Sign This Petition Against Mark Squilla’s Dumb Music Bill
Huge props to Dustin Slaughter of Billy Penn for cracking this one open:
A new bill from Philly City Councilman Mark Squilla would require owners of nightclubs, cabarets, bars and restaurants in the city to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of entertainers — bands, rappers and DJs — in a registry, and to share that personal information with police upon request.
The proposal, which was introduced last week and is headed to a committee hearing, would directly involve the Philadelphia Police Department in the approval process for so-called “Special Assembly Occupancy” licenses — giving law enforcement de facto veto power over whether shows can be held at venues that hold 50 or more people.
“Giving performers’ information to police when requested enables them to review past performances to see if there were any public safety issues during their events,” Councilman Mark Squilla told Billy Penn via email.
Oh yeah, a list like that would never be abused.
Anyway, it isn’t feasible:
Sean Agnew, owner of R5 Productions, worried immediately about the impact on the city’s music scene, and the practical application of such a sweeping request.
“This is news to me. I’m not sure what the reasoning or theory is. As someone who books 600+ shows a year, I have never once received an artist’s home address or phone number. It’s all through booking agents, managers, publicists,” Agnew told Billy Penn. “There is a firewall in place with the artists. I can’t imagine a band’s representatives wanting to give their clients information over to the police without a really good reason.”
Then sign this petition. Get this bill squashed or let the heavens fall.