NIVA criticises Live Nation’s ‘On The Road Again’ campaign

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The US’ National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has criticised Live Nation’s new campaign to financially support touring artists. 

Live Nation’s ‘On The Road Again’ scheme launched last month, which would see the entertainment company remove merchandise cuts at all of the venues it operates in the US.

The campaign would also see touring artists receive funding to help with fuel and travel over the next few months.

However, as reported by NME, non-profit organisation NIVA criticised the initiative and said in a statement: “Temporary measures may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues which provide the lifeblood of many artists on thin margins.

“Independent venues and promoters are investing in and elevating up-and-coming artists every day, and NIVA is supporting those efforts nationally. The initiative announced yesterday may seem like a move to follow the lead of some independent venues. It is not that.”

The statement added that the entertainment business could make it possible to “divert artists from independent venues and further consolidate control over the live entertainment” with its “immeasurable resources”.

NIVA said that this could threaten small- to medium-sized venues under 3,000 capacity.

“Independent stages, where the majority of artists, musicians, and comedians start their careers, are small businesses and nonprofits. They are continually facing rising costs, increased deceptive ticketing practices in the resale market, and ongoing challenges following the global pandemic. Our stages are critical to the live entertainment ecosystem and local economies, and they must survive,” added the statement.

“The economics of touring must drastically improve for artists and independent venues. There has to be a better way. NIVA will continue to support artists and empower independent venues as we collectively find it.”