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Chicago Promoter Ordinance Shot Down – For Now

CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A controversial proposal for a new ordinance requiring live music promoters in Chicago to seek city permits has been sent back to a committee after it was withdrawn before a full council vote, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.

The City Council vote on the measure had been slated for May 13th but Aldorman Eugene Schulter withdrew the proposal after a meeting with members of Chicago's Music Commission, which includes Metro's Joe Shanahan and Jam Productions talentbuyer Nick Miller.

The ordinance would have required promoters to carry city-issued licenses, which may have cost up to $2,000, added insurance requirements and formerly delineated contractual language such as venue capacity. The proposal for an ordinance was inspired by a stampede at a Chicago nightclub E2, which left 21 patrons dead.

Many in the Chicago music community were against the ordinance, claiming that while the intent was worthwhile, the proposed ordinance was poorly-considered and would entirely eliminate the margin of profit that allows small promoters to operate. Some, such as Jam Production's Jerry Mickelson maintained that legitimate venue operators and promoters were being unfairly lumped in with fly-by-night and underground promoters.

"At E2, they club owners said, 'Okay, guys. You're renting my venue. Here's the keys to my house. I'll see you tomorrow.' That doesn't happen with a responsibly run venue. It's vastly different than the way we operate" Mickelson told CelebrityAccess.

The proposed ordinance has been returned to the city's Business Affairs & Licensing Department Committee for "fine tuning" and it will likely be at least a month before any further forward motion is made.

"You don't want to have a burden on the event promoters," Mayor Daley told reporters "But, at the same time, they have a responsibility … to protect the people." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers