National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has pushed back against Live Nation's new program called "On The Road Again", which aims to financially support developing artists and their teams facing growing costs of touring expenses.
It was announced on Tuesday (September 26) that Live Nation-owned and operated clubs will provide $1,500 in gas and travel cash per show to all headliners and support acts, on top of nightly performance compensation. Additionally, these clubs will charge no merchandise selling fees, so artists keep 100% of merchandise profits.
However, the National Independent Venue Association says the plan is likely to hurt independent clubs who lack the resources that Live Nation can bring to bear, driving further consolidation in the live touring sector.
Earlier today (Wednesday, September 27),NIVA released the following statement via social media: "Temporary measures may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues which provide the lifeblood of many artists on thin margins. Independent venues and promoters are investing in and elevating up-and-coming artists every day, and NIVA is supporting those efforts nationally. The initiative announced yesterday may seem like a move to follow the lead of some independent venues. It is not that. Instead, it appears to be a calculated attempt to use a publicly traded conglomerate's immeasurable resources to divert artists from independent venues and further consolidate control over the live entertainment sector. Such tactics threaten the vitality of small and medium-sized venues under 3000 capacity, many of which still struggle to keep their doors open.
"Independent stages, where the majority of artists, musicians, and comedians start their careers, are small businesses and nonprofits. They are continually facing rising costs, increased deceptive ticketing practices in the resale market, and ongoing challenges following the global pandemic. Our stages are critical to the live entertainment ecosystem and local economies, and they must survive.
"The economics of touring must drastically improve for artists and independent venues. There has to be a better way. NIVA will continue to support artists and empower independent venues as we collectively find it."
Along with the benefits for artists, Live Nation is offering unspecified "financial bonuses" to local promoters, tour reps, and venue crew members who have worked over 500 hours in 2023. The company has also pledged $5 million to Crew Nation, a global relief fund for live music crews.
When "On The Road Again" was announced, Live Nation said in a press release: "Touring is a crucial part of an artist’s livelihood, and we understand travel costs take one of the biggest bites out of artists’ nightly profits. By helping with these core expenses, we aim to make it easier for artists on the road so they can keep performing to their fans in more cities across the country."
Today, NIVA - National Independent Venue Association released a statement on an initiative to squeeze out independent venues.
For the full statement and corresponding links, go to nivassoc.org/statements
Posted by NIVA - National Independent Venue Association on Wednesday, September 27, 2023