PORTLAND, Maine — It didn’t come as a shock when Port City Music Hall announced several weeks ago that it was closing permanently. The news was sad, but not surprising.
Live music venues are fighting for survival these days. Closed since March because of the pandemic, they still have bills to pay—rent, staff, utilities, insurance—even though little or no money is coming in. No one knows what will happen in the next few months with regard to mass gatherings and social distancing, but it seems unlikely that music halls will suddenly be able to throw open their doors and welcome back crowds of fans.
Out of these hard times emerges a new organization, the Maine Music Alliance, which was founded by venue operators and industry professionals to provide “a support system to try and help sustain Portland venues through the crisis.” It’s looking for donations (they’re tax deductible) that’ll be passed along to venues in hopes that as many as possible can be kept afloat until we’re back to normal.
Scott Mohler, the president of the Maine Music Alliance, talked to 207 about what will happen if these venues don’t get some help. Watch our interview to see what he had to say.