Charlotte Music Venue Owners Make A Plea to Council For Funds

CHARLOTTE, NC – “It’s become very Dire,” said Joe Kuhlmann speaking to Charlotte City council on Monday night. He’s part of a group that is pushing for financial support for local music venues.

“If we don’t receive some help. Some financial support. We’re going to lose some of our independent music venues,” said Kuhlmann.

Music Venues in Charlotte have been closed since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kuhlmann is heading the Charlotte Independent Venue Alliance, which is lobbying for a comprehensive plan to provide financial help to about a dozen music venues.

“We’re hemorrhaging money,” said Gregg McCraw, the owner of Maxx Music.

He says they typically promote 500 shows a year. So far in 2020, they’ve put on fewer than 100.

“We’ve been revenue free since March, but that hasn’t stopped all the bills from coming in.” said McCraw.

The group has launched an online petition to show support for their industry and to lobby for funds. So far nearly 7,000 people have signed.

McCraw says entertainment venues like Snug Harbor, Neighborhood Theater, Amos Southend, the Evening Muse and more are economic drivers in their neighborhoods.

“People get a cab, they get a babysitter, they go out to dinner before. They go for drinks after,” explained McCraw.

He says there is a real risk of losing some of these sites which will likely be the last industry to fully open.

“Even when we can reopen, there is going to be a huge lag before we can get back to business as usual,” said McCraw.

The council will discuss the CARES Act funding proposal during their October 5th meeting. The CIVA is hopping to get a chunk of cash from the city to stay afloat.