The National Independent Venue Association has responded to the launch of Live Nation’s On the Road Again program, issuing a statement criticizing the ticketing giant’s campaign as an “initiative to squeeze out independent venues.”
On the Road Again declared that certain Live Nation venues of a certain size, including New York City’s Irving Plaza and The Wiltern in Los Angeles, would not charge merch fees and would provide artists with a $1,500 gas and travel stipend for each show played.
The campaign, per Live Nation’s press release, is expected to last “through the end of the year.”
In its statement, NIVA calls On the Road Again a “temporary measure” that “may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues which provide the lifeblood of many artists on thin margins.”
“It appears to be a calculated attempt to use a publicly-traded conglomerate’s immeasurable resources to divert artists from independent venues and further consolidate control over the live entertainment sector,” NIVA’s statement reads. “Such tactics threaten the vitality of small and medium-sized venues under 3,000 capacity, many of which still struggle to keep their doors open.”
NIVA adds that independent venues “continually facing rising costs, increased deceptive ticketing practices in the resale market, and ongoing challenges following the global pandemic.”
“Our stages are critical to the live entertainment ecosystem and local economies, and they must survive,” NIVA concludes. “The economics of touring must drastically improve for artists and independent venues. There has to be a better way. NIVA will continue to support artists and empower independent venues as we collectively find it.”
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