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National Independent Venue Association Announces First Annual Conference

NIVA '22 is slated to take place in Cleveland on July 11 and 12, which marks the start of Independent Venue Week.

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is bringing its members together for the organization’s first annual conference this summer.

Dubbed NIVA ‘22, the conference will take place in Cleveland from July 11-12, at the start of Independent Venue Week. Over two days of in-person programming, education, networking, entertainment and more, NIVA will focus on the future of the live industry and its varied interest groups, who have benefited from the trade organization’s existence since it formed in April 2020 at the onset of COVID-19 shutdowns. By the end of 2020, NIVA had successfully lobbied the federal government to provide $16.25 billion to struggling live music venues through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

“We’ve planned from the very beginning to continue growing NIVA into a full-service trade organization that serves its membership today and in the future. Our mantra from the start was ‘First we survive, then we thrive,’” said NIVA co-founder and executive director Rev. Moose in a release. “We’re excited to bring the live industry together in a new way that is truly impactful while highlighting the importance of connectivity. Our goal is to create positive momentum within the touring and live industry, altering the course beyond the pandemic and providing the necessary tools for our members to succeed while returning to in-person events and entertainment.”

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NIVA ‘22’s daytime program will provide a full schedule of curated events addressing the state of the live industry in the current stage of COVID and beyond, with topics to include safety, inclusion, diversity, equality & accessibility, booking, ticketing, marketing and new technologies. Programming will include specialized educational sessions, brand activations and ample networking opportunities for attendees.

In the evenings, NIVA ’22 attendees can take advantage of Independent Venue Week’s concert programming. The conference will additionally host the first-ever Independent Awards Formal (Independent AF), a black-tie gala for members and guests on July 11 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Independent venues are a vital part of rock & roll. For all of us who love this music, these venues have greatly impacted our lives,” said Rock & Roll Hall of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris in a release. “We are honored to welcome NIVA’s members to Cleveland as we host the first-ever NIVA Independent Awards Formal at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to recognize those who work tirelessly to help this music ecosystem thrive. Our shared vision is to champion and support live music and its power to enrich local culture and communities. It connects us all.”

Conference programming and speakers are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Early bird registration is available today through May 26.