Independent music venues don't receive much applause-worthy news these days, but COVID-battered clubs across the country aren't going down without a fight. A national coalition of indie clubs announced has organized a virtual fundraising festival, with a number of Seattle heavyweights getting in on the benevolent action.
Most notably, Seattle rap star Macklemore will perform at Capitol Hill staple Neumos as part of the digital fest running Oct. 16-18. Organized by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) with YouTube Music, the Save Our Stages Festival — or "#SOSFEST" — will broadcast prerecorded performances from 35 artists at 25 venues through NIVA's YouTube channel. The online fest aims to raise money for NIVA's Emergency Relief Fund, which issues grants to struggling venues that have been shuttered by the pandemic.
In other local ties, the Seattle-born Foo Fighters will play "an intimate set" from Los Angeles' iconic Troubadour club and Virginia-rooted Seattleite Dave Matthews will perform from the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville. The three-day online event is hosted by musician/actor Reggie Watts, who came up with Seattle soul rockers Maktub.
"The smaller music venues and the ones that are really struggling are not only culturally important, they are emotionally important," said leading Foo Fighter Dave Grohl in a news release.
Other big names on the virtual bill include Portland's Portugal. The Man, Miley Cyrus, The Roots, country duo Brothers Osborne, Brittany Howard, rootsy Colorado rockers Nathaniel Rateliff and the Lumineers, Marshmello with Demi Lovato and more.