‘Keep Music Live’ initiative aims to help local music venues statewide

SPOKANE, Wash. — Music venues have been shut down for seven months and there is no timeline for when they could reopen.

A new initiative, Keep Music Live, is trying to help prevent music venues from shutting down and helping them out by giving money. The campaign is trying to raise $10 million to help live independent venues across the state.

Lucky You Lounge has a sign on its front door saying it’s missing something: Live music.  Seven months have passed since anyone’s been able to watch a musical performance live.

“The music venues were first to shut down and will be the last to reopen,” said Karli Ingersoll, the co-owner of Lucky You Lounge.

The goal of the initiative is to keep venues from shutting down; some already have. Spokane music venue The Pin announced it permanently closed in August. A Facebook post says it’s because of the “current state of the world.”

Losing more venues, to Ingersoll, would be a “gaping hole.” She wants to keep the music community alive.

“I just think with each one [closing], it creates kind of like a sterile environment. I think like kind of stoic and not as much personality. I think music offers a lot of connection, creativity, personality,” she said.

Lucky You Lounge is a little luckier than other venues in town. It has a restaurant side that’s been operating for a few months. They did close down at the start of the pandemic and reopened for take-out, eventually reopening for dining.

However, Ingersoll says she’s still worried for other places in Spokane and even Seattle.

“If big important Seattle venues go down, that means less bands will be coming through Spokane, which not only sucks for the music fans, but it will make things tough for music venues here,” she said.

Ingersoll says larger bands and singers tour and head to Seattle and Spokane is a stop for them. Without those bigger places in Seattle for them to perform in, they may not come to Spokane.

In the meantime, Lucky You Lounge is live streaming musicians to help them so they can all continue doing what they love.

“For me, music is so much about community,” she said.

For more information on Keep Music Live or how to donate, click here.