- April 24th Day and Night of Action Kicks Off Four-Month Campaign to Stop Anti-Music Legislation
Federal Bills Would Shut Down Concerts and Other Events and Hold Organizers Liable for Drug Use of Patrons
Congress is considering two bills that would hold bands, DJs, bartenders, promoters, venue owners, radio stations and others liable if a patron uses drugs at a nightclub or concert. Legal experts and business owners warn the legislation would devastate the music industry and could spell the end of live music, especially large music festivals like South by Southwest and Burning Man. Music fans, bar and nightclub owners, and music promoters are launching a national campaign to defeat the legislation.
“Members of Congress may be too old to go to concerts and dance their butts off, but millions of voters are not,” said Bill Piper, Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “If politicians don’t reject this legislation, these voters may dance their way to the voting booth and vote these old fogies out.”
The Ecstasy Awareness Act (H.R. 2962) would throw anyone in jail who “profits monetarily from a rave or similar electronic dance event knowing or having reason to know” some event-goers may use drugs at the event. Similarly, Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R. 834) makes it a federal crime – punishable by up to nine years in prison – to promote “any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed.”
Under the provisions of both bills, almost any music promoter, nightclub owner or arena or stadium owner could be fined and jailed, because a reasonable person knows that some people use marijuana and other drugs at musical events. Business owners could be prosecuted even if they are not involved in drugs – and even if they take steps to stop drug use on their property. Dozens of music promoters and bar owners, as well as national groups such as the ACLU, American Beverage Licensees (which represents thousands of bars and nightclubs), and the International Association of Assembly Managers (which represents arena and stadium managers), signed letters to Congress earlier this year warning that the CLEAN-UP Act “is a threat to free speech and musical expression, and will undoubtedly harm innocent business owners.”
In response to both bills, the Drug Policy Alliance declared April 24th a “Day and Night of Outrage” over the legislation and launched a website, to coordinate the work of thousands of concerns music fans and business owners. Voters in dozens of cities, from Billings, Montana to New York City are expected to take action on April 24th, including circulating petitions to Congress, passing out flyers, protesting, and holding fundraisers to raise money for the campaign. The day and night of action kicks off a four-month national campaign to stop the legislation, that will culminate in a concert on the lawn of Congress in August. For a full list of tomorrow’s events please see here.
The Alliance picked the term “outrage” to describe the day and night of action to correspond with their “Outrageous” music CD the organization will release this summer to raise money for the campaign to protect live music. The Alliance chose to kick off the four-month campaign in April because it’s the one-year anniversary of legislation that Congress passed, known as the RAVE Act, making business owners liable for the drug offenses of their patrons. That legislation, passed last April, was used last May to shut down a political fundraiser in Billings, Montana and music industry professionals contend it has had a serious chilling effect on musical expression. The CLEAN-UP Act and Ecstasy Awareness Act would make it even easier for the government to punish business owners for the crimes of their customers.
“The government can’t even keep drugs out of its own schools and prisons, yet it is seeking to punish business owners that can’t stop their patrons from using drugs,” said Bill Piper. “If these bills become law, innocent business owners could go to jail and music fans may be unable to see their favorite artist live. That’s why business owners and music fans are organizing to protect live music.”
The schedule of events:
Liquid Sound Lounge-WBAI 99.5FM
7p-9:30p eastern time (New York City)
live stream http://www.liquidsoundlounge.com or http://www.wbai.org
and archived shortly after at http://www.undergroundnyc.com
Host and producers of Liquid Sound Lounge, Jeannie Hopper brings together an audio collage of music and interviews with various activists and groups fighting to stop the federal Anti-Club Legislation.
DAY OF OUTRAGE EVENTS BY STATE
Georges Majestic Lounge
Wildwood will play.
Santa Cruz, CA
Cubensis, Southern California’s Grateful Dead music tribute band will be performing. Proceeds will benefit Drug Policy Alliance.
Thursday, April 29th
San Francisco State University
Humanities Bldg, Rm 133
San Francisco debut of “Generation E.” Co-sponsored by DanceSafe and CEASE (Creating Empowerment through Alcohol & Substance-abuse Education) at SFSU. “Generation E” is a new documentary video on the passage of the RAVE Act. The documentary traces the recent history of publicity surrounding raves and “club drugs,” legislative actions regarding San Francisco late-night recreation, key flaws in the drug war, and examples of harm reduction alternatives to the perceived problems of raves or other youth recreation.
10pm until sunrise
940 Elysian Fields Ave.
New Orleans, LA
For more information: www.fatassparty.com
Doors open at 8pm
22040 Ryan Rd.
Event featuring Peter J, Todd Ludeman, Scotty Stemmz, and Uru
Live bands including local favorites 37 Clark, End Ever, and others.
Swig 135 West Palace Ave. Level 3
Santa Fe, NM
headlining DJ: D:FUSE
Kit Carson Park, Taos, NM 87571
Bands: Turtle Island Rhythm Tribe, and more TBA
There will be no cover, but donations will be collected, and all proceeds will be sent to Drug Policy Alliance.
RAZORS, brought to you byThe Earth Program, Ltd. and featuring Sean ONeal
(AKA Flowchart), Audio D, Gemma Watson, Wiggum, and Nick Cain Open Air Bar 121 St. Marks Place at Avenue A. – Manhattan NY. Free Admission, 10pm-4am.
3 pm to 9 pm
Old School Jungle Broadcast
Hosted by DJ B12
Special guest DJ Audio D with a set to raise awareness for the Drug Policy Alliance
The Counter Clockwise Culture
169 BAR – 169 E. Broadway
(one block south of Canal & Essex)
[right off the F train @ E. Broadway] $3 w/ RSVP-> [email protected]
Half the proceeds from the door will go to Outrageous to help fight anti-music legislation.
Free music provided by Room Service Inc., free magazines provided by Beautiful Decay Magazine, and djs Ixley, Loop Professor, & ADDJ Padati selecting treat after treat to keep your feet moving and your heads bobbing.
4:20 pm to 4:20 am (April 25th)
Last Concert Cafe
7 bands and fun for the family
Side Stage I
4:20 – 5:00 Little Brother Project
5:00 – 6:00 Sean Reefer & The Resin Valley Boys
Side Stage II
6:00 – 6:45 The Goodtrain Sessions
6:45 – 8:00 Carolyn Wonderland
Side Stage I
8:00 – 9:00 Little Brother Project
9:00 – 10:00 Guy Schwartz and the New Jack Hippies
Side Stage II
10:00 – 10:45 The Goodtrain Sessions
10:45 – 12:00 The Hightailers
Side Stage I
12:00 – 12:45 Little Brother Project
12:45 – 3:00 Us and Them
3:00 – 4:20 Goodtrain Sessions Open Jam
241 South 500 East, SLC
Samantha and the Ritual will be coming to visit from San Francisco. You can check out the music at www.samanthamusic.com. Elephante is a local band that does justice to the rock and acoustic rock they cover. From Bob Dylan to James Brown they will throw it out there for your dancing pleasure. $1 from each ticket goes to the Drug Policy Alliance’s campaign against the Rave Act
This is more foolishness tied to the war on drugs, punishing the wrong people for the wrong things and assuming guilt rather than innocence.