URGENT: A new bill before City Council threatens to prevent dance and arts oriented performances from happening in our City

Council members Greenlee and Clarke have introduced Bill Number 100267, amending Section 9-703 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Special Assembly Occupancies,” by imposing various requirements on promoters of events at special assembly occupancies. In essence, it would require the submission of applications 30 days in advance to the Chief of Police proving entertainment licenses, contracts between promoter and venue, liquor licenses and security plans before EVERY show scheduled in City limits. In addition, under this new bill “the application shall be deemed approved unless it is denied at least ten days prior to such event.” This basically means that shows will need to be planned way in advance of the 30 day requirement and can literally be pulled ten days prior to the event.

For smaller venues and self-promoters, already affected by the current economy, this new law would literally put them out of business preventing dance, music and other arts performances from happening in our city. Failure to comply would mean “immediate revocation of his or her amusement and business privilege licenses”, along with fines and penalties, preventing operation in city limits completely!

A copy of the full bill can be reviewed on line at http://webapps.phila.gov/council/attachments/10044.pdf

Your immediate attention is needed to prevent this from becoming law, which will happen immediately upon signing!

Please contact your representatives:

Bill Greenlee
City Hall, Room 580
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290.
(215) 686-3446 or  (215) 686-3447
Fax to (215) 686-1927

Darrell Clarke
City Hall, Room 484
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290
(215) 686-3442, (215) 686-3443

City Council President:
Anna Verna
City Hall, Room 405
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290
(215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3413
FAX: (215) 686-1932

On online petition is also available at


Online Petition
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  1. June 7th –

    Councilman Greenlee Will Introduce Amendments to ‘Promoter Bill’

    June 7, 2010-Councilman Greenlee will introduce amendments to bill number 100267, the ‘promoter bill’ on June 9th at the Committee on Licenses and Inspections.

    The amended version of the bill comes after several meetings and discussions with various promoters, special assembly occupancies and the law enforcement community. The amended language is the result of input from all sides of the table most notably, the promoter community.

    Under the amended version of the bill, special assembly occupancies will be responsible for notifying police two weeks in advance only if an event occurs beyond a venue’s regular and recurring business operations whereby an “outside operator” will take “operational control” of the special assembly occupancy meaning, maintaining legal occupancy capacity and deployment and supervision of security detail (if any exists). Special Assembly Occupancies are establishments where 50 or more people congregate at such establishments primarily for social entertainment purposes and include nightclubs, discotheques, and cabarets; taverns and bars; restaurants; private clubs; banquet halls; and similar places of assembly without primarily fixed seating.

    Promoters will also be required to register with the City and have a current business privilege license.

    The amendments will allow police to have the tools to redeploy manpower if necessary to accommodate for promoted events beyond a venue’s regular and recurring business operations. It will also allow police to contact promoters if necessary when a crime occurs.

  2. UPDATE: June 1, 2010 –

    City Councilman Bill Greenlee’s office has released the following proposed changes to this legislation:

    * Eliminate the requirement for a permit prior to every promoted event. Promoters will no longer have to apply for a permit from the police 30 days in advance of the event.
    * All promoters must be registered with the city and have a business privilege license. Registration will be of little or no cost and must include full legal name, current address of record, current telephone number, current email address, current website, and the promoter’s business privilege license number. The amendment will prohibit Special Assembly Occupancy licensees from entering into contracts with unregistered promoters.
    * There will be no requirement for a venue to provide advance notice of promoted events to the police unless a venue plans to turn over operational control to an outside promoter for a particular event.
    * Eliminate the requirement that the venue and promoter provide a copy of a written contract to the police.
    * An outside promoter would only be considered a reponsible party subject to penalties if the promoter has assumed operational control over security, crowd control, and maintaining the building’s capacity.
    * The implementation of the legislation will be delayed to allow sufficient time to educate.

    The Committee on Licenses and Inspections will hold a hearing on this bill and others in room 400 of City Hall on Wednesday June 9th, at 9:30am. The hearing is open to the public. If you’d like to testify at the hearing, contact Sharon Ortiz at 215-686-3407 to be added to the list. If you cannot attend but wish to submit written testimony, send it to sarac@philaculture.org, by Monday June 7th at 12pm.

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