Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Chicago to music venues: Pay up

Ah, Chicago. Home to the nation's highest sales tax for a city its size. The place where you can't eat foie gras. Where you have to pay extra when drinking water from a plastic bottle. When it comes to sticking it to its residents, the Windy City can't be beat.

So, in keeping with tradition, Chicago's City Council votes tomorrow on an "Event Promoters ordinance" that will enact strict requirements for live music, theater, comedy, and whatever else in the city. Among the requirements:

— Promoters must have a license from the city to host the event and have $300,000 in liability insurance.

— "Promoter" = virtually anyone who sets up a show in Chicago, thanks to the loose definition in the ordinance.

— The license will set you back $500-$2,000, depending on expected audience size.

— If you want a license, you have to be over 21. Oh, and you'll need to be fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and who knows what else.

— If your venue has 500 or more permanent seats, you're exempt. Sorry small venues!

— Police must be informed at least seven days in advance.

The ordinance was pushed through city council with no input from constituents, so needless to say, Chicago's music venues, musicians, and fans are up in arms. For more info, check out Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis' blog explaining the ordinance. There's also an online petition against it that will also help Chicago residents find their alderman's contact information.

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