While we Chicagoans still have the specter of the wrongheaded–and thankfully still unpassed—independent-promoter ordinance hanging over our heads, Baltimore is looking to strengthen its city’s live music scene by taking the radical step of not treating people who want to put on shows like criminals.
City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake has proposed relaxing zoning restrictions on bars and restaurants looking to host shows and setting up a panel to deal with venues on a case-by-case basis, a much more flexible and intelligent system than the two proposed independent-promoter ordinances, which could’ve been applied to pretty much any instance of people gathering to watch live entertainment. The Baltimore plan also calls for the creation of an office to “coordinate police, fire, health and other city departments and act as the initial mediator between communities and the businesses,” which makes more sense than hassling the cops with advance paperwork for every single event happening in their neighborhood, which both iterations of the Chicago plan have called for.
If her words on the matter are any indication, Rawlings-Blake is motivated by a level of clearheaded logic that’s disturbingly rare in city government:
“One of the ways that we can really be competitive is to create a city where people want to live,” said Rawlings-Blake. “There’s an economic component to enhancing our arts, entertainment and dining in the city.”
If Chicago’s City Council could approach the city’s music scene in the same manner, it might be able to produce something aside from free-floating resentment, like maybe an actual plan to keep live music strong and safe in our city.
Kinda doubt it though.
(Baltimore Sun, via Idolator)