Recovery Fund Aims to Save Live Music Venues

A new real estate investment fund wants to help music venue owners buy their properties and stay in business as the pandemic and market forces decimate their earnings.

May 13, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

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Zhang Yu / Flickr

When the pandemic shut down live entertainment, music venues saw their revenues plummet as much as 90%, with many struggling to keep paying their bills. To help venues stay afloat, Dayna Frank, owner of First Avenue Music Hall in Minneapolis, worked with Grubb Properties CEO Clay Grubb to create "the Live Venue Recovery Fund, a pioneering program that provides eligible independent music operators with a 3 – 5 year roadmap toward purchasing their own venues." Rebecca Greenwald reports on the fund's efforts for Next City. 

As renters, Frank believes, many venue owners are extremely vulnerable to "a growing affordability crisis and the whims of opportunistic landlords, and the looming threat of Live Nation’s growing influence and consolidation of the industry." The recovery fund aims to shift the balance of power and give venue operators a path to ownership. "Designed around an impact fund real estate model, the Live Venue Recovery Fund caps Grubb’s rate of return at 12%, after which any remaining returns are donated to the National Independent Venue Foundation, a nonprofit related to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), a trade association that was formed at the start of the pandemic."

"Rather than looking at the Live Venue Recovery Fund as an aggressive acquisition program," writes Greenwald, "Frank sees this as a resource and another option that venues have available to them as they navigate a challenging external environment."

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