Entertainment Hollywood West Hollywood

Historic music clubs seek financial support to reopen

LOS ANGELES — Local music clubs struggling to survive while shut down during the coronavirus pandemic reached out to their supporters May 5 in hopes of pressuring Congress to provide financial support for such venues.

Some of the most well-known clubs in the Southland, including The Viper Room, Troubadour, Whisky A Go Go, The Mint, Largo at the Coronet and the Rainbow Bar and Grill, have joined with more than 1,000 other venues nationwide under the umbrella of the National Independent Venue Association.

The various clubs sent out messages to patrons and supporters, asking them to visit the association’s website and add their support to the effort by reaching out to elected representatives in Washington, D.C.

“When you think of your favorite artists, do you think about where they got their start?” the message from the Troubadour read. “Independent venues have always been a stepping stone for the largest names in music. Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Guns N’ Roses and Neil Young are just some of the names you might recognize who debuted on our stage.

“When this crisis began, independent music venues were the first to close, and we will be the last to open. While completely shuttered we have no revenue, our employees and artists are without jobs, and normal bills keep coming, regardless. Please join us and support our cause by calling and writing your senators and representatives today,” the message continued.

“Together with you, we have played a role in bringing West Hollywood and Los Angeles to life, as well as furthering the careers of countless artists over our 63 years in business. Now independent venues like ours are at risk, and we need you to tell your legislators how important the Troubadour is to you and our community.”

In its message, Largo at the Coronet officials wrote, “The decisions that our representatives make in the coming days and weeks will be the difference for many independent venues such as ours, and when you add your voice you can make it clear to them what you find important in your life.”

The association’s website is at https://www.nivassoc.org/take-action.

Since early April, the Troubadour has had a GoFundMe page operating to raise money for its employees. The page has raised more than $14,000.

“We are a small, independently owned venue and have an hourly staff of over 20 people,” the page states. “Our team consists of bartenders, security, sound and lighting engineers and box office personnel. These are the people welcoming you into the venue and bringing you great experiences inside the showroom. … We love sharing our stage and creating memories with you, we look forward to continuing to do so in the future! Until then, please stay safe and healthy.”

Independent Wire Services