As COVID-19 made its sweeps throughout all industries this year, one of those first to leave (and probably the last to come back) are music venues.
Earlier this year, the National Independent Venue Association estimated 90% of independent concert halls and clubs to shutter. A study from Pollstar projected a near $9 billion loss in ticket sales from these venues if their doors remained closed.
For some venues, like "The Satellite," the pandemic forced live music operations into a premature swan song. Others, like Chain Reaction in Anaheim, are holding on with the support of community donations.
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn authored the “Save Our Stages Act,” a bipartisan bill that would allocate $10 billion to independent venues. In July, the act was stalled out in favor of a larger pandemic relief bill, thus leaving many live music venues without a substantial federal lifeline.
But on Tuesday, the Senate had a two-hour hearing, listening to proponents of live music plead their case. Klobuchar told the LA Times about her optimism on passing the legislation before Congress adjourns for the holidays.
While the bill isn’t totally out of the running, many venue owners are trudging by and learning how to adapt with or without the assistance.
Today on AirTalk, we check up on independent music venue owners from around Southern California to see how they're faring amid the pandemic.
Ilse Benz, owner of the live music entertainment venue and bar Que Sera Sera in Long Beach
Catalina Popescu, owner of Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood
Michael Neufeld, owner of the Gaslamp Music + Bar + Kitchen in Long Beach