Chicago's "Promoters' Ordinance" To Cripple Local Music

Tomorrow the Chicago City Council will vote on Chapter 4-157, the "Promoters' Ordinance" which will force independent promoters to become licensed, regulate the kinds of events that are allowed and change the face of independent Chicago music, arts, and culture. Many believe it's aimed at stomping out underground dance music. The Sun Times has more today.

The website "In opposition to Chapter 4-157" states the following:

What is Chapter 4-157? (from the Chicago Independent Radio Project)

The Chicago City Council has fast-tracked its new version of a measure first introduced last year to greatly impede independent promoters attempting to hold events in the city. Under the proposed law, independent promoters would have to acquire a promoter's license at a cost of up to $2000 every two years, obtain liability insurance for every event thrown, even if the presenting venue already has liability insurance, be fingerprinted and background checked, and maintain extensive records of each event. The ordinance allegedly is intended to prevent disasters like the one that occurred in the E2 nightclub several years ago, but really would just put many small indies (not to mention non-profits that rely on events for fundraising, like CHIRP) out of business.

Jim DeRogatis is on top of the story, so we'll link to him rather than paraphrase further.

FYI, the ordinance exempts non-profits from certain portions of the rules (although not the extensive record keeping), but requires a group to have been in existence for at least three years, or to have 501(c)3 status.

CHIRP, while non-profit, has only been around since August 2007, and is still being advised on 501(c)3 issues, a process that often takes more than a year from application to approval. This means events ranging from our Record Fair to dance parties at Town Hall Pub to speaking events by media activists might be out of our reach under the new ordinance...and if we cannot throw those events to raise money, there is no way to fund our organization.

If you value live music in Chicago (and the work of the Chicago Indie Radio Project), it's important that you make your voice heard. Call your alderman and ask him or her to oppose the Promoter Ordinance. Be polite. Tell him or her you support live music in Chicago, and feel this ordinance would kill many great events. Say you want venues to be safe, but this ordinance goes too far.

Your voice makes a difference. Place a call to your alderman's office today. This page
will help you find your alderman and give you his or her phone number -- quick and easy! It only takes a couple of minutes.

And if you're able, come to the city council meeting on Wednesday, May 14 at 10AM in City Council chambers, and speak out against the measure.

Also, all letter sent from affected parties to promoters{dot}ordinance{at}gmail{dot}com may be (with permission) posted on the letters page, as well as printed and brought to the city council meeting along with the Chicago Indie Radio Project Representatives. So send in those personal stories even if you can't make it yourself!