You’ve surely read it plenty here and elsewhere, but just in case, and because it can’t be stressed enough: independent venues are in serious danger of closing forever because of the pandemic. Live entertainment remains one of a handful of niche industries left completely out in the cold, with the only true form of government relief coming from the Paycheck Protection Program this past spring and summer, which only covered two months’ worth of expenses. These venues have rent to cover and employees to pay with very little, if any, revenue coming in. As bad as you think it may be, it’s probably even worse.
To that end, the National Independent Venue Association, comprised of over 1,200 rooms in the United States, has been doing a killer job raising awareness around this issue, lobbying the government, and conducting fundraising efforts of their own. For their latest initiative, the organization is leveraging its annual Independent Venue Week (which usually takes place in person) to auction off a bunch of killer memorabilia, the proceeds of which will be donated to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, providing much-needed assistance to independent venues and promoters.
Among the items up for auction that will appeal to metal fans:
- A deluxe five-LP box set of Trivium’s Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio
- A Framus Diablo guitar signed by Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan, Suicidal Tendencies)
- An Epiphone “White Lightning” Explorer signed by Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer (KISS)
- A limited edition lithograph of Dream Theater’s Images And Words signed by the band
- A Nine Inch Nails Things Falling Apart 2000 promotional poster signed by art director Rob Sheridan
“The essence of Independent Venue Week is the celebration of independent venues, as well as those that run, work, and metaphorically live in them. This year, as these cherished rooms are faced with uncertain futures, we are grateful to be able to include over 130 different venues spanning the States as part of our program,” says Rev. Moose, managing partner of Marauder, the firm that runs Independent Venue Week in the U.S.