Senator Hickenlooper announces relief for Colorado music venues

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DENVER (KDVR) — U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper brought together a handful of Colorado musicians, promoters, and music venue managers on Tuesday to highlight a new COVID relief program available to music venues and theaters beginning this week.

Many independent music venues have been shuttered since the beginning of the pandemic; 90% of them are at risk of closing permanently.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which was expanded by the American Rescue Plan, will help save independent venues by providing relief equal to 45% of pre-pandemic revenue or up to $10 million.

More information in the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, including how to apply, is available HERE. Shuttered Venue Operators Grant applications open on April 8.

Last week, Red Rocks announced it would open with state approval at a capacity of 2,500 people. That’s less than half its total capacity and Red Rocks spokesperson Brian Kitts told FOX31 many shows could be canceled again in 2021, with artists not willing to play for a significantly smaller crowd.

“A lot of people assume a band just shows up and plays music, but there are travel costs. What you see on stage is only part of what happens,” said Kitts. “In order for them to break even or make a little bit of money they do have to play for close to whatever that capacity is.”

Smaller music venues in Denver, such as Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in RiNo, have reopened this spring with seating room only to prevent a total shutdown from massive financial losses. The owner Duncan Goodman, hopes to be back to a ‘pre-pandemic normal’ by fall.

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