WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The pandemic has put the future of live music in limbo, but a proposed bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week could save some venues. One Wichita businessman is helping in the fight.

Large crowds enjoying live music haven’t happened in months and venue owners are seeing a 98% drop in revenue.

“There’s people in the industry that are well versed in this and they are predicting live music may not come back until 2022 or 2023 at this rate,” Adam Hartke, operating partner at Wave and Cotillion.

Hartke said 90% of the national independent venue association or NIVA’s more than 2,000 members said if they had to remain closed for six months or longer they would not survive without federal funds.

“It’s a very dire situation, and there’s a lot of people who are approaching a cliff very quickly,” said Hartke.

The bi-partisan Save Our Stages Act introduced by Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Senator Amy Klobucher, D-Minnesota, Wednesday is what Hartke and others are hoping will bring some relief. It would provide a $10 billion dollar grant program for live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives. Hartke who sits on the board for NIVA helped define some of the language to make it industry-specific.

“We first started discussing the possibility mid-week last week, crafted it over the weekend, and it was many hours well into the night,” said Hartke.

A long process he said completed in a couple of days but says the more than one million emails from live music fans to Congress over the past few months is what really helped carry their message.

“And that’s why we have an act that’s named after our hashtag in Congress because we garnered so much support from the public,” said Hartke.

Hartke said they are hoping for it to be passed before Congress goes on August recess.

To send an email to your representative or senator on behalf of the Save Our Stages campaign click here.