The positive impact the National Independent Venue Association has had on the live industry since its launch during the early days of the pandemic – from providing a sense of community and supporting independent sites with the relief fund NIVA emergency to the passage of the $ 16 billion of sites closed Grant Operators – cannot be overstated. But NIVA doesn’t stop there.
As Reverend Moose, Managing Partner / Co-Founder of Music Marketing Company Marauder and Executive Director of NIVA, says, Poll Star, “It’s an industry where you are only as good as your last hit. ”
Reflecting on how NIVA went from being an organization only made up of volunteers to hiring professional staff and becoming a true business organization, Reverend Moose explains that from the first conversations he and his fellow founders knew they were were building NIVA as a 501c6.
While helping get SVOG enacted, NIVA was working behind the scenes on forward-thinking plans, including NIVA Care Medicare, which Reverend Moose says “we’re incredibly excited about,” as well as a dues system. membership and the establishment of a system of chapters being rolled out at the national level.
Audrey Fix Schaefer, NIVA board member and communications manager for promoter IMP, notes that the chapter system will help “venue operators, promoters and festivals – albeit competing – to build a community on things that they are on the same side of the table with. i.e. ordinances on noise, tax matters, employment matters, etc. ”
The SVOG portal is now closed and is in the process of awarding all initial approved grants, as well as additional grants to entities that have secured initial funding and still experienced a 70% loss in revenue this year compared to 2019.
There is also an appeal process to allow those who believe they have been wrongly denied a grant to re-assert their case. Schaefer says, “It’s not over, but we are really getting closer.
Pollstar: Are you still on top of SVOG’s success?
Rev Moose: If Save Our Stages and the Shuttered Venue Operators move was 2020, [in] 2021 we’ve been working on some important programs, NIVA Care being one, and the transition to paid membership and full-time staff being another.
We are deploying the National Independent Venue Foundation in a more targeted way than we were doing last year with the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund. And that in itself is a huge accomplishment. The Emergency Relief Fund distributed over $ 3 million in grants in a very short period of time. And now, we are reconfiguring this fund so that we can be more responsive on a case-by-case basis. So when there are tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, floods, etc., affected sites and developers can apply for immediate funding while they are still evaluating the various insurance coverages. that they can or not. have. This did not exist before.
You know, the American way is if you’re in deep trouble, you’ve got to GoFundMe somewhere. For our industrial sector, this is a way of approaching this from an institutional level that would not have existed otherwise. And that’s just one of the programs our foundation is working on. But I think that’s going to be the kind of thing we’ll look back on and wonder how either of us could have functioned without it.
What can you share about the NIVA membership dues system?
Really, it’s about trying to create the fairest environment possible. And to us, we’re a trade association for people who are truly Sole Owners and, you know, we take care of the booking and ticketing management, the grand opening and sweeping and everything in between. ‘to people who own multiple properties in multiple states and employ thousands of people.
We need to find a way to serve everyone across this gap. It ranges from performing arts centers to comedy clubs, from amphitheatres to rock ‘n’ roll holes in the walls – all of these make up NIVA membership and they are just as important for us to strive to move from the front. We’ve done our best to get the message across that we’re not going to turn away someone who really wants to be a part of the organization if membership rates are beyond their means. We will find a way to include anyone.
And what about NIVA Care?
Behind the scenes, these volunteers have worked diligently for over a year and a half trying to basically identify what our options are to be able to help deliver better insurance programs, not just on a health plan but on a plan. commercial. also.
It is a program that has enabled independents to compete nationally in ways they might not otherwise have been able to. And I think that’s really where we see the bulk of our effort going into ways to help our members not only be competitive but also serve the community and be able to help provide care. health. It is a necessity. It is something that we should all be lucky enough to have. And I think that’s part of what we’re trying to do, is just make that career path an option for people who maybe couldn’t have done it in the past.
NIVA also has a partnership with the Bindle verification app, which allows users to securely store their COVID-19 tests and vaccine records.
How is planning for the first NIVA conference going?
Anything else you wanted to add?
It’s been a group effort from day one. Everything that has been accomplished has been accomplished because a lot of really talented people have chosen to work together. And this is the case on the volunteer side, it is the case on the staff side. It’s certainly relevant for us to work with our partners and those who help with the fundraising programs and the foundation, the association, all the different elements. Every aspect of what you see is due to the fact that there are a lot of good people choosing to work together. Aside from the financial benefits of the Shuttered Venue Operators grant, I strongly think this is the real realization of what we have been able to achieve together.