One Year Later, Independent Venue Week Reflects on Nationwide ‘Town Hall’ Call That Rallied an Entire Community

The first-ever of its kind, the Independent Venue Week ‘Town Hall’ offered a forum for venues and promoters to come together in the face of 2020’s sweeping lockdowns.

Exactly one year later, community members reflect on the significance of that first call and the silver linings found in the face of catastrophe.

One year ago today (March 12), Marauder hosted a call, bringing together its national Independent Venue Week network to discuss, what turned out to be, just the beginning of a year-long fight for industry survival. 

“We held that first town hall because we knew we needed to do something,” says Rev. Moose, Managing Partner of Marauder and Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). “Just creating the space and welcoming all those we’d consider as part of the Independent Venue Week community was our way of trying to help. The relationships, the comradery, the commiseration, and the celebration that was to come, all started with this one call. We didn’t know then that the calls would continue weekly through the rest of the year, or that the community that congregated would band together in new ways, fomenting the creation of the National Independent Venue Association and a number of local organizations that all now exist to serve the independent venues and promoters that we are continually proud to champion.”

The Independent Venue Week ‘Town Hall’ was a weekly occurrence throughout 2020 and planted the seed for the formation of NIVA, which ran the massively successful #SaveOurStages campaign. Watch the video or read below as the community reflects on this anniversary. 

Watch members of the Independent Venue Week community reflect on the one-year ‘town hall’ anniversary 

Community Members Reflect on the One-Year Anniversary 

“Bringing the independent venue and promoter community together to a place where folks even knew to get on that first phone call, Zoom and felt comfortable talking and sharing the experience, ultimately led to the Save Our Stages Act and this financial relief so desperately needed for our industry […] We couldn’t have done it without you.”
— Dayna Frank, Owner & CEO of First Avenue and NIVA Board President

“Without that kickoff session, our past year would have been unimaginably grim […] It has been the one true silver lining of this year, personally and professionally getting to know everyone, participating in our successful lobbying and fundraising efforts, and looking beyond the pandemic to the future potential of the NIVA network.”
— Hal Real, Founder World Cafe Live, Board Secretary of NIVA, and Board President of the National Independent Venue Foundation

“Without that very first IVW town hall, I can’t tell you how we would’ve made it through this year […] Being able to have something we can focus on together and work on together is something that gave me peace, and helped me get through it knowing that I wasn’t only fighting for myself, but thousands of other people and they were fighting
for me.”

— Adam Hartke, Operating Partner at Wave, Co-Owner of The Cotillion Ballroom, and Co-Chair of NIVA’s Advocacy Committee.

“I have developed what I think are real lifelong friendships with people I’ve never been in a room with, that are so hardworking and creative and dedicated and there for one another to bounce ideas off of […] I think that that’s going to continue in the next form of life, when everybody’s vaccinated and we’re all open.”
— Audrey Fix Schaefer, Communications Director at I.M.P., and NIVA Board Member and Head of Communications.

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