Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, Brittany Howard, the Roots, Marshmello and Demi Lovato are among the artists set to play the Save Our Stages Festival (#SOSFEST), a three-day, virtual event taking place October 16th through 18th.
Hosted by Reggie Watts, the event will livestream on the National Independent Venue Association’s (NIVA) official YouTube channel and will include segments simultaneously airing on individual performer’s YouTube channels. The Save Our Stages Fest is in support of NIVA’s Save Our Stages initiative and will encourage viewers to donate to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, benefitting independent venues in danger of closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The smaller music venues and the ones that are really struggling are not only culturally important, they are emotionally important,” Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl said in a statement.
#SOSFEST will feature performances from 35 artists recorded live from 25 independent concert venues throughout the U.S. Dave Matthews, Dillon Francis, Kelsea Ballerini, Monica, Reba McEntire, Finneas, Sebastián Yatra and YG are also on the lineup. Famed concert halls such as the Apollo Theater, Exit/In, First Avenue, Ryman Auditorium, Troubadour, Tipitina’s, World Café Live, Metro and 9:30 Club will host the artists for their performances.
“During this shutdown, all the uncertainties we have and are experiencing have been very unnerving and have caused a high level of despair,” Christine Karayan, the owner of Troubadour in Los Angeles, said in a statement. “That is why we are so happy and beyond grateful to all the fans and music community for banding together to help and to show their support and love to all the independent venues across the country. This is our light and hope in our time of darkness.”
Along with raising money for its Emergency Relief Fund, NIVA has also been pushing Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act. Provisions from Save Our Stages were recently included in the updated Heroes Act, one of several proposed Covid-19 relief bills, and would provide crucial grants for independent venues, producers, promoters and talent representatives.
Without funding, an array of independent venues will be at risk of closing for good, threatening a key segment of the live-music ecosystem. The already dire situation for those in the live music sector was made all the more precarious earlier this week when President Trump tweeted that Republican lawmakers should abandon Covid-19 relief negotiations and instead focus exclusively on confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before Election Day.