Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Da Mayor speaks out on the promoter's ordinance

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As with so many decisions in Chicago government, the City Council's abrupt but welcome tabling of a vote on the event promoter's ordinance seems to have been decreed from the top.

Sun-Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman writes:

Daley said he's willing to soften his crackdown on event promoters amid warnings that the added cost could damage Chicago's thriving live music industry. "You don't want to have a burden on the event promoters. But, at the same time, they have a responsibility to protect the people," he said.

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what a dumbass. The fact that the DBA had NO data on what this proposed ordinance was supposed to address in the first place, it's clear that Da Mare was initially decreed from the top in the first place. He's just covering his ass trying to look like the White Knight.

Don't these idiots in government actually *think* before they act ? We'll never see the end to this crap until Daley is indicted or kicks the bucket

I'm hearing some talk that they're still going ahead with a vote tomorrow. Are we sure this is tabled for now?

thanks for covering this story -- without your blog, the ordinance might have passed before we even got a chance to speak up about it.

The unfortunate event @ E2 has absolutely nothing to do with this at all. The simple fact is that the evening was full of poor management and inadequate security.

Bottom line -- it is the promoter's responsibility to promote. Plain and simple. While we should use good judgement at all times and take all precautions to ensure safety at the event that we promote...there is a reason that there are venue expenses (insurance, etc.) and that there are venue employees (management, security, etc.)...we are already paying those fees -- AS WELL AS taxes which help pay city employees whose job it is to enforce building codes, etc.

You can't for a second tell me that if I PROMOTE an event I am responsible for the safety and security of everyone in the building during the event. Half of the time, the people promoting the events are not even at the events! It is a marketing tool for venues and local artists...

There are venue managers, employees, and bonded security guards for a reason. It is b/c the venue has liability for its patrons -- there is a reason that promoters do not bring their own security, bartenders, housekeeping crews, etc. IT'S A VENUE. If we held shows at our house, then yes, we would be responsible. But that's not what's happening here!

This is merely another way for the city to exercise it's "power" and the money grubbing elected to crush the efforts of those that truly make Chicago a place that people WANT to be.


I came to Chicago because I was blown away by the opportunities that were given to the members of the community. Here, people are able to create, inspire, express themselves...
In Chicago it is possible to be a successful entrepeneur, and because of this we have thriving family businesses, privately owned venues, beautiful historical and artistic achievements. There is so much wrong with corporate America and what this entire country is becoming...why ruin a good thing here in Chicago? Why does the city insist upon trying to pass unnecessary laws and inadvertently make Chicago a cookie cutter city like all of the rest? Let's not worry about the shootings in Chicago that are reaching insane numbers, or lake pollution, or any of the other number of things that negatively effect the city as a whole...let's focus on this crazy, ridiculous, ludicrous effort to bring down something that merely enhances the culture, the economy, and the growth of Chicago daily. How wrong.

I am glad that this crazy effort was tabled, but I doubt that it's the last we will see of it.

Fidel Daley's corruption on everything else notwithstanding, it is patently obvious that he knows nothing about the music/performing arts business. He just wants a piece of the action to go along with the hammer and sickle of what is rapidly becoming the Soviet Republic of Chicago.

I feel Daley and has his cohorts come up with "ordinances" to make more and more revenue- thats the truth behind all of this. Lets be honest - "lets make an ordinance and make promoters pay $500-$2000 for their licenses", lets make each promoter have to call the cops called 7 days prior to each event (like they'll come to serve and protect - hah year right) and heck while we're at it --- make them buy insurance plans so nothing goes wrong and we cover our own tails in the process.

Come on now - Its not about safety of concert goers or establishments to be safer - its about $$$$. There's alot more situations and things to work on in CHICAGO to help keep things "safer" .... .how about the guns/drugs/gangs etc - whats so "scary" about the music scene. Something went HORRIBLY wrong yes - with the club fire and Great White --- things happen (ex: any GnR show, The Who in Cleveland, Roskilde Fest etc).... unfortunate events do occur.... we do need to be safer. This is plain ridiculous though.

How about taking a step back and educating promoters with safety classes or posters to hang at bars/clubs. Having maps outlining exits in establishments and having a clubs/bars security actually be dilligent and not allow people in with weapons or items that are hazardous. Lets just hire some real security and check people and bands and make things safer in that respect.

This new ordinance is senseless. As senseless as when the mayor put into effect new rules and regulations on street musicians. Having musicians sign in at different designated stations (during festivals and special events) every 2-hours, not allowing generators for amplification power (for GREEN reasons- yet every vendor and their mother is hiding a generator behind their tents for power at EVERY festival). As a musician of an established Chicago rock band who got his street performers license just to play for the people and have fun playing during the summer season - I LOVED every second I spent playing on the corner of Jackson and Michigan and atop of the Jackson bridge in the mid-90's. It was great. We were interviewed for the Sun-Times and photgraphed during our experiences. Those were good days for the Chicago music scene.

Then the mayor decided to infiltrate that scene and change it..... FOR WHAT? What was the reason behind establishing these new guidelines for street musicians?

It was to get more money for licenses and have people slowly pushed away from even wanting to deal with the "processes". Thats what caused me and my band to stop. It made for more competition of other musicians wanting your spot and waiting in line to sign up before you. Setting up a drumkit and tearing down your gear after 2-hours is just not worth it - we chose to stop. Nowadays, walking around the Chicago Blues Fest and Taste of Chicago make sure to look around and see how many "street musicians" are present..... I can count on one hand ---- in the 90's it was a musical HEAVEN of great artists.

It was a stupid change that hurt the blues community as well as the street performing community as a whole - and this new ordinance is another attack on the Chicago performing arts scene. Seems like the MAYOR is slowly taking away what Chicago has historically been known for --- its amazing music scene. Its what people come to see when in chicago and experience. This is just another way for more city officials having their hands in the cookie jar. More regulations, more rules and a new way to make more $. Thanks Mayor.

Other examples of Mayor Daley trying to do good while pushing away our music history = MAXWELL STREET..... nice new townhouses and condos have been erect in an area that was the epitome of Chicago Blues. To today's youth --- they'll never get to experience what true Chicago Blues was. A historical area was swept under the rug to what is new building and city revenue.

Thank you, Goodbye.

The Chicago Music Commission is providing a forum for anyone concerned to articulate their concerns, suggest changes and amendments to the current draft ordinance.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on May 13, 2008 3:12 PM.

UPDATE: Promoter's ordinance tabled (for now) was the previous entry in this blog.

Fall Out Boy speaks out: Pete Wentz on the promoter's ordinance is the next entry in this blog.

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