COVID-19 pandemic threatens live music venues across America

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BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Thursday, August 6, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic threatens live music venues across America
Local venues are teaming up with a national association to push for federal help to keep live music spots afloat.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The future of live music venues across America and the Bayou City is in jeopardy because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus continues to keep doors shut as social distancing and government restrictions make it almost impossible to do business.

The National Independent Venue Association is appealing the federal government to give the entertainment joints a lifeline. They've launched the Save Our Stages website in efforts to gather support for two pieces of proposed legislation for the Save Our Stages Act and Restart Act.

Eyewitness News spoke with two local venues who have set up a GoFundMe page to help employees currently out of a job due to the pandemic.

Mike Mauer, with the White Oak Music Hall, said federal help would be a huge resource during this pandemic.

White Oak Music has raised almost $70,000 through the online effort.

"As the crisis continues, the need is still there," said Mauer. "The reality of the situation is that venues like ours were among the first to close and will be one of the last to reopen. Our business pretty much entirely revolves around bringing people together and sharing an experience over music."

Over at Warehouse Live in EaDo, they too created a GoFundMe to help with employees during this difficult time.

Ashly Montgomery said they too want to see more action from Congress.

"We need it so we can still be a business," said Montgomery. "It's going to give us the funds to meet our overhead. When we finally get to a resolution of this whole pandemic, it's going to be super boring if you can go out and play and there's not going to be any places to play."

At the Last Concert Cafe near downtown Houston, general manager Steve Nami said they need help if they're going to weather this storm.

"Small independent venues like ourselves won't survive without any assistance," said Nami. "Save Our Stages is pretty much our last hope."

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