Friday, May 9, 2008

Unyielding Commissioning Gets Serious

You gotta tell em! -- This coming Wednesday, the Chicago City Council is voting on a measure that would greatly affect the music scene here in town. Five years after the E2 crowd stampede tragedy, they are looking to impose financial and regulatory constraints on any independent promoter putting on a show in Chicago (not counting the largest, seat-laden venues). They have reportedly sought little input from the Chicago music community and while they are working from a well-intentioned point of view, their actions are hasty and carry with them potentially devastating effects on the music scene in our fair city. Greg Kot has a really solid post on his blog which sums up the whole thing pretty darn well. Money quote:

The new ordinance will cut down the number of such shows, and add to the financial burden already felt by one of this city’s most precious cultural resources: its music clubs.
Jim DeRogatis has also had several postings about this. Here, here, and here. So for once, Fighting the Youth is asking for something in return. Please contact your alderman and let him or her know that you oppose the ordinance and believe that there is a better way to ensure safety. Here is the note I wrote to mine:
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed Promoter Ordinance, scheduled for a vote this Wednesday. The ordinance, while well-intentioned, has the potential to cause major harm to Chicago's music scene. If promoters are forced to incur these extra expenses, they will simply not bring their concerts to the city. Our music venues have an excellent track record of keeping their patrons safe whether a show is put on by an independent promoter or their regular partners. They have every incentive to continue doing that with or without this ordinance.

I grew up in this city, going to music performances whenever I could. I found my social niche in the process. I continue to frequent Chicago's music venues, taking in a show about once a week. It would be a shame if one of our city's great cultural resources were harmed due to hasty action, well-intentioned or not.

Click on this map to find your Alderman and his or her contact information. If you care about music in this city, I urge you to call or write in your feelings. Feel free to plagiarize me as necessary. Time is of the essence here with a vote coming this Wednesday.

UPDATE: DeRogatis has interviewed the spokeswoman for the Department of Business Affairs & Licensing on the issue. Click here to read the somewhat evasive and noncommittal answers to his questions. Again, please contact your alderman if you have not already done so.

EVEN MORE UPDATE: DeRogatis has now interviewed Alderman Eugene Schulter, chairman of the city licensing committee. Check it out here.

Off the soapbox -- We still gotta have some fun, here, right? Here's the ultimate nerdy movie list. The 8 Most Preposterous Movie Computer Moments. I don't know how the orange coming back at the end of Tron doesn't make the cut, but I like what they've done here.

Rock it out -- There's no ordinance yet! So anyone interested in checking out some good rawk can meet me tonight at Subterranean for Sybris, Bon Savants, and Apteka. See you there!

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