On the most recent episode of The Justin Moore Podcast, Moore and his tour manager J.R. invited Chris Cobb, owner of Nashville’s iconic EXIT/IN venue, to the show to discuss the serious issues independently owned music venues and small clubs are facing due to COVID-19.
Watch the full episode:
In the last 7 months, some venues have gone from averaging 20 shows per month to none at all, while artists have gone from performing 100+ shows per year to 10. For artists, touring accounts for approx. 75% of their income which is dispersed across artist teams including lighting crews, tour managers, sound crews, managers, publicists and others — many artists have had to let team members go because of this. For venues, touring is at the core of their business model.
Cobb, a NEVA (National Independent Venues Association) member, joins Moore to spread the word on how venues have been impacted by the global pandemic. Out of 3k owners surveyed, 90% don’t think they’ll get through this time without financial help. He points out that independent venues have a harder time coming back from economic hits because of their high-demand locations and shares his worry that if they’re unable to survive the pandemic, the EXIT/IN will become just another towering apartment complex in Music City.
Moore expressed how important these independent venues are to musicians — it’s where they hone their craft, build a fanbase and learn who they are as artists. To Moore, these types of venues are at the epicenter of the music industry ecosystem — they are where backstage teams start their careers and they are crucial to the culture/personality of the communities they are in.
In this episode, Moore, J.R. and Cobb learn from each other and encourage viewers to visit saveourstages.com to let congressmen, and state and local representatives know how important the issue is.