With nearly 600 in attendance, the National Independent Venue Association’s first independent live music tribe gathering began Monday in Cleveland.
Launched at the onset of the pandemic and endowed with $100,000 from Boris Patronoff and See Tickets, NIVA and its partners, including the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), successfully lobbied for $16 billion in grants from operation of essential blocked sites.
This week’s convention is both a celebration of survival and an in-depth look at the future of independent venues and independent live music. NITO is also holding its first-ever in-person members meeting in Cleveland today.
The mood among attendees on Monday was festive and hopeful despite the many independent sites still struggling to recover and buffeted by inflation, labor shortages and more. Panels and workshops on marketing, sponsorships, security issues, and more offered practical guidance for the challenges ahead.
NIVA, partner of Bandsintown to help you
A major partnership announced yesterday between NIVA and Bandsintown will also provide relief to independent venues and promoters and help them sell more tickets.
Bandsintown gave NIVA members privileged access to its community of 70 million active viewers. Bandsintown will create free “verified venue” accounts for each NIVA member, allowing them to update their profile, complete with photos, event data and venue details. These enhanced profiles boost the attractiveness and discoverability of shows, making them more accessible to music fans on Bandsintown, the world’s largest live event search engine, and Bandsintown’s distribution partners, including Shazam from Apple.
“Independent places keep communities alive and they are instrumental in supporting diversity and building culture. Bandsintown shares the same philosophy and is proud to partner with NIVA and its members,” said Bandsintown co-founder and managing partner, Fabric Sergent.
NIVA members will also have access to Bandsintown’s new automated email generator and an exclusive marketing program that allows them to shop on Bandsintown at discounted rates starting at $50 per campaign versus $150 for non-members. -members of NIVA. There will also be free ongoing training to help you get the most out of our partnership and a quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date on what works and what doesn’t in live music marketing.
Bandsintown also donated $100,000 in marketing support to help NIVA build a stronger independent live music community.
Independent places need attention, funding, support and resources to survive,” said Reverend MooseExecutive Director of NIVA “We strive to facilitate our members’ ability to survive and thrive and are grateful to industry partners like Bandsintown who help make this a reality with business development tools and new discovery and ticket sales.”
The NIVA conference continues until Tuesday.
Bruce Houghton is founder and publisher of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and is senior adviser to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the founder and president of Skyline Artists Agency and a professor at Berklee College Of Music.