Commentary by Fred Kuhlman
In this current crisis one of the hardest hit, least acknowledged and overlooked industries in the concert, sports and entertainment venues. They were the first to be closed and will be the last to open (except for Presidential rally, but don’t get me started on that). Think of all of the small concert venues you have attended. Most of them are family or small group run ventures that operate on a dime. They need events just to keep running like any normal business. For the past 4 months they have been vacant. They still have to pay rent (or mortgages), property taxes and utilities even while closed. Some of these venues are in very nice locations that investment brokers would love to get their hands on. If these venues were to be forced into foreclosure or have to sell, we the concert and event goes would be deprived. A lot of the small concert bars and small venues hold a lot of the concerts in our Phoenix area. For every large concert at Sun’s Arena (whatever it is called this week), there are 5 to 10 shows at Club Red and at least 5 shows at the Celebrity Theatre just to name a couple of smaller venues. It looks like a lot of these venues will not be opening in the near future (at least in Arizona) and possible not in 2020. We really need to help all of these venues out so we can continue to enjoy live performances.
It doesn’t matter what style of entertainment you like. Music, dancing, opera, musicals or sporting events, they are all effected. So, what can we as consumers do? Well there is a movement call “SaveOurStages”. It is attempting to flood congress with petitions to put some relief money in the next stimulus package just for venues. If restaurants in Trump Tower or Trump International Hotel can get stimulus money, then I believe that venues should be offered the same opportunity. If you agree, please go to https://www.saveourstages.com and sign the petition.
The following is a email I received from one of our local Phoenix area venue that explains the process better than I can.
We’re reaching out today because the Marquee and hundreds of other independent venues need your help, and there is one quick action you can take that will go a long way.
It will just take less than a minute to show your support for The Marquee, Lucky Man Concerts, and all the independent venues across the country who need extra federal support to make it through COVID-19.
Sign the letter at SaveOurStages.com and tell Congress to support the RESTART Act! It’s quick, but it makes a big impact.
The RESTART Act provides additional forgiveable loan funding to small businesses, designed to finance six months worth of fixed operating costs like rent, mortgages, utilities, and payroll. Those six months will be crucial for event and live music venues like us that won’t be able to re-open until the entire US economy is fully up and running again and artists are scheduling tours – likely until there’s a vaccine.
Without inclusion in the next stimulus bill, 90% of independent venues in the US won’t be able to re-open at all. We need your help to convince Congress to support the RESTART Act so that venues like us all over the country won’t have to close our doors forever.
Go to SaveOurStages.com and sign the letter to support legislation that can save independent venues all over the US, and then share the link with your friends! Post on socials and use the hashtag #SaveOurStages! Use your voice to make sure these venues can survive.
to contact your legislators and help #SaveOurStages.
This link will automatically populate with your Senators and Congressional Representative based on your zipcode. Thank you so very much for your continued support, and we can’t wait to see you at a show soon.
They are just asking be treated like all other small businesses and be allowed to survive. Please go to the website and place your name on the petition. We all need to save these venues so when this is finally contained, we can all get back to see the music we love and enjoy. Until then please be safe and stay well. I hope to see you all soon and we can all raise glass/bottle/can a toast to “F This virus, lets rock”.