Supervisor Scott Wiener, not exactly known for his ‘Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on!’, vibe is coming to the aid of local DJ’s and club promoters by proposing new legislation that will streamline the way permits are issued by the City for parties and outdoor events.
As it stands now you need a City Hall road map, a hired guide and the patience of a Shoalin Zen Master to wind your way through the maze that is ‘Event Planning with Music’.
Let’s say you wanna get your party on. You’ve gotten all the required material: Lady Bear as Door Whore Supreme, a theme that fluctuates nicely between muscle and mary, and of course the pivotal need-a killer DJ like Juanite MORE! from the Castro’s wildly popular Booty Call at QBar. You head to City Hall and are told you need a Limited Live Performance Permit.
Limited Live Performance Permits take up to 60 days to wrangle and cost $385, as a one time (rip off). surcharge. You will then need to fork out an additional $129 per year to hold on to it so you’re not forced to start the whole process all over again.
Feeling your teeth starting to grind? Wait. You will also need a Place of Entertainment Permit. That’s gonna cost you $1500 bucks plus the added joy of interacting with SIX City Departments. Bureaucracy times six. Doesn’t that sound pleasant?
Did we mention you’re going to need to present a ‘security plan’ to the powers-that-be as well? Uh. Huh. Work the blue print of process and public policy gone array.
Wiener’s proposal to dismantle the hubris would let DJ’s just use the first permit to throw parties and skip the second, much harder to acquire and more expensive, Place of Entertainment Permit.
He also believes the Entertainment Commission should be watchdogs over clubs, venues and parties and be in charge of determining who’re sneaking under the radar and skipping the permit process completely. As it stands now SFPD is responsible for ferreting out these freeloaders, and everyone involved knows, their workload is already overtaxed. Parties without permits are rarely caught or get hit with the $500 per day fine.
The third component Wiener is hoping to change is allowing DJ/Club Promoters and event planners to use plazas and courtyards easier by only needing a Limited Live Performance Permit as well.
Wiener told the Board of Supes on Tuesday, “This legislation fosters live entertainment while also heightening our ability to monitor and regulate bad actors. The Entertainment Commission will be more effective in issuing permits and enforcing the law.”
To most Club Insiders the City has been waging a War on Fun for quite some time. Club closures, loss of liquor licenses for minor infractions, the removal of DJ’s who mix music for the enjoyment of the bar’s patrons where dancing isn’t allowed are just a few of the punitive devices thats been employed in a full court press curtailing SF and the Castro’s infamous nightlife.
Sup. Wiener is a practical politician who can see a revenue stream for the community and City drying up and wants to encourage club and DJ’s to be more responsible, and at the same time, allow them to do what it is they do best-throw kick ass parties.
As the War on Fun was escalating in 2012 the City conducted a study, at the insistence of the Supervisor, City’s Entertainment Commission, bar and business owners, that concluded nightlife is a $4.2 billion business in San Francisco and provides the City with $55 million in tax revenue.
With that kind of cheddar at stake it’s not surprising to see the fiscally aware Supervisor picking up the gauntlet to champion these changes. He has maintained a commitment to both the business community and the City’s citizens to keep our burg in the black and that won’t happen if we lose any more revenue like that provided by nightlife.