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27 January 2016

Nail In The Coffin? Philadelphia’s Music Scene Under Attack By Councilman Mark Squilla’s Proposed Legislation

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(Philadelphia, PA)  At a time where venues are closing and crowd attendance is lacking, being a local musician, promoter or DJ in Philadelphia has become increasing difficult since the recession.

The difficulties have also crept up to the national level, where touring acts are opting to skip our city  for the likes of New York City or Washington D.C., if only to have a better chance at a huge draw.

A recent bill (#160016) has been proposed by Councilman Mark Squilla as an amendment to the so named “Special Assembly Occupancies” section of a Philadelphia Code, which many view would needlessly burden venues, musicians, DJs, promoters, convention organizers, independent film and art festival planners with bureaucracy and fees. Many feel that businesses and city revenue would also suffer at the ratification of this amendment.

This is not to mention another dangerous threat: the violation of your privacy.

This will adversely affect every public held event, especially in our dark culture.

One of the line items in the bill suggests that the venue would be responsible to collect, register, and store personal information of all performers and staff per event, where the police could come in at any time, without warrant, and seize that data essentially without your knowing. It also grants the police licensing authority over the types of events that can be held, and the discretionary power to enforce its own codes or at its worst ban an event from ever taking place.

We thought dealing with L & I was bad enough.

You can read the bill here.

This legislation comes as a knee jerk response to the news of a shooting that occurred outside a popular venue on South Street. It’s being dictated that we have to ask the police permission to perform our art, and hopefully, it wouldn’t upset their “codes”. Under this bill, we are being criminalized for being artists, and we haven’t started to mention the extorting policies in procuring the licenses.

SO….we have decided to collect and store personal information of council members who are in support of this bill, in case it does come into full legislation.

If you wish to voice your opposition to Councilman Squilla, which we strongly suggest that you do, his office phone number is (215) 686-1931.

You don’t have to be local to support the opposition. We are sure you don’t want this bureaucracy should you wish to perform your art for us in Killadelphia, the city that stabs you back!


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