Entertainment companies asking fans to ‘Save Our Stages’

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Independent venues make big gains during concert season, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, they’re now suffering even bigger losses. The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced Pepper Entertainment to cancel many planned shows this year, but through a petition, they’re asking fans to make a different kind of noise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it a quiet year for the team at Pepper Entertainment.

“I think our last show was at The District for ‘Yonder Mountain String Band’…’” Vice President of Marketing for Pepper Entertainment Kyle Heino said.

“That is correct, yep,” talent buyer for Pepper Entertainment Matt Bump said.

“…in early March,” Heino said.

Before March, the entertainment company was only able to produce roughly 20 shows in the U.S. As more cases began to rise, artists and venues started to reschedule or cancel events entirely. That goes for most, if not all business like theirs.

“I think every venue kind of has a little bit of a risk factor. It’s just a matter of how much. Obviously, some states it’s less, some it’s more, but you know it definitely hurts everybody,” Bump said.

Entertainment companies can pull in a lot of money fast, and the loss can be just as swift without any business.

“It’s going to be in the billions of dollars – tens to billions of dollars at this point,” Bump said.

“This business is the first to close and the last to reopen,” Heino said.

In March, an organization called the National Independent Venue Association, or NIVA, was formed.

“Right now, they’re trying to seek government help and funding to try to… soften the blow in the music industry,” Bump said.

Near the end of July, Congress will vote on the RESTART Act, which, if it passes, could help with the financial burden. NIVA has created a petition to give entertainment fans a voice to showcase their support.

“In the meantime, we’re rescheduling and moving shows for the future. Optimistic that the fall will allow us to do some concerts again,” Heino said.

While you might not be able to cheer at a concert anytime soon, you can still make your voice heard online when you sign.

The team at Pepper are currently analyzing ways to host concerts with CDC guidelines in effect. Congress will vote on the act later this month.

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