The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) will launch a second round of non-fungible token (NFT) auctions after its initial sale raised more than $200,000 earlier this month.

NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway will be releasing a follow-up drop today (Friday), with Tove Lo, Dillon Francis, Pabllo Vittar, and Tycho to donate their likenesses for an NFT portrait series called Nifty for NIVA, created by musician and artist Young & Sick.

NIVA, in partnership with fundraising initiative Goldflyer, kicked off its first NFT art fundraiser for independent venues in the US on April 7.

The auction drew support from artists like Shawn Mendes and Tove Lo, who bid on ‘golden ticket’ pieces from 10 different venues, including Los Angeles’ Troubadour and Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club.

The $200,000 raised will directly benefit the 10 institutions as well as the National Independent Venue Foundation, which raises money to assist independent live music venues struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Independent Venue Foundation supports a “transparent, competitive marketplace serving a diverse and inclusive community of artists, fans, and industry workers.”

An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio and other types of digital files and most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain.

Mendes said: “I’m so thrilled to be able to support independent venues like the historic Troubadour with this fundraiser. We are all missing live shows right now, and we need to make sure when touring comes back, that the venues we all love have the support they need to stay open, especially the small independent venues that fuel new artists breaking and earning a living.”

Dayna Frank, president of NIVA and chief executive/owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, added: “This NFT drop included such an incredible collection and the fact that so many of the winning bids were placed by artists who have connections to the independent venues, it’s just really special. Now, these artists are stepping up and supporting the cause even further with this additional NFT portrait drop benefitting NIVA. It’s an honour.”

In addition, The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger said he will donate all proceeds from an audio-visual NFT sale to independent music venues in the US and UK.

The art piece built around his new track Eazy Sleazy, featuring Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on guitar, bass, and drums, will be sold through Nifty Gateway, as a 1-1 piece. The money will be divided between the UK’s Music Venue Trust, Back-up, and US-based NIVA.

The NFT fundraisers come as struggling venues face another hurdle after last week’s crash of the Small Business Administration’s website that continues to delay some $16bn worth of relief that has been expected since it was approved in December.

Image: Justin Higuchi / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size