89.1 WEMU

Local Event Space Owners & Operators Turn To State Legislature For Financial Support During Pandemic

Dec 7, 2020

Inside the Ypsi.
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

With thousands of jobs at stake and millions of dollars in lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, owners and operators of concert and venue spaces are asking the Michigan State Legislature for $10 million in support.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Steve Pierce, who recently opened the "Ypsi" in downtown Ypsilanti about the impact on his venue and working together to try and stay afloat during the pandemic.


Steve Pierce inside the Ypsi.
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Steve Pierce said performance venues are typically pretty independent but are working together now on an effort they’re calling “#SaveMIStages” in order to stay in business during the global health crisis.  He says live music venues were the very first to shut down and will be the last to re-open.

He is part of a group that has formed called the Michigan Venues and Promoters Association (MIVPA) and was one of the first in Michigan to join the National Independent Venues Association, which has over 2,300 members across the country, so their voices could be heard that we are at serious risk of seeing hundreds of live music venues across the country go out of business and never reopen.

He said a recent study showed music venues and concerts and festivals generate $670 million in economic benefits to the state of Michigan and employ thousands of people, all which is at stake due to the pandemic.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu