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Houston-area small music venues desperate to stay afloat even as other businesses reopen

HOUSTON – Small concert venues across the country have been struggling immeasurably since the coronavirus crisis began.

How could they not be, with their doors ordered shut and tens of thousands of shows forced to cancel?

In Houston’s EaDo neighborhood, Warehouse Live, the funky, little concert hall and bar is fighting for survival.

Warehouse Live and venues just like it are the incubators that have launched superstars like Prince, Drake and U2.

They are the places where these artists first cut their teeth on stage.

In fact, Drake’s first show was performed at Warehouse Live, and just the thought of some of these hard-working venues having to close is enough to bring Warehouse Live’s marketing director, Ashly Montgomery to tears.

“Oh man, I’m going to start crying. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t expecting to get so emotional but… these small venues you go and you see up-and-coming artists or you see your favorite artists of all time and it’s just such an intimate setting and it’s just a completely different experience than anywhere else and we can’t lose that,” Montgomery said.

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is now lobbying legislators in Washington D.C. to provide funding to keep these small venues going through this difficult time.

“The cultural impact of our venues is priceless. Our stages give artists like Adele, U2, Keith Urban, Prince, Lizzo and The Foo Fighters their start," a NIVA spokesperson wrote.

At Warehouse Live, management says it has had to cancel or postpone at least 85 different shows due to the coronavirus crisis.

NIVA is now asking everyone who has enjoyed a great show at one of these small venues to help persuade lawmakers to help the venues financially.

If you want to help these small venues, you can click here.