I missed the opportunity to post several important updates about 1.) the promoter’s ordinance, 2.) the Pitchfork Music Festival, 3.) Lollapalooza and 4.) the Bottom Lounge. News on all of the above follows the jump.
1. The promoter’s ordinance: This potentially devastating legislation is far from dead in the water. On June 5, members of the City Council Licensing and Consumer Protection Committee and other city staffers met with invited members of the Chicago entertainment industry, including representatives of the Chicago Music Commission, in an attempt to craft revisions on the proposed event promoters ordinance before it comes up for a vote again.
According to a report on the CMC Website, “The meeting accomplished two main things. It allowed for the City to clarify what it believes are misunderstandings about the language of the ordinance and its impact on the music community. And it allowed for CMC and other members of the music community to ask questions of City staff and offer their views on the ordinance and remaining questions they have about ordinance language.”
What I find disturbing about this is that, one, the city continues to meet with “invited members of the Chicago entertainment industry” (those are CMC’s words) instead of holding broad, well-publicized open meetings, and two, the city continues to show no essential understanding of who exactly qualifies as a promoter in this city’s small but vibrant underground music scenes. The FAQ that it has posted (linked off the CMS site) still does not accept the fact that a musician or other performer can sometimes BE a promoter, or that many benefits sponsored by ad-hoc organizations that have not jumped through the hoops of getting official non-profit status or which have not been around for three years WOULD be hurt by this law.
But hey, what do I know? The city just keeps repeating the mantra that there are many misunderstandings about the ordinance, most of those fostered by the press. One more reason why public hearings are needed.
2. The Pitchfork Music Festival: Is branching out from Union Park and going beyond the three days of music scheduled there to host several events at Millennium Park dubbed “Audible Architecture: Chicago Nightclubs at Noon.”
The Monday lunchtime concert series, which will run from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., includes performance by Bird Names (today), Gary Higgins (June 23), the Killer Whales (June 30), Le Loup (July 7), Bill Callahan (July 28), Tortoise (Aug.4 ), the Ex (Aug. 18) and Habib Koite & Bamada (Aug. 25).
In a prime example of outreach and integration between a major music fest and the rest of the music community, the shows are being co-sponsored by Pitchfork, the city Dept. of Cultural Affairs and local clubs. It’s a model that could certainly teach a thing or three to…
3. Lollapalooza: From the minute Austin, Texas-based promoters C3 Presents first rolled into Grant Park four years ago, many members of the local music community have asked why the city was so enthusiastic in greenlighting its plans when it had been so hostile for so long to other rock concerts in the waterfront paradise, shutting down, among others, surviving members of the Grateful Dead and the Smashing Pumpkins.
On June 1, as part of a much larger investigative report on the clout of Mayor Daley’s family members, my colleague Tim Novak reported that Mayor Daley’s nephew Mark G. Vanecko is the festival’s lawyer and lobbyist, and the man who secured a five-year contract with the city in 2006.
“It had nothing to do with him being the mayor’s nephew,” said C3 founding partner Charlie Jones told me. “Our deal was already done. It had nothing to do with that.”
4. The Bottom Lounge: Is now, finally, open, after months of delays that sources say were the result of frustrating city licensing procedures. The club’s schedule is posted here.