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Spotify joins with NIVA to help US grassroots venues

The streaming giant has donated $500,000 to NIVA's emergency relief fund and unveiled campaign marquees on shuttered venues

By IQ on 02 Dec 2020

Spotify's marquee for Alicia Keys at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee

Spotify's marquee for Alicia Keys at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee

Spotify has partnered with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), the newly formed alliance of US grassroots music venues, to help independent music venues across the US that have been shuttered throughout the pandemic.

The streaming giant has donated $500,000 to NIVA’s emergency relief fund for grassroots venues, which are still waiting to find out whether the Save Our Stages act will pass through Congress.

As part of its #2020wrapped campaign, Spotify has also taken over space on the marquees of more than 30 closed music venues to commemorate classic gigs that have taken place on the stages.

The campaigns include Alicia Keys at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee (pictured); Lady Gaga at The Ritz Ybor in Tampa; Childish Gambino at The Aladdin in Portland, The Weeknd at The Orange Peel in Asheville and Jessie Ware at Centre Stage in Atlanta.

“Everyone’s favourite artists started somewhere, and we’re thankful to Spotify for helping us to tell these stories”

“As 2020 draws to a close, the live music industry enters month nine of no shows, no income, no federal support, and ever-mounting debts. Music is what connects us all – as Spotify shows us, it’s what helped our friends, our families and our communities get through this tumultuous year,” says Stephen Sternshein, co-founder and treasurer of NIVA, and managing partner of Heard Presents in Austin.

“Everyone’s favourite artists started somewhere, and we’re immensely thankful to Spotify for helping us to tell these stories. The stories that artists like Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, The Strokes, and so many more began on the very stages that today are struggling to survive.”

Dan Brill, global group creative director at Spotify says: “In a year that has taken on so many twists and turns, a first reaction might be to look forward and forget the challenging times. However, that would discount all of the amazing work that creators, fans, venues and activists have poured their hearts into this year.

“That’s why, instead of turning our backs on 2020, we wanted to give our appreciation for those who gave us hope — the people who, despite challenging circumstances, found ways to infuse magic into our world and give us hope for a better tomorrow.”

The Save Our Stages Act stimulus package, which is part of the ‘Heroes Act’, includes a US$10 billion grant programme designed to provide financial support for live venue operators, promoters, producers and talent representatives in the US.


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