PORTLAND — In response to the devastating financial impact the current global health crisis is wreaking across the live music industry, a handful of Portland music venue operators and industry professionals have formed the Maine Music Alliance as a support system to help sustain Portland venues through the crisis.

Over the past six months music venues have been faced with a situation for which no amount of foresight could have prepared them. The venues were the first businesses to close in mid-March with no reopening date in sight, while utility bills, rent, payroll, and other expenses have continued. While there have been talks of legislation that would serve to alleviate the threats to the live events businesses, optimism has dwindled that assistance will be coming from the federal government. While the Maine Music Alliance  will continue to advocate for music industry interests and the work of the National Independent Venue Association, the organization has announced a plea to the public and the local community for help.

For every dollar spent in a Portland venue there are $12 spent in a neighboring business. The ripple effect of music venue closures will be felt swiftly and mightily throughout the entire ecosystem of Portland. “These businesses are the soul of our community and the outlet for Portland’s most creative minds,” said Dave Gutter, founder and member of the Rustic Overtones, in a video posted by MEMA to launch the organization.

“Portland is a city of thoughts and dreams that extend far beyond its 20-square-mile footprint,” said Scott Mohler, Maine Music Alliance president. “These thoughts and dreams have been put on hold by a pandemic that has made it impossible for people to gather in the ways that it used to. If this time has taught us anything, it’s that together we are stronger than we are individually. This alliance is the manifestation of those ethos. Through all of this I have clung to the hope that once we are on the other side of this and we enter whatever normal becomes we will hold on to those feelings and we will realize the potential of a kinder society, industry and community.”

Maine Music Alliance is accepting donations via its website at www.mainemusicalliance.org. The fund will be administered by the Maine Music Alliance in conjunction with Creative Portland as a fiscal sponsor that allows tax deductible donations.


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