UPDATE (12/30/20): Across 9 months, independent venues have banded together in a unanimous collective to call upon our elected officials for help to #SaveOurStages. This week, we are absolutely elated to report that the Save Our Stages Act was included in the recently passed COVID-19 relief bill, which grants $15B in funding to the thousands of shuttered small businesses in music & arts who may have been doomed without.

Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL) worked in tandem with National Independent Venue League (NIVA) to propagate an impressive national relief effort for our industry and the folx who comprise it. The teamwork and tenacity displayed by all involved was an incredible silver lining on what has been a disastrous year for many.

We cannot thank you enough for your dedication and support in spreading the word and urging your representatives to act––and we salute the Illinois reps who did (see below). We are looking forward now, with a longer runway to see us through to our miraculous day of reopening. We love you; we couldn’t have done this without you.

If you are interested in helping support Chicago’s out-of-work industry employees in the interim, please visit the CIVL SAVE (Staff, Artists, VEnues) Emergency Relief Fund or Metro/smartbar/GMan Tavern’s GoFundMe. Every little bit counts. 🙏🏽

UPDATE (11/13/20): It’s been 245 days since our last show, and we are still shouting from the rooftops for critical government aid in light of the state-mandated closures imposed upon live music + entertainment venues.

Small businesses like ours face unique obstacles coupled with requirements limiting operations until we reach Phase 5 of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan. In short, we have lost nearly 100% of our revenue, while the majority of our expenses remain. This is an unsustainable predicament. The small amount of CARES Act funding that was allocated to some Chicago venues was not enough to ensure survival throughout this interminable––and non-negotiable––period of inactivity. We need relief, and we need it now.

As our own Joe Shanahan, founding member Chicago Independent Venue League & Metro/smartbar founder, has poignantly stated: “Support without action is meaningless.”

If you love Metro, smartbar, and GMan Tavern, as well as the many other storied independent establishments throughout our nation, we implore you to keep the pressure on our elected officials to work together and pass the Save Our Stages bill, currently awaiting a vote in the Senate. You can do so in a mere 30 seconds at SaveOurStages.com, and you can do so as often as you’d like.

Let our government know that time is of the essence if we want America’s live music, as we remember it, to return.

We’re not done fighting, but we do need your voices. Thank you.

–Your Friends at Metro/smartbar/GMan Tavern

**Click here to watch #SOSFest, a 3-day virtual music festival presented by the National Independent Venue Association to raise funds for independent venues in need.

for your continued support of Metro/smartbar/GMan Tavern. These have been trying times for everyone, but we sure have been feeling the love from y’all.

You may have seen mentions of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) in previous posts––we are a group of independent venues and promoters across the country fighting for survival. We were the first to close and will be the last to fully reopen.

Without support from Congress, 90% of NIVA’s members across America say they will be forced to close their doors forever. Congress will be voting THIS MONTH, so we need your help NOW. We are writing today to ask for 30 seconds of your time to help ensure that we can reopen our doors once it is deemed safe to do so.

Please visit www.SaveOurStages.com to send a letter to Congress. The form for the letter is already filled in; you just have to add your name. Even if you’ve written once, please make your voices heard now. Ask your legislators to support and co-sponsor S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act, introduced by Senators Young and Bennet in the Senate and Representatives Golden and Kelly in the House, which calls for emergency relief for indie venues, festivals, and promoters.

Click here to read the letter over 600 artists sent to Congress in support of NIVA.

We can’t begin to explain how much we appreciate you participating in this call to action. We’re unbelievably eager to bring music back to our stages and to see your elated faces out there having a ball. Please help make sure we get there together.

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