Philly Permit Debate Solved

A compromise between Philadelphia promoters and city officials who have been at odds about the city’s plan to tighten permitting rules for live entertainment that promoters claim will hurt their business has reportedly been worked out.

The creation of Bill 100267, co-sponsored by city councilmen Darrell Clarke and Bill Greenlee, is said to stem from police concerns regarding potential out-of-control crowds when promoters book clubs for events and it’s not clear who’s in charge, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

One example is an event put on by an outside promoter at Club Adesso in January. The event reportedly drew 1,200 people to the 149-capacity venue, which led to problems when more patrons arrived by bus, the paper said.

The initial proposal required promoters to apply for event permits from the police department 30 days in advance. The department could deny that permit as late as 10 days before the event date. The application would also require a detailed security plan, copy of the venue-promoter contract and the promoter’s business license number.

Promoters said the bill would severely limit their business opportunities and they didn’t like submitting contracts to the city that could become public record.

Some area residents feared the restrictions would extend to concerts of any size, including basement jams and backyard birthday parties, and made their feelings known with online petitions to eliminate the bill and a picket at City Hall, the paper said.

As a result, the city council reportedly amended the bill late May to a less-draconian version, the Inquirer said.

The 30-day application requirement has been dropped but promoters still need to notify police in writing before booking a venue for an event that will draw more than 50 customers.

Promoters also need to be registered with the city and have a business license but the requirement to provide a copy of the venue-promoter contract has been dropped, the paper said.