king gizzard and the lizard wizard

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Announce Rescheduled Tour Dates

Live music is beginning to return this summer but North American fans of Australian Psych-Rock band King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard may have to wait a while.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard was originally scheduled to tour the US and Canada throughout 2020 but that was canceled for obvious reasons…Those dates got rescheduled for 2021 and they’ve again been rescheduled for 2022. In a social media post, the band acknowledged some of the complexities of rescheduling: 

Despite the false starts, it’s great news for fans of the band that solid dates are on the books. Most of the shows have even been rescheduled at the same venues of the original dates. The North American tour is set to kick off in Berkeley, CA at Greek Theatre on October 2, 2022. Check dates and get more info here.

From the archive: Everything You Need To Know About NFTs

vax live

Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World

Last Saturday, Global Citizen hosted Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, with the goals of raising funds pertaining to vaccine equity efforts and encouraging everyone across the globe to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Prior to the event, Global Citizen released a statement saying, “COVID-19 will continue to present a public health crisis unless everyone everywhere can receive a vaccine. The international community must come together to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in low-income countries.” 

With 27,000 fully vaccinated essential healthcare workers in attendance at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (in addition to hundreds of thousands of online viewers in over 100 countries), Vax Live was one of the largest events Southern California has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Throughout the evening, host Selena Gomez and various musical guests and speakers, including President and First Lady Biden, Prince Harry and Meghan, Vice President Kamala Harris, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin, the Foo Fighters and more honored these healthcare workers and celebrated their vaccination efforts, while also emphasizing the fact that the fight is not over and highlighting the issue of vaccine equity. 

Prior to Vax Live, Global Citizen and its affiliates raised funding for COVAX, a vaccine-sharing program that intends to promote equitable vaccine access through dose sharing. In the past three months, COVAX has delivered vaccines to over 100 countries, prioritizing low income and at risk nations. Speakers and performers at Vax Live further bolstered support for these efforts, such as Prince Harry, who stated “We cannot rest and fully recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure nobody is left behind,” and South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha, who told the audience that “Many in Africa might not get a vaccine until 2023… It’s simply unacceptable. The spirit is in us all to rally together and demand that no one, wherever they were born, is left behind.” In addition, the Pope virtually joined the event from the Vatican, urging “a temporary suspension of intellectual property rights” on vaccines to ensure everyone across the globe can be safely vaccinated, while Vice President Kamala Harris stated, “If we have gained anything, it’s a reminder of the responsibility we have as a global community to see one another, to support one another, and to protect one another.” 

In addition to promoting vaccine equity, Vax Live representatives urged everyone to get vaccinated if they can. Host Selena Gomez said, “If you’re on the fence about getting vaccinated, if you don’t think you need it to protect yourself, I’m not going to lecture you. I’m going to beg you. Please get vaccinated – for your family, your neighbors, and every single person you come in contact with.” In addition, H.E.R. performed for those receiving their vaccines at the mass COVID-19 vaccination site outside of SoFi Stadium, demonstrating how life can begin to return to normal once receiving a vaccine. 

Over the course of the evening, Vax Live raised over $302 million, greatly exceeding its goals. These funds will enable Global Citizen to procure over 26 million doses of the COVID vaccine, which will be provided to marginalized and high-risk communities. 

This is not the first time that Global Citizen, which usually focuses their efforts on ending poverty, has contributed to the fight against COVID-19. Last April, they hosted One World: Together at Home, a televised concert that encouraged people to stay home and protect their communities against COVID-19. In addition, Global Citizen recently launched Reward To Reunite the World, a program that enables vaccinated Americans to win tickets to major concerts and sporting events by sharing why they got vaccinated on social media using #VaxBecause. Global Citizen is also currently working with world leaders to ensure that excess vaccine doses can go to countries in need. At least 60% of the world’s population must be vaccinated in order to end the pandemic, making it more important than ever that no vaccine is left unused. 

Shuttered Venue Grants Are Back

shuttered venue grants

Shuttered Venue Grants Are Back

The US Small Business Administration reopened the Shuttered Venue Grant application portal on April 26th, much to the relief of independent venue owners across the United States. This step comes after weeks of delays due to the technical difficulties following the original April 8th launch. 

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is part of Congress’ $900 billion COVID relief package, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, following nine challenging months for independent venues and live event organizations across the United States. Through this grant, which is part of the Save Our Stages Act, the SBA is offering $16.25 billion to independent venues, museums, theaters, promoters, and more. $15 billion is coming from the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (December 2020) and $1.25 billion is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act (March 2021). 

shuttered venue grant

The SVOG is accepting applications on a first come, first serve basis, but will be distributing aid based on priority. Priority One applicants, which are businesses that lost over 90% of their income in 2020, “will receive notice of awards this month and disbursement by the end of May,” according to the SBA. This distribution will be repeated for Priority Two entities, which lost over 70% of their revenue, in June. Following federal grant award policies, the SBA will contact recipients after final decisions are made and send a Notice of Award, which is a “legally binding issuance of the award.” After signing this agreement and receiving the aid, venues must meet the terms and conditions of the grant, including documenting how the funds are spent and keeping detailed employment records for the next four years. 

Over 10,000 small business owners flocked to the SVOG application website last Monday, with many venue operators describing this process as a light at the end of the tunnel after a challenging year. Many are hoping for a quick approval process, so that venues and similar organizations can begin to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Barb Carson, the Deputy Associate Administrator of SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, released a statement saying the SBA “recognize[s] the urgency and need to get this program up and running,” and that they were planning on beginning the application review process on Saturday, May 1. 

As of May 4th, 10,300 applications have been submitted and 12,238 have been started, with 17,356 of these applications filed within 24 hours of the application opening. According to a SBA press release, of the submitted applications, 4,227 have come from live venue operators and promoters, 2,389 from live performing arts organization operators, 1,362 from motion picture theatre operators, 1,135 from talent representatives, 665 from theatrical producers, and 544 from museum operators. 

This assistance comes in part due to the hard work of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which rallied throughout 2020 for Congress to pass relief for independent venues struggling due to COVID-19. In a statement sent to Billboard, NIVA said: “We’re grateful that the Shutted Venue Operators Grant application portal successfully opened yesterday and that thousands of businesses have applied so far. These grants will allow eligible entities to pay off mountains of debt incurred over the last 13 months of being closed with nearly all revenue lost, as well as fund reopening efforts — including saving jobs and hiring staff — when it’s safe to do so. It’s imperative that the United States has an ecosystem of live venues for music and arts, serving as integral parts of our culture and our communities, boosting the local businesses that surround them.

For more information on how to apply for a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, check out the SVOG User Guide.