Short version: Phillyist used me a source for an article about the proposed Philly promoter bill! They agree with me that the bill is well-intentioned but misguided, and will likely do more harm than good to the city and its blossoming music scene.
Over the past two weeks Philly performers and promoters have been up in arms about a Philadelphia City Council bill (#100267) proposed on April 22 that would require local venues and promoters to be more closely licensed and monitored.
How closely? The following passage is drawing most of the ire:
A Promoter of an event must obtain a promoted event permit from the Police Commissioner for each such event. Application for such promoted event permit shall be made in writing to the captain of the police district in which the event is to take place at least thirty days prior to such event …
The application shall be deemed approved unless it is
denied at least ten days prior to such event.
…must include all of the following:
(i) The promoter’s business privilege license number;
(ii) A detailed security plan…
(iii) A copy of the written contract between the promoter and special assembly occupancy licensee.
Speaking anecdotally from personal experience, let’s just say that I’m not always booked 30 days in advance, the promoter is often me or a friend putting something together on a lunch break, that our shows don’t usually require private security, and that I very rarely have a written contract to refer to as an artist or a promoter!
I have a lot of other things to say about the bill, and how it would have completely altered my opportunities as a musician as well as a promoter for our festival and #blamedrewscancer. While that opinion continues to brew into a post, Joe Ross of Phillyist did a great job of distilling my rambling to two succinct soundbites:
Peter is in support of the petition to kill the bill because it appears to limit the opportunities available to the local music scene, saying that “to try to legislate every performance takes away a lot of those opportunities — not only for artists, but for indie venues and promoters.”
Peter also had doubts about the solution we suggested above. He told us “that might just encourage known promoters to charge new, indie artists and promoters to use them by proxy. The entire system invites abuse.”
For more background on the bill, the petition, and how the two can be reconciled, check out Phillyist’s entire article on the topic.
(Also, many thanks to Joe for the multiple-platform shoutout to both my musicianship and my blogging!)