Concert Venues Looking For Pandemic Relief From Government

Thursday, August 6th 2020, 4:20 pm
By: Mallory Thomas

TULSA, Okla. -

One hard-hit area during the pandemic has been concert venues, and they are seeking help from the government to keep their doors open.

Cain's Ballroom and the BOK Center are working together with other live performance venues to try to get two bills passed. 

The BOK Center said so far they've seen 30-40 concerts that have been postponed so far. Cain's Ballroom said they've had around 70 concerts that were put on hold. 

"We don't have a crystal ball and we don't know how long this is going to last, but as I've said we're probably going to be some of the last that are able to re-open and operate at full capacity," said Chad Rodgers, an owner of Cain's Ballroom.

Rodgers and his family have owned Cain's Ballroom for the last 18 years and they're hoping to see Congress give financial assistance to live concert venues. The first bill is called RESTART and would help small businesses. The second bill is co-sponsored by Oklahoma's Congresswoman Kendra Horn and is called Save Our Stages.

"The 'Save our Stages' is about venues, promoters and independent agencies that are out there, again kind of curating the artists from venue to venue to venue on up," said Joe Giordano, Assistant General Manager BOK.

Giordano said when the venues are empty, it has a trickle down effect.

"The people who are on site are the people who are out of jobs right now," said Giordano. "It's a full industry infrastructure that affects a lot of the guys behind the scenes, the production managers and touring personnel."  

A recent study said for every dollar spent on a concert ticket, $12 are spent in the community. Rodgers said the question is, how long venues can go without concerts, before they have to close permanently. 

"90% of us said we would close within the next three months if we don't get some kind of assistance. We were able to get some of the PPP loan, but that's come and gone," said Rodgers.

Cain's Ballroom turns 100 in just four years and they're hoping they'll still be open to celebrate that milestone.