The COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially trying time for the world's most historic venues, which are facing extinction due to live music coming to a standstill. Enter Save Our Stages music festival, a new project constructed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) in partnership with YouTube with a mission to combat these closures. The organization brought together some of the biggest names in music to take over 25 unique venues across the US for a special livestream event that took place October 16th to 18th.
Marshmello and Demi Lovato took the stage at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles—a venue that found itself in danger of permanent closure following the onset of the pandemic. There they showcased their new single "OK Not To Be OK," an altruistic ballad that tugs at the heartstrings with lyrical elements about mental health, in a performance with palpable energy.
Live music truly creates an intimate connection between the attendee and the musician, and it is something we must protect. NIVA’s board treasurer Stephen Sternschein echoed that sentiment, explaining that he started the project "with the premise that every great artist started their career at an independent, small stage, somewhere around the country."
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Since it launched on October 16th, the organization has already raised over $1.2 million for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund with a goal of $5 million. You can donate and catch all the sets, which include performances by Miley Cyrus, Dillon Francis, Major Lazer, and more on the NIVA YouTube channel.