Appearing before the House Small Business Committee this week, representatives of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said they were seeing “no-show rates as high as 50%.”
Via Billboard, Raeanne Presley, NIVA member and co-owner of Presleys’ Theater in Branson, MO, explained that smaller venues are suffering during an unprecedented lack of consumer confidence. “Today, the roller coaster ride of the pandemic continues,” she said. “Traditionally, about 5% of ticket buyers don’t attend performances, but now, sagging consumer confidence is causing national no-show rates as high as 50%. This is devastating because most of our venues rely on in-house sales to pay core bills.”
In other words, while ticket purchases are important, food, beverages, and other extras help keep the lights on. That task has been made even harder by global inflation and supply chain issues. “Just in the past month, I have received notices of impending price increases from our trash hauler to our concession suppliers to our janitorial service,” Presley said.
She added that the only options to stay open are to pass the cost on to the customer or reduce the consumer experience. Either way, concertgoers lose.
NIVA is asking Congress for an extension on when Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) can be used. Venues could utilize those funds for costs incurred through 2021, but a bipartisan bill introduced last fall would allow venues to spend that money through March 2023. So far, $14 billion of the allotted $16 billion has already been distributed.
2022 no-show rates continue a worrying trend that dates back to last year. In 2021, nearly one in five ticket holders stayed home.
You can help support independent creatives by picking up a piece from our Protect Live Music merch capsule. Net proceeds are donated to NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund.