SAN ANTONIO — Relief could be coming to live music venues across the state. The governor signed a bill into law that would provide a yearly rebate of up to $100,000 to eligible music venues. SB 609 creates the Texas music incubator rebate program.
"This is a huge help for live music venues," Pamela Martinez, bar manager at LUNA Music Bar and Lounge, said.
Venues would have to meet certain requirements in order to apply, such as having an operating capacity of less than 3,000. The rebate would also depend on how much the venues paid in alcohol taxes the previous year, and come from money the venues paid into the state's alcohol tax.
“The trickle-down effect of this bill will definitely help out with that in being able to take care of the musicians that play here," Martinez said.
Martinez has been with LUNA for 13 years. She said she enjoys the venue because it gives her the opportunity to meet new people and discover music. She said 2020 was the lounge's 17th anniversary, however the pandemic created some obstacles.
“It’s been a struggle," Martinez said. "Luckily we were able to kind or reinvent ourselves."
Martinez said the rebate would not only help businesses, but give musicians their passion back.
“It shows we have a place here in the city and that we’re able to provide a safe and enjoyable evening," Martinez said.
Eligible music venues would be able to apply for the program beginning in Sept. 2022. Music festivals can also apply for the program, however, only if they're in a county with a population of less than 100,000.