NIVA '25: Coming to Milwaukee!

June 10 / 2024



Milwaukee Local Venues Will Play Host to NIVA’s Fourth Annual Conference Next June


MILWAUKEE (June 10, 2024) - The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) announces Milwaukee as the location of its fourth annual conference scheduled for June 2025. The announcement was made at the conclusion of NIVA ‘24 in New Orleans, attended by over 1,300 NIVA members, partners, and sponsors. The announcement was presented as a video montage featuring notable figures with ties to Milwaukee, including: Alice Cooper, Jim Gaffigan, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Rufus Wainwright, and Mayor Cavalier Johnson. Link to video clip here.


The premier gathering of the nation’s independent live concert, comedy, promoter, and festival industry, NIVA ‘25 will once again unite the independent live entertainment community with panels, programming, and live entertainment. Several NIVA venues across Milwaukee will host the conference with activations expected to take place throughout the city.


“Milwaukee’s independent stages have transformed the city into a must-perform destination for artists, and we’re thrilled to bring America’s live community there next summer,” said Stephen Parker, Executive Director of NIVA. “Independent live entertainment has become a centerpiece of Milwaukee’s tourism, economic development, and vibrancy. We can’t wait to celebrate and showcase the world’s next great music and performance city.”


Milwaukee is a prime location for a conference of this kind, given that an estimated $400 million in annual economic impact is generated for the city’s businesses, thanks to live entertainment, according to Visit Milwaukee.


“If NIVA gave birth to a baby, it most likely would look very much like Milwaukee,” says Gary Witt, President & CEO of the Pabst Theater Group and founding member of NIVA. “Milwaukee is a city filled with beautiful, historic independent live entertainment venues that have, without the assistance of the national players, helped to build community and loyalty and define the city’s soul and identity. Collectively, Milwaukee’s independent venues drive a significant portion of entertainment and nightlife revenue and help to attract new development and residents to our downtown - which is exactly why we founded NIVA in the first place. We are thrilled for our city to be the host of the NIVA ’25, and we welcome promoters and industry veterans from all over the country to experience Milwaukee, an epicenter of NIVA independent venues.”


“We are so thrilled to welcome NIVA’s annual conference to Milwaukee next year,” adds Peggy Williams-Smith, President & CEO of Visit Milwaukee. “We know NIVA ‘25 attendees will find a supportive community rich in amenities, like world-class dining and museums, plus beautiful venues, a thriving Milwaukee Theater District, and so much more. We are very grateful to the team of locals led by Pabst Theater Group’s Gary Witt who helped win this convention and ultimately showcase Milwaukee as a premier live entertainment and convention destination.”


More details on conference programming and early bird ticket registration to be announced soon.


Go to to find information about registration, media credential applications, and host hotels.



The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) represents independent music and comedy venues, promoters, and festivals throughout the U.S. NIVA led the #SaveOurStages campaign, culminating in landmark legislation in 2020 that established the $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

NIVA's mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live venues, promoters, and festivals throughout the United States. NIVA is committed to equity in its support and advocacy for independent venues and seeks to create and encourage opportunities for venues, promoters, and festivals owned, operated, and staffed by people of color, women, non-binary, LGBTQ+, veterans, and


NIVA Contact:

Lucky Break PR

Kris Ferraro,

Mike Stommel,


By: Sara Peronto

Sara Peronto has worked in the non- and for-profit worlds with a specific emphasis in managing public relations, special events, communications and marketing efforts for over 15 years. She is responsible for overseeing public and media relations for The Pabst Theater Group as a whole as well as the over 650 shows that take place annually at its venues.

Jul 2024



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