The venue’s operators spoke to the Los Angeles Times and they’re saying they “can’t foresee being able to ride this out.”
The Troubadour previously announced they were one of 800 plus venues joining in with the National Independent Venue Association to collectively request a government bailout.
“Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handouts,” Dayna Frank, NIVA Board President and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, says in a statement to Rolling Stone. “But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is legitimate fear for our collective existence.”
The organization issued a letter back in April outlining the struggles venues are facing as one of the last sections of the economy likely to reopen. As previously reported, it’s looking like the next time a concert is likely to happen won’t be until late 2021. You can read more about their requests here.
Independent Venues across the country are banding together to bring our fight for survival to Washington for targeted funding to help save our industry. We are calling on all independent venues to join us in our fight. Membership is free. Click here https://t.co/JjoVyCo5hH pic.twitter.com/fiL1NE3O0z
— National Independent Venue Association (@nivassoc) April 17, 2020
The Troubadour stands with @nivassoc to request specific federal support for independent venues & promoters across the country. Please write or call your local officials to let them know you want them to help #SaveOurStages.
— Troubadour (@theTroubadour) May 5, 2020
Now, the Troubadour is opening up about how much they’re struggling right now.
“It looks tacky,” general manager Christine Karayan tells LA Times of the GoFundMe, “but it’s a reality at this point. It’s not a joke. If we’re going to survive this thing — and that’s a big if — we’re going to need all the help we can get, from any direction we can get it. … We know there’s going to be a huge fatality rate as far as how many venues will not be able to open again when/if this thing ever ends. We’re just looking to survive, like everybody else.”
The building’s GoFundMe was launched on April 2 and is tagged as a “Troubadour Employee Relief Fund.”
At the time of writing, it’s brought in over $33,000. Prior to the Times’ story, it was hardly catching on with just $12,000 donated.
Karayan says they became more concerned after Governor Gavin Newsom gave California’s four-stage plan for reopening the economy. Concerts are listed as part of the final stages.
The plan doesn’t discuss capacity limits but projections for business mean Karayan sees it “means the middle to the end of next year to potentially open, and maybe a 25 percent cap” for attendance.
“I can’t foresee being able to ride this out like that. … The more I think about it, it’s just completely futile. At least a big seated venue has space where they can keep people apart. But I don’t know how that works for a general admission venue. Are you going to stop them from using the restroom?”
Karayan’s father, Ed Karayan, owns the building meaning eviction isn’t an issue from them like other music venues. The GoFundMe is aiming on supporting 20 hourly employees with all except for three facing layoffs. Further, the club’s general manager says they may expand fundraising efforts.
Karayan is also highlighting that many people believe the Troubadour is owned by large companies like AEG or Live Nation but they remain independent. “We’re lumped in with the big boys, and we’re not the big boys,” she says. “We don’t have shareholders, we don’t have corporate money. We are what we are.”
Lastly, she’s highlighting the uncertainty with returning people to concerts and the likelihood it won’t be for a long time.
“I was like… ‘We probably won’t have concerts until the end of the year, but it’s OK.’ … Now it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. We’re talking, potentially, the middle of next year.’”
What do you think of the Troubadour’s financial struggles right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.