Kern County In Depth: Survival of concert venues and talent managers hits crisis juncture

Kern County In Depth

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — This weekend’s Kern County In Depth focuses on the live music business, which is in a deep crisis because of the pandemic and is desperately trying to get relief from Washington.

17’s Robert Price, subbing for host Jim Scott, talks to the owners of Temblor Brewing, a small Bakersfield concert venue barely staying above water, Guitar Masters founder and host Rick Kreiser, and leaders of the music industry trade associations behind two pieces of legislation that could help.

The National Independent Talent Organization, composed of hundreds of independent talent agencies and entertainment management companies, and the National Independent Venue Association, of which Temblor and the Fox Theater are members, say their people are struggling tremendously during this pandemic, along with restaurants, bars, hotels and other businesses associated with tourism.

NIVA and NITO are trying to push through the Save Our Stages Act and the Restart Act, to provide Paycheck Protection Plan-like emergency funding for those small businesses. The trade associations are looking for six months’ worth of assistance and say that if it’s not forthcoming, hundreds of venues around the country could close for good. They’re hoping for the support of Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

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