Concert venues across New York say they could close if federal help doesn’t arrive soon

Concert venues in New York are looking for help.

The last time a concert was held was in March. Venues across the state have faced intense restrictions throughout the pandemic, and will likely continue to face them until there is a vaccine.

Nine in 10 independent music venues’ owners say they’re at serious risk of closing their businesses by year’s end, without federal funding like low-interest loans or grants, according to a recent survey of the National Independent Venue Association.

That group represents 2,800 venues.

“I can easily characterize this as a mass collapse” of independent concert venues, said Audrey Fix Schaefer, the group’s communication director. “When you’re completely shut, with enormous overhead and no visibility into when you can reopen, that’s a recipe for mass bankruptcy.”

Some lawmakers are pushing for a legislative assist. The RESTART Act, which has support in both the House and Senate, would help fund payroll expenses for upwards of six months. It would also assist with operating costs, and provide loans to venue operators.