NJ venues participate in Nat’l Independent Venue Week as they recover from pandemic

Small music venues and comedy clubs across the country are drawing attention for National Independent Venue Week.

News 12 Staff

Jul 17, 2021, 1:40 AM

Updated 1,008 days ago

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Small music venues and comedy clubs across the country are drawing attention for National Independent Venue Week.
“It’s been hell, very challenging,” says Crossroads owner Lee Frankel.
Frankel says that it has been a struggle to keep the Garwood music venue open during the pandemic. He opened it 25 years ago.
“People have seen life, what life is like without music for the last year and a half. And it’s been gray and empty,” Frankel says.
The club has hosted performances by music legends and newcomers alike. It is now back to having indoor shows six days a week.
Crossroads is among more than 360 performance spaces across the country participating in National Independent Venue Week, an annual event. But the event is perhaps even more significant this year because of the pandemic.
“Just some awareness. We’re not just businesses, we’re cultural centers. We’re bringing in people from other areas, supporting other areas. We create a lot of jobs,” Frankel says.
Independent music clubs are among the sectors that faced economic ruin while government-ordered closures or limitations were in effect. The industry lobbied for government grants, which are now helping clubs to rehire staff and move toward successful reopening


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