The National Independent Talent Organization is a non-profit group initially formed by like-minded independent talent agencies (and soon thereafter expanded to encompass independent management companies) for the purpose of promoting the welfare and prosperity of its members and their represented artists, as well as for the indirect benefit of those associated with them. NITO welcomes a broad coalition of the live music ecosystem.
From the point of inception, NITO has been working tirelessly to advocate for the survival of the live music community as the nation and economy slowly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talent Agents and Managers represent and work for the artists and are the direct conduit between the Artists and the countless people whose livelihoods depend on one another: Publicists, Social Media Managers, Promoters and their staff, Travel Agents, Record Companies, Tour and Production Managers, Sound, Lighting and Backline Technicians, Riggers, Gaffers, Truck and Bus Drivers, Freight Companies, Venue Staff (Box Office, Ticket Takers, Ushers, Security, Concessionaires, Caterers, Marketers, Stagehands, Loaders, Hospitality, Runners, Local Transport, Janitorial), Accounting, Airlines, Hotels, Rental Vehicles, and Ticketing Companies, etc.
NITO’s 14 founding small independent businesses currently represent approximately 2,000 artists. In 2019, collectively, more than 40,000 concerts were booked by NITO’s members across the U.S. with over 12.5 million tickets sold, generating in excess of half a billion dollars in gross ticket sales annually. The additional financial impact of these performances on surrounding communities is over $1 billion.
While it is still unknown when it will be safe to experience the thrill of a concert in person again, NITO will continue their efforts on behalf of the artists they represent and their role as the engine that helps to employ and support all of those who depend on their work. NITO will fight to keep this community alive until it’s safe again to gather with friends and other fans to share these experiences that are some of the best moments of our lives.
We need and want to be assured that our voices are heard in Congress and Washington.
So many people in our industry live hand to mouth, day to day. There are no pensions and no health insurance or retirement plans for indie musicians or the people who tour with and support them. At least musicians can try to reach out to their audience online for support, but what is a guitar tech to do? What of the drum tech or the sound engineer or the road manager or driver — not to mention the promoters, the booking agents, the bartenders? The ripple effects of the world of live entertainment going dark are vast. Let’s shine a light on all the people whose work helps all of our lives to be enriched by live music. Let’s support them through #NITO’s advocacy.Ani DiFranco
The independent heart and soul of art is the lifeline of the music business. From the artists, agents, drivers, and the crews who put the shows on to the fans and people who come out breathing big love and energy back into this joyful exchange. The members of NITO are essential to this wonderful and hardworking community. Your support of this organization works directly to ensure the healthy and exciting return of live music across our nation.The Avett Brothers
When artists go on tour, our job is to take the stresses and worries away from people with our music. Now grounded in lockdown from COVID-19, we ask you to take the stresses and worries away from us.Big D and the Kids Table
My four decades of being a full-time touring musician have been the fulfillment of a childhood dream, a dream that has suddenly and unexpectedly come to an awakening halt. I’m not alone in this, of course, as tens of thousands of artists, along with the agents, managers, and behind-the-scenes workers who make the live music industry possible, now find themselves without any means of support. Please join me in supporting NITO, thereby helping so many of us who bring our music to the world get back to living out our dreams.Big Sandy
Music is the lifeblood for many: music fans in front of the stage, those who work backstage, and the performers on the stage. NITO is fighting the fight for musicians and all those who make live music happen so everyone the world over may continue to enjoy the thrill and joy of hearing music in person.Chris Smither
NITO is the start of a new beginning and we all want to be there! All of us are ready to kick start with enthusiasm this great business that drives us all. I would like to thank NITO for being here to help the entire music industry stay on its feet. With your help, I know we will bounce back and be bigger than before! We know your voice will be heard for all of us.Carl Palmer of Emerson Lake & Palmer
The pandemic has devastated the touring circuit. Here at home and all around the world. We will need to stick together in order to survive. Live music as we know it is under threat. This includes the bigger venues, the smaller venues, the people who depend on live music from the doorman to the sound-man to the service staff. In fact, the whole ecosystem that makes the big wheels roll is coming apart. We don’t know where things are headed. But we have strength in numbers.Chuck Prophet
Bands, band managers, booking agencies, PR companies, show promoters, road crew...we all depend on each other, and we're all fighting for the survival and future of live music. In ordinary times, it's a tough business. And now, facing this pandemic, it's crucial that all of the above band together to keep our careers and dreams intact and get our voices heard (in Washington and beyond). The Claudettes are thankful for the creation of NITO and look forward to working with all these creative and energized partners.The Claudettes
The independent spirit that drives the members of NITO is the engine of the live music ecosystem and they are vital to the livelihoods of musicians, crews, venue workers and a multitude of other professionals who rely on concerts and tours for income. All of these hard working people and their businesses have been deeply impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic and sadly without federal support, many won’t survive. Without them all of the joy and community that live music offers could be lost. I look forward to the day they can get back to work, so we can get back to work, and live music can once again bring us all together. It feels more needed and important than ever.Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes
Only you know and I know, all the love that we got to show", is a line from a song I’ve been performing live for over 50 years. Please join me in supporting NITO while they help to keep that love alive and get our stages open, our bands and crews working, and our communities once again filled with the joy of live music.Dave Mason: Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2004
When an audience sees a show, what they don’t see is the huge amount of work that happened months and years ahead of time to make that concert possible. Our support network has done so much for us over the years, and we’re proud to stand with them as supporters of NITO and their efforts to keep independent music professionals afloat for as long as this pandemic lasts.Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Tedeschi Trucks Band
As the organization that represents music’s creators, we welcome our new allies at NITO. Artists were among the first to suffer from the results of the pandemic and will be among the last to recover. As citizens turn to music during these troubled times, it demonstrates that music makers must survive and thrive. We look forward to working with NITO as partners in improving the lives of artists.Harvey Mason Jr., Chairman and Interim President/CEO, Recording Academy
Musicians play music because we need to, on a molecular level. It’s a calling. Music lovers are motivated by a similar instinctual impulse, like breathing. As our way of life is threatened during this unprecedented crisis, we have to do all we can to preserve live music. Only by working together can we hope to carry on this sacred mission.The Iguanas
Having never signed a major label deal or major touring deal, the independent nature of The String Cheese Incident is rooted deeply and celebrated widely through our music, our message, and our live connection with our fans. Our independent management and booking teams started working with us in 1996. It’s with that independent spirit that we can continue to have a close and inspired conversation and take action towards realizing our own unique vision of where we want to be, and how we are presented to our audience. NITO is the next step in organizing our scene within a scene to form a family of agents, managers, crew and talent that reflects why we wanted to be part of music in the first place.Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident)
When my "Shapeshifting Tour" starts up next year it will be because of the tireless efforts of my agent Wayne Forte, my managers, publicists, social media managers, local and international promoters, travel agents, record company and staff, tour and production managers, sound, lighting and backline crew, truck and bus drivers, freight company, venue owners and staff, my accountants, etc… From the smallest club to the biggest festival they all do their part in helping me bring my music to you. These good people are an essential part of our local and international community as well. Without them the live music scene will collapse. The current pandemic is mercilessly putting our collective health and livelihoods in great jeopardy. NITO can make our voices heard in Congress and Washington. Please join me in lending your supportJoe Satriani
It’s a long, crooked road between me and the farmer who grows the popcorn. There are many twists and bumps along the way. Without a venue at the end of the road, none of the turns will be taken and countless lives will be damaged instead of sustained in the journey. Pop the Popcorn. Get Behind NITO.Jerry Douglas
As a singer and musician for the past 58 years, my livelihood is based on live performances and touring. Without them, my bills couldn’t be paid. The disappearance of these gigs results in both a complete loss of income and my career momentum. My income affects both my agent and manager as well. Until it is safe to return to venues, it is vital for us all to be compensated.John Hammond
When I was a Congressman from NY-19, I abstained from voting on bills that could affect my income one way or the other, but as a private citizen I have to say this: During this trying time, and in the years to come, live music and all the performing arts are important to the mental health of our nation. Many people have commented that music has helped them cope with isolation. Drowned out by the news about billions of dollars going to rescue giant corporations is this fact: musicians, agents, managers, sound and light technicians, roadies, and performance venues have all seen their income evaporate. The spinoff into host communities, with ticket takers, ushers, parking attendants, restaurant employees all earning and spending money when concerts happen, has also been halted by Covid.John Hall of Orleans and U.S. Representative for New York's 19th Congressional District 2007 -2011
“You can watch all the Netflix you want, take walks, bake cakes, try to log onto ZOOM meetings…but what you CAN’T do right now is share the incredible experience of live music in a room full of other like-minded people...all there sharing the same wonderful, transcendent moment together. Having played music professionally my entire life, I’ve watched first hand the countless amounts of musicians, technicians, drivers, promoters and administrative workers who have been pummeled by the events of 2020. Not just financially but also on a personal and emotional level. This is what we do and not being able to go out and do it for the world continues to paralyze and hinder the entire music world. Please support the NITO call to action and help save live music!”Josh Freese, Drummer for Sting, The Vandals, Devo, NIN, Weezer, The Replacements, and A Perfect Circle
Booking agencies help artists and crew through the pandemic with NITO.Kim Gordon
Independent music is what has fueled touring bands and cities big and small for decades. Without the ability to tour, many thousands of people are without work or financial support of any kind. These are the musicians, the road crews, the people who sling merch, bands who set up their own equipment, booking agents and managers that have built their businesses from the ground up, fully DIY from the get go. Not corporate, no investors. Like any people in any industry, musicians, crew and the people who take care of them need to be supported when the world of music comes to a screeching halt. NITO is here to help make this support a reality as it is needed now more than ever before.Lunachicks
Live music can be a tough business even in the best of times. Everyone who plays a part in putting on a show knows how fickle it can be; one night is a magical, wild ride while the next can be brutal and cold, but we love it. We do it for the alchemy that occurs when a whole roomful of people lock in on a feeling and lift the evening into something beyond words. NITO is advocating for all of those rooms, all of the venues and workers, bookers and performers who are a part of making that magic come to life.Matt Lorenz, The Suitcase Junket
As an independent touring musician and small business owner, protecting my team's livelihood and the livelihood of every person we work with around the country is imperative to our survival. In my opinion, music is essential to our mental wellness. Not only is it our responsibility as music consumers to advocate and lobby within the government to protect every level of our community, but it is our social duty to fight for equality and fair representation within an industry ruled by corporate giants that often swallow small businesses in times of economic crisis. We are essential workers for mental health and well being and we must fight to maintain our sovereignty. I support NITO's advocacy and trust that in these shifting societal times our creativity will blossom and we will all return to our service stronger, united, and empowered to co-exist within a system we helped design that fights for the survival of every job it holds.Nahko, Nahko and Medicine for the People
The work we do is about art and community. We are supported by a network of people pursuing the same end, to make the world a better place filled with music. the work we do is in jeopardy. We all care about the safety and health of our crew and fans so we are on hold. the work we do needs help. so many of our comrades are operated by independent agencies like ourselves. In an effort to strengthen the whole, NITO is assembling a united front to urge the government to help save music. the work we do is essential to our hearts. the work we do needs you.Paul Hoffman, Greensky Bluegrass
Behind the magic of every live concert we've ever performed as musicians, are a team of agents, managers and crew, who work tirelessly for that moment where the musical memories are made that enrich our lives forever. We need a voice in Washington to bring attention to the financial void , created by this pandemic, for working musicians and all of the people behind us, who will bring the music safely back to us. Our work is essential to the healing we face as a nation. That voice is NITO.Rita Coolidge
Before there were books, music recorded history. My job as a folk singer is to keep the music and history alive. Performers are able to share with people a few hours of songs and stories so they will have a respite from the troubles, sorrows and the mundane moments in their lives. There is no greater gift to an artist than to hear an audience laughing and singing. Theaters are places of laughter, solace, and reflection. Without those curtained stages the music, the history, the camaraderie and the memories will drift into oblivion.Roger McGuinn, The Byrds
America needs its independent live music venues! They are vital to its cultural wellbeing. Please support the National Independent Talent Organization in its effort to insure that the voice of America's Roots Music ecosystem is heard in Congress and in Washington during these most uncertain times.Steve Forbert
With concerts and festivals on hold for the foreseeable future, the people that bring music to the world need to stand together. Live music, an essential element of the human experience, is the glue that holds a community together. It brings us not only entertainment, but also hope and comfort in good times and bad. Please support NITO's life saving effort on behalf of us all.Tim O’Brien