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Independent Venue Preservation Initiative launches Subscribe to Live for San Francisco Bay Area independent venues

#SubscribeToLive will rapidly pay local venues’ essential bills through community-driven micro-donations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES, April 28, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Today, Independent Venue Preservation Initiative (IVPI), a new project of nonprofit The Giving Back Fund, launched Subscribe to Live (#SubscribeToLive) in support of San Francisco Bay Area’s independent live performance venues. Through community crowdfunded micro-donations, #SubscribeToLive will pay venues’ essential bills dating back to February 2020, including rent or mortgage payments, liability insurance, and utilities. Designed to work in conjunction with federal, state, and city grants as well as individual venue fundraisers, #SubscribeToLive provides immediate financial relief by directly connecting venues to a network of private donors. The program is now available in San Francisco with plans to expand throughout the greater Bay Area. Community members and avid concertgoers alike can support hundreds of venues with recurring monthly donations starting at $15, online at www.subscribetolive.org.

“Subscribe to Live is the only non-grant, non-loan community based, rapid relief financial aid program available,” says Elizabeth Simon, local promoter (Bourgeois Productions Presents) and founder of Independent Venue Preservation Initiative. “By investing in our local arts and entertainment economy for the price of a streaming subscription, we can make a substantial positive impact on our city, preserving all independent culturally significant businesses within the community.”

"We never thought we would see a full-stop of live music and entertainment worldwide, but as a result, we amplified a message that was obvious to those of us in the industry--music venues and social spaces are the heart and soul of a city, and without them, we all suffer,” adds Jocelyn Kane, former Executive Director of The San Francisco Entertainment Commission and Advisory Board Member of IVPI. “IVPI and #SubscribeToLive allow direct support to these vital institutions.”

Understanding the varying nature of cultural gathering places, IVPI provides support for venues other grant programs may leave behind. The #SubscribeToLive fund considers the financial hardships that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many independent live performance venues were struggling before the shutdown and those who make it through will need help to transition back until they can open their doors at full capacity. IVPI will ensure #SubscribeToLive remains available to venues while they re-open until there is no longer a need for financial assistance.

“Looking back at the history of San Francisco, it’s clear we may have always needed a program like Independent Venue Preservation Initiative. The city has gone through significant changes with redevelopment in the 1970s, the tech boom and subsequent bust, and the housing crisis which forced artists and musicians to leave altogether. We are on the brink of another catastrophic event if we don’t deliver targeted aid where it is needed. Venue owners shouldn’t have to wait around for a chance at another grant because we can’t risk losing any more venues.” says Simon, who with the help of The Entertainment Commission has chronicled a history of venues in San Francisco dating back to the 1800’s.

Notable recent closures include Viracocha (2015), Brainwash Cafe (2017), Elbo Room (2018), Mezzanine (2019), Hemlock Tavern (2019), Slim’s (2020), Amnesia (2020), Revolution Café (2021) as well as East Bay venues The Uptown, Stork Club, and Starline Social Club which all closed in 2020.

With as many as 100 independent venues throughout San Francisco, it costs an estimated $1 million per month to cover essential bills. These venues will need more than federal, state, and city aid to achieve real relief and remain open for years to come. Unlike a grant or loan, #SubscribeToLive provides a direct bill pay service and will continue to pay these bills until the COVID-19 pandemic allows for business activity to resume at full capacity. To receive financial aid from #SubscribeToLive, venues must register to become a verified independent live performance venue, online at www.independentvenuepreservationinitiative.org. There is no cost to apply. Bills will then be processed on a first come, first serve basis. Once a venue’s bill has been approved, the payment will be fulfilled within one month.

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Julie Richter
Independent Venue Preservation Initiative
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