collapse, we’ve been fighting urgently for the Save Our Stages Act which will provide meaningful relief to our members and the independent music community.

“YouTube’s direct involvement helps us generate awareness for the plight of independent live music and raise funds for NIVA’s Emergency Relief efforts. This could literally be the difference between some venues going under or holding on until Congress comes back from recess to pass much-needed federal relief.

“The independent concert industry will be reeling for years to come from the devastating revenue loss related to COVID-19, so we’re excited about what YouTube and NIVA can do together to bring the live experience back.”

In July, Senator Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn introduced the Save Our Stages Act, which would allocate $10bn in federal funding for independent venues.

Last month, US Senator Chuck Schumer showed his support for the bipartisan bill as he stood with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Rev. Moose of NIVA and others at a press conference outside of Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn to voice his backing.