Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Ald. Schulter explains delay in promoter's ordinance

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In case you missed it, the chairman of the city licensing committee wrote a letter to the editor published in the Sun-Times Monday.

The full text of the letter can be found here, but the heart of the Alderman's statement is that he wants to "ensure that the concerns of Chicago's music and entertainment industry are examined through both public hearings and extensive meetings with a diverse group of promoters, musicians, and venue owners."

To date, most of the feedback the committee and other city officials have solicited from the incredibly diverse Chicago music community has come from a small group of activists and specific venue owners and concert promoters. Since this is an issue that affects myriad underground music scenes -- the Latin music world, the punk-rock scene, hip-hop, avant-jazz, electronica, etc., etc. -- much more widespread public meetings are not only warranted but necessary, if music fans are to accept their elected officials' word that, as Schulter says in the letter, he really does want to "ensure that the ordinance as it is finally passed does not place an undue burden on local musicians, young people breaking into the music industry or established venue owners."

Where and when will these meetings be held? We haven't heard yet. Hopefully we will.

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Oh Jim, your faith in our elected officials is touching... but let's be honest: this ordinance is meant to help create "unique events while ensuring that event attendees are protected," as the Alderman said in his letter, in the same way that Glen Ballard was hired to "improve" Aerosmith. It's a cynical idea, and it is insulting that the city council thinks so little of the arts that it has to regulate everything (which, let's face it, isn't the first time they've taken a stupid idea and made it stupider; remember the fiasco with the Smashing Pumpkins?).

This is, plainly and simply, about allowing conglomerates to gobble up the concert industry in Chicago the way they've gobbled up our media, our housing, our banks, and our stores.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on May 21, 2008 9:13 AM.

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