Save Montana’s Independent Music Venues, Tester Urges Senate

Senator: “This industry is not going to make it without our help.”

As independent concert venues around the country have shuttered to prevent the spread of COVID-19, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is calling on Congress to save concert venues – and the hundreds of thousands of employees that staff them – from going out of business.

In a letter to Senate leadership, Tester wrote that the live music industry is likely to remain shuttered for months to come, leaving artists, venues, and small businesses across America out in the cold.

“Concerts and live events may not be possible until a vaccine is readily available to the public,” Tester and his colleagues wrote. “Until that time, live concert venues will remain shuttered, leaving employees without jobs and businesses without revenue. The continued closures will also impact the numerous contractors, suppliers, and business partners that support the live music industry in our state.”

Live entertainment is an economic multiplier for communities that benefit not only the music venues, but neighboring businesses like hotels, restaurants, and stores. Tester called for more support including tax relief and debt assistance to help these businesses survive the crisis.

“We can provide a vital lifeline for these iconic venues that are so central to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of so many of our communities,” Tester and his colleagues continued. “This industry is not going to make it without our help.”

Tester has fought tirelessly to ensure that Montana is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. After 72 hours of negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak. This funding includes $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.

The full letter to Senate leadership is available HERE.

Visit for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19