Live music in Washington is in crisis, and our independent music venues need your help. Washington’s independent venues have now been closed for months with no reopening in sight. Many independent venues will NOT make it to 2021 without your help.

Music lovers around the state have come together to create Keep Music Live, a COVID-19 relief fund for small, independently-owned venues across Washington state.

Keep Music Live is a fundraising campaign to save hometown, community-based music venues, with the capacity of less than 1,000 guests. Together, we aspire to raise more than $10 million to provide venues with critical financial support.

KEEP MUSIC LIVE WILL PRESERVE OUR VITAL MUSIC CULTURE AND ITS FUTURE.

  • Washington State’s beloved music venues and all other performing arts were among the first businesses to close due to COVID-19, and they will be the last businesses to re-open.
  • For musicians, touring and live performances on stage are the primary source of income.
  • For up-and-coming artists, small stages are where they get their start.
  • Arts and entertainment industries are a critical component of Washington’s economy.
  • Independent venues bring people together to celebrate life through music.
  • The permanent closing of these independent music venues will have a devastating effect on the greater local culture.

WASHINGTON’S MUSIC INDUSTRY IS PART OF OUR IDENTITY, VIBRANCY, AND LIFESTYLE.

  • In 2019, Washington’s small to medium-sized venues sold more than 3.2 million tickets, generating $65.5 million in ticket revenues.
  • Live performances draw people to our communities and revenue to the tourism and service sectors. Each event patron will spend an average of $32 in the local economy, on top of admission price.
  • Washington’s music industry contributed $2.42 billion to Washington State’s economy in 2019, and employed 38,005 people. 
  • A survey of 51 King County music venues revealed that in the first few months of closure 2,100 events were canceled, 650 staff were laid off, and 17,000 musicians’ paid gigs were canceled.
  • Tours are canceled or postponed until 2021 at the earliest.

YOUR INVESTMENT WILL CHAMPION THE SURVIVAL OF INDEPENDENT VENUES.

  • Independent venues are sitting empty, but the rent is still due. Venues’ insurance, maintenance, licenses, and staff costs continue while we wait for the music to start playing again.
  • Losing these community gathering spaces and stages for artists would have a devastating effect on the greater music ecosystem: from the loss of artist, touring crew, and venue staff livelihoods to the economic multiplier effect on area businesses.
  • If these venues close, they will be repurposed and gone forever. Their buildings will be replaced with condominiums, other businesses, or mixed land use projects.
  • Starting a music venue from scratch is incredibly expensive. If we lose these venues, it will take decades to build back our music culture.
  • If one-third of last year’s 1.3 million ticket holders donated $100, we’ll help keep the lights on across the state. 

Together, we can Keep Music Live.

Keep Music Live is a fundraising campaign created by a community of live music lovers in the Northwest. The Whatcom Community Foundation is the 501c3 fiscal sponsor for Keep Music Live. Your donation is tax deductible and may be eligible for corporate matching funds.