A group of individuals and venues associated with New York City’s nightlife scene have launched the NYC Nightlife United Fund, an emergency relief fund dedicated to helping local venues in New York City, specifically Brooklyn, as they struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NYC Nightlife United Fund was spearheaded by the concert promoter and publication AdHoc, along with associates of the Brooklyn venue Friends and Lovers. They’ve partnered with the arts non-profit Solo Foundation, and are seeking to work with both corporate sponsors and individual donors to support venues during this time due to the lack of government funding.
“No one can deny that nightlife is culture,” Friends and Lovers owner Diana Mora said. “This forum for self-expression influences art, music, fashion and brands. If you think about music especially, it is the most powerful passion point. It’s the original social network, transcending every barrier— socioeconomic, distance and language. That’s why protecting this rare resource that defines the spirit of NY is so important.”
Ric Leichtung, founder, curator and editor of AdHoc, added, “Businesses in need immediate aid and face challenges unique to our industry, but there were no relief programs made just for us. We’re fiercely independent people who tap into our community to make the changes we want to see happen. When there’s no road paved for us, we make the concrete.”
Performance spaces, concert venues and other places for mass gatherings were some of the first businesses to close because of the pandemic, and they’re expected to be among the last to re-open. As a result, many of these venues, especially local and independent ones, have been bled dry by the pandemic, and every part of that ecosystem has been affected by the lack of events and loss of revenue: musicians, bar staff, venue owners and managers, comedians, sound techs, DJs, and all of their patrons.
Funds will be distributed amongst New York’s nightlife community, with a priority towards small businesses, independent venues, and individuals working in nightlife and cultural spaces. They will be awarded on an ongoing monthly basis and can be requested through a form on NYC Nightlife United’s website.