Concert venues across the country, including the Oklahoma City metro area, are holding their breath after President Trump threatened to veto the latest COVID-19 relief package Tuesday night.
The move caught members of Congress off guard after passing the bill, a bill which included an act called “Save The Stages Act.”
The act would provide funding for struggling concert venues across the country.
Noise from the Jones Assembly in downtown Oklahoma City isn’t what it used to be. You can blame a global pandemic for that.
“COVID hit us really hard, we do a lot of stuff under one roof at Jones,” said The Jones Assembly Operating Partner, Graham Colton.
Dinner and cocktails are still a possibility at the multi-purpose venue, with a limited capacity of course.
At the heart of it all, a concert hasn’t been held at the Jones Assembly for nearly a year.
“We are kind of built for gathering,” said Colton. “It has been a tremendous challenge to have to shut down the whole operation and to bring it back was equally challenging.”
Colton describes the “Save The Stages Act” as an organic movement made up of venues, managers, promoters, even fans nationwide to get members of Congress to be included in the next stimulus package.
“The Jones Assembly can’t thrive if other music venues locally, regionally, and nationally don’t thrive also,” said Colton. “We are all part of this amazing ecosystem of touring artists coming to our cities and creating these great experiences.”
While there may be a reason to panic after President Trump threatened to veto the entire bill, not everyone is doing so.
“I’m going to keep my hopes up, I think it is going to happen,” said Colton. “I think it is going to happen before the New Year and hopefully it is the first of a few steps to take care of these independent venues.”
It is a daily countdown when things will return to normal again at Jones Assembly. Until then, anything to help stay afloat is needed.
“When the music returns and things really do flip back on, we expect a very healthy appetite for music and that’s really exciting to think about,” said Colton.