As Congressional leadership continues to negotiate the next COVID relief bill this week, bipartisan support for the RESTART Act (S.3814/H.R.7481), continues to grow, in part due to NITO’s Call to Action. NITO continues to urge support for the RESTART Act, which now has 44 cosponsors in the Senate, and for the Save Our Stages (SOS) Act (4258/H.R.7806) recently introduced by Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Klobuchar (D-MN).
The next coronavirus relief bill is crucial to the survival of the live music industry, which remains shuttered without a realistic timeline for safe reopening. If passed by Congress, RESTART and SOS would aid the hardest-hit small and mid-sized businesses, potentially for the next 6 months. NITO calls upon lovers of live music and all performing arts to take action with an email letter-writing and social media campaign, relaying personalized stories and imploring Senators and House Representatives to #SaveLiveMusic.
“So many people in our industry live hand to mouth, day to day. There are no pensions and no health insurance or retirement plans for indie musicians or the people who tour with and support them. At least musicians can try to reach out to their audience online for support, but what is a guitar tech to do? What of the drum tech or the sound engineer or the road manager or driver — not to mention the promoters, the booking agents, the bartenders? The ripple effects of the world of live entertainment going dark are vast. Let’s shine a light on all the people whose work helps all of our lives to be enriched by live music. Let’s support them through NITO’s advocacy.” - Ani DiFranco
RESTART’s sponsor Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) acknowledges the importance of the messaging, “We’re grateful to the music industry for their support of RESTART. I urge my colleagues in Congress to include this bipartisan proposal in the next COVID-19 relief package to save the music economy and the many other hard-hit small businesses across the country.”
Bennet recently tweeted support of NITO; “For live music to bounce back, artists, venues and the people behind the scenes need Congress to pass the #RESTART Act to provide the support they need to stay afloat.”
RESTART supporters also include ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NAMM, NIVA, Spotify, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, American Society of Travel Advisors and YouTube and hundreds of other organizations who amplified the plight of independents in a letter collectively urging Congress to provide essential relief to the shuttered independent small businesses that quantify their contributions under normal circumstances as $9 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
NITO has grown from 14 founding agencies in April to over 800 active live touring organizations including management companies, talent agencies, artists and a vast array of industry professionals. Membership continues to grow exponentially.