The coronavirus is absolutely destroying the concert and live music scene. Nearly every touring act of all genres has either canceled or postponed their 2020 tour dates. Many seem to be hoping for better COVID-19 news by late summer. A couple of big tours this summer that have not officially canceled yet are the Kenny Chesney concert (July 5th in Bozeman) and the Motley Crue/Def Leppard/Poison stadium tour with summer dates around the nation.

It's not just the big tours that are having an impact. Billings' own Pub Station Ballroom has had no concerts or events since the beginning of the stay-at-home order in Montana. Just this week their taproom opened again. But selling beer for a few hours every evening is barely profitable enough to make it worth their time. Every single concert and event that was scheduled at the Pub Station has now been canceled or bumped towards fall. Concert venues are hurting... bad.

Who cares, you might say. It's just a handful of employees, right? No, it's far bigger than that. The concert industry, directly and indirectly, impacts local economies with the trickle-down of stage crews and sound techs, beer sales, food and restaurant dollars, local hotel occupancy and so much more. Concert venues were the first to close, and will likely be the last things to reopen and they need your help.

NIVA is the National Independent Venue Associate, the trade group representing 1200 small venues - just like the Pub Station - all over the US. They made this super easy form you can fill out that sends a message to our senators and representatives, encouraging them to support emergency funding for our music venues.

In a press release dated 5/5 the Pub Station says,

Together with you we have played a role in bringing the Billings area to life and furthering the careers of countless artists. We were the first Billings venue to book Chris Stapleton, Jon Pardi, Kane Brown, Tyler Childers, and Cody Jinks, which we could only do because of our independence, and your support. Now independent venues like ours are at risk, and we need you to tell our Senators and Representatives how important Pub Station is to you and the greater Billings area.

Credit: Pub Station/NIVA used with permission
Credit: Pub Station/NIVA used with permission

I know we've all had some great memories at Pub Station concerts and with your support we will hopefully continue to see excellent entertainment in Billings when the COVID-19 restrictions for concerts finally lift... whenever that might be.

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