It has been nearly one year since music venues closed due to COVID-19. Amongst the first to close, music venues will be the last to fully reopen.

Keep Music Live, a COVD-19 relief fundraising campaign, was established by music lovers to support our small, independently-owned venues in Washington State. Keep Music Live is raising money to assist venues at greatest risk of permanently closing. Without financial support, many are at risk of permanently closing.

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

  • 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.

NEARING ONE YEAR OF CLOSURE, MUSIC VENUES ARE AT THEIR MOST VULNERABLE.

  • As counties in Washington State enter Phase 2 of the Washington State Reopening Plan, guidelines allow indoor concert halls to operate at a maximum 25 percent capacity. This does not work for music venues, due to safety concerns and financial implications.
  • Independent venues sit empty, but the rent is still due. Venues’ insurance, maintenance, licenses, and staff costs continue. 
  • Losing these community gathering spaces and stages would have a devastating effect on the greater music ecosystem: artists, touring crews, venue staff and neighboring business would be negatively impacted.
  • 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.

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

  • Arts and entertainment industries are a critical component of Washington’s economy. Washington’s music industry contributed $2.42 billion to Washington State’s economy and employed 38,005 people. 
  • 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.
  • 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.

YOUR INVESTMENTS WILL CHAMPION THE SURVIVAL OF INDEPENDENT VENUES.

  • Keep Music Live is fortunate to be able to provide immediate, personalized support to venues. 
  • With support from more than 2,000 donors, we are proud to have grants to venues in February 2021 and strive to be able to issue a second round of grants this spring. 
  • Through awareness building and advocacy by Keep Music Live supporters, the federal government passed the Save Our Stages Act, or the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. This program provides critical support to independent venues, and we are very grateful. 
  • Operational details for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant are still being determine. It is unclear at this time what venues qualify, the level of funding venues will receive, or when funds will be distributed. 
  • Keep Music Live continues to raise funds to assist venues at greatest risk of permanently closing. 
  • Keep Music Live is committed to supporting our venues on the long road ahead.

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.