Industry News

Save Our Stages: Who's Eligible to Apply and for How Much?

December 22, 2020 | By Susan Elliott, Musical America

No doubt guided by its guru VP of Advocacy Heather Noonan, the League of American Orchestras has issued a few details about what the $15 billion to the Save Our Stages alliance actually means to orchestras, opera companies, musicians, et. al. Since the text of the legislation fills nearly 5,600 pages, it’s useful to understand some of the key points. Keep in mind, too, that there is still much in the bill that awaits clarification. The Small Business Administration is to issue guidelines within ten days of it being signed into law by the current occupant of the White House.


“Live performing arts organization operators,” defined as an individual or entity that “as a principal business activity, organizes, promotes, produces, manages, or hosts live concerts, comedy shows, theatrical productions, other events by performing artists."

The above includes both for profit and non-profit operators, whether they own their own venue or not. The League states that “talent representers” are also eligible. Whether that means agents and artist managers is not clear.

Applicants that can demonstrate a 25 percent or more decline in gross earned revenue in one calendar quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Applicants will choose between a PPP loan or an SOS (Save our Stages) grant when they apply. Those who received a PPP loan via the CARES Act may apply for another.

Grant amounts:

For those who are eligible, grants awarded represent 45 percent of earned revenue in 2019, as reported by the venue, up to $10 million. Those experiencing a 70 percent revenue decline as of April 1, 2021, will be eligible for a supplemental grant equal to half of the initial grant, pending the application for same is submitted by a deadline to be determined. 

Allowable grant expenses:

For the period March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, allowable expenses include payroll, including payments to independent contractors; rent; fixed costs like mortgage and debt payments; as well as maintenance expenses, administrative costs, and other expenses.

Timetable for applications:
Note: Relief funds already accessed through the CARES act will not count as revenue for this calculation, and seasonal organizations will use an alternate time period for the comparison.

The first 14 days of applications are for those that can demonstrate a revenue decline of 90 percent or more from April 1 to December 31, 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019.

The second 14 days will be limited to those with a revenue decline of 70 percent or more.

20 percent of funds will be reserved for availability after the conclusion of the 28-day priority period.

$2 billion of overall funding will be reserved for grants to entities with 50 or fewer employees.


League of American Orchestras





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