3-day #SOSFEST to raise awareness of independent music venues’ plight

Dizzy Fae

Dizzy Fae Bobby Rogers

With our roid-ragin’ prez infomercialing his way into oblivion and a senescent Senate putting all its chips on an ill-gotten Supreme Court supermajority, the likelihood of a stimulus package passing between now and Election Day has dwindled to approximately nil—which sucks for you, me, and the independent music venues that are hanging on by the last millimeter of their fingernails.

Time for a little self-help then. In conjunction with YouTube Music, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has announced the Save Our Stages Festival, #SOSFEST, three days of virtual music, from Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18.

You’ve maybe read about NIVA, and the Save Our Stages initiative, here before. It’s headed up by First Ave’s Dayna Frank, and it's pushing for both awareness of how bad things are for independent venues as well as, more tangibly, a relief package. The idea is that when we emerge from COVID, we’ll still need our treasured musical landmarks to remain in business. Duh.

Reggie Watts will host the festival, which will feature 35 artists performing live from more than 25 independent concert venues—First Avenue, of course, as well as the Ryman Auditoriumin Nashville and Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.

Dizzy Fae will be performing from First Ave. Other considerably less-Minnesota-based performers you may nonetheless be familiar with include Foo Fighters, Brittany Howard, Dave Matthews, the Roots, Miley Cyrus, Monica, and Reba McEntire. The whole shebang will livestream from NIVA’s YouTube channel, and contributions will be accepted at NIVA Emergency Relief Fund.