Today (August 18), New York Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference outside the Brooklyn venue Baby’s All Right to announce that he will be co-sponsoring the Save Our Stages Act. Among the guest speakers at the event was LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Watch the press conference below.
Alongside local venue owners and activists from the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), Schumer spoke about the importance of independent venues in New York and across the United States. “These places have to survive,” he said. “It’s like saying, ‘Well, we can do without these,’ is like saying you can do without your liver or your right arm we need them very much.”
Murphy spoke about the importance of venues as places that foster diverse scenes and sounds. He mentioned that these venues provide jobs, pointing to his own time working sound at Maxwell’s in Hoboken and Brownies in Manhattan.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, venues across the country have been forced to close. Ninety percent of NIVA members have said that if the shutdown last six months or longer and they did not receive federal assistance, they would be forced to close permanently.
The Save Our Stages Act would supply venues with grants that could be used to pay employees, rent, utilities, PPE, and other business expenses. “I will do everything I can to get this done ’cause it’s so effin’ important,” Schumer said.
Read “How Independent Music Venues Are Fighting for Their Existence” on the Pitch.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork