Save Our Stages: The Impact of the Pandemic on Independent Venues

One of the fallouts of the coronavirus pandemic is the fact that people can’t go to concerts or shows. This is of course having a devastating impact on venues and the thousands of people they employ.

Listen to the report:

(Download Audio)

Cheryl Liguori, CEO of Z2 Entertainment, says the shutdown has been devastating for the industry. “It all came to a screeching halt on March 13 and none of the venues have been able to open for music events since.”

Z2 entertainment books venues like The Boulder Theater and Fox Theater in Boulder and the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins, as well as seasonal events like the summer series in Chautauqua.

It is likely that venues will be closed well into 2021 due to safety concerns posed by large gatherings.

Liguori says that the entire industry has to come back to make it viable for venues in Colorado to re-open. “Bands have to tour,” she says.

Christian Hee, senior marketing manager at Z2 Entertainment, says thousands of people are impacted by the closure of the venues.

“We have everyone from our marketing team, our managerial team to our bartenders, our security, our production staff. A lot of people I think are really excited that artists have the opportunity to live stream and to make money that way, but our day to day venue staff don’t have that opportunity and they are stuck without an income and not knowing when they can come back.”

Wednesday, July 29 is a day of action to raise awareness of the impact on venues, particularly smaller independent venues. The Save our Stages campaign is asking people to contact their elected representatives to ask them to support two pieces of legislation that would help the industry.

S. 4258/H.R. 7806, the Save Our Stages Act, introduced by Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar, and S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act, introduced by Senators Young and Bennet in the Senate and Representatives Golden and Kelly in the House, would ensure the survival of independent venues across the nation.

According to the Save our Stages campaign, without support from Congress, 90% of independent venues across America say they will be forced to close their doors forever.