Future of Live Music Venues: Chat with National Independent Venue Association

Music venues and cultural hubs across the country are in dire circumstances. As an industry built on bringing people together, these businesses were some of the first to close their doors due to the pandemic and they’ll be the last ones to open. Denver’s music industry alone has lost an estimated $213 million in revenue sales and over half of our local industry job possessions.

NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) formed in response to the unprecedented challenges cultural hubs now face in order to act as a unified voice to work towards solutions for this vulnerable industry. With 90% of music venues reporting that they’ll have to permanently close within six months of the shutdown, we’ll discuss the status of independent venues, what solutions NIVA is working towards and what challenges may still be ahead.

This panel discussion features:

  • David Weingarden, Vice President of Concert + Events for Z2 Entertainment and member of NIVA’s Emergency Relief Committee
  • Laura Wilson, Live Music Manager for The Bohemian Foundation and chair of NIVA’s Reopening Task Force
  • Chris Zacher, Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Denver and co-captain of NIVA’s Colorado chapter

Moderated by Jessi Whitten, Levitt Pavilion Denver and Colorado Public Radio

This webinar is focused on professionals in the music industry, including musicians, venue owners, promoters, managers, crew, etc.  Questions may be submitted in advance to main@cbca.org

This webinar is presented by the CBCA partnership with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), the Colorado Music Collective (CMC), and Levitt Pavilion Denver.


David Weingarden

Vice President of Concert + Events for Z2 Entertainment

David Weingarden is the Vice President of Concerts + Events for Z2 Entertainment, based in Boulder, CO, where he oversees talent buying at the Boulder Theater, Fox Theatre, Chautauqua Auditorium, Aggie Theatre/Fort Collins, Strings Music Pavilion/Steamboat Springs, and the Breckenridge Riverwalk. Prior to this, he was the Director of Concerts/Talent Buyer for Swallow Hill Music, where he booked several venues including the Denver Botanic Gardens summer concert series. Originally from Michigan, David relocated to Colorado from San Francisco in 2007, where he worked in artist management. He has also worked for several years as a roadie and at the legendary Great American Music Hall/San Francisco. His music business career began at Michigan State University in the early 1990s. David received his Executive MBA from the University of Denver. He lives in Superior, Colorado with his family.

Laura Wilson

Live Music Manager for The Bohemian Foundation

Laura Wilson is the Live Music Manager for The Bohemian Foundation in Fort Collins, Colorado where she oversees two club venues (Washington’s and The Armory), an outdoor summer concert series and Bohemian Nights, an annual three day music festival. Previously, Laura was based in Philadelphia where she was a General Manager for Live Nation and Director of Programming and Assistant GM for World Cafe Live. Laura is also currently serving as the chair of the Reopening Task Force for NIVA (National Independent Venue Association).

Chris Zacher

Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Denver

Chris is a champion for live music that is accessible for all. He is credited with the sustainability and overwhelming popularity of City Park Jazz, serving as Vice President and President from 2006 - 2014. In 2012, Chris founded Levitt Pavilion Denver.
In 2013, Chris was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver's "Forty Under 40" for his commitment and leadership to Denver's non-profit community. He was named one of the Four Most Influential People in Denver Entertainment in 2014 by AXS.com. In 2015, Chris was honored with the inaugural Cultural Leadership Award from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. Under Chris’s leadership Levitt Pavilion Denver has received local, national, and international recognition from multiple prestigious organizations including; Pollstar, Billboard, Westword, and 5280 Magazine.
In addition to serving as the Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Denver, Chris is a lecturer at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) working in the College of Arts and Media (C.A.M.) in the Music and Entertainment Industry Studies program. Chris also serves as Co-Capitan for the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) in Colorado and is a member of Arapahoe Community College Music Audio Technology Advisory Committee.

Thanks To Our Partners