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NIVA Conference to return for second year

The event will be held in Washington DC from 10-12 July, coinciding with the start of Independent Venue Week in the US

By James Hanley on 17 Feb 2023

image © Rustin McCann

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) Conference will return from 10-12 July this year, organisers have confirmed.

The event, which will be held in Washington DC, debuted in Cleveland last July to coincide with the start of Independent Venue Week in the US, and sold out with more than 650 members, industry leaders and policymakers in attendance.

Topics to be discussed for 2023 include industry diversity, mental health, safety, insurance, economic impact of live entertainment, booking, artist development, ticketing, and the role of live entertainment in policymaking, alongside keynote panels.

NIVA ’23 will also give members the opportunity to engage with NIVA’s federal and national partners on Capitol Hill, in the administration, and throughout the Capitol region.

“We have an incredible community of music industry stakeholders here in Washington, DC,” says Chris Naoum, co-founder of Listen Local First DC, Down in the Reeds Festival and vice-chair of the NIVA’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter. “The music and comedy communities rallied together during the pandemic to build a coalition that continues to work together on a weekly basis to advocate for live entertainment and uplift each other through the incredibly difficult times.

“NIVA’s efforts led to the largest arts investment in US history”

“The coalition we have built is one of the reasons DC was chosen for NIVA ‘23 and I am ecstatic that so many members of our community are excited to host this one-of-a-kind event.”

The conference will also include live performances, a pre-party on 9 July and an awards gala 10 July at The Anthem, celebrating live entertainment’s contribution to the nation. Events will take place at multiple NIVA music and comedy venues across Washington DC, with NIVA ’23 once again coinciding with Independent Venue Week.

“Thousands of music and comedy venues across the country spent 2020 and 2021 focused on making the case to Washington DC policymakers that small businesses in live entertainment needed help to prevent the permanent loss of stages in every community, and NIVA’s efforts led to the largest arts investment in US history,” adds Stephen Parker, executive director of

“This summer, the nation’s music and comedy community will return to DC to illustrate why the partnership between government and the independent live entertainment industry must continue beyond the pandemic, to forge the future for independent music and comedy venues, festivals and promoters and to demonstrate their place in America’s culture and economy.”


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