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Sometimes I love this city.
Within just a couple days of the news that the City Council would vote on an independent-promoter ordinance this Wednesday (see my amended post below), a torrent of outrage erupted that crossed all social and genre lines, sweeping up experimental-music fans and superstar rapper-producers alike. My inbox has been flooded with mass e-mails from bands, venues, DJs, bloggers, and regular old people who like to go out to clubs--even people who don't live in Chicago--all of them calling for organized opposition to the measure. From what I've heard, the phones at a bunch of aldermen's offices have been ringing off the hook with calls from citizens who wanted the ordinance shut down.
And it worked.
The ordinance has been tabled pending further research, which in politician talk means, basically, "This thing is so wildly unpopular that there's no way any of us are going to touch it." Of course there's still the chance that the promoter-licensing scheme will rear its head again--remember, this is the second coming of a similar ordinance the City Council floated last year--but the breadth and depth of the protest against the measure might persuade our aldermen (or Daley, since it seems likely he's behind this) to reconsider the idea's merits.
Or hey, what if the City Council went through with the proposal they made--albeit in an obviously noncommittal way--during the first round of debate on this ordinance? They suggested actually working with promoters and venues to come up with a sane way of dealing with the situation--so how about they meet with some of the little people in the trenches, the ones who could help come up with an idea that might actually work, instead of just listening to big boys like Jam Productions or the United Center?
Or, even crazier, what if the City Council were to look at the fact that nothing like the disaster at E2 has happened here in the five years since, even though independently promoted events have proliferated explosively, and realize that promoters and venues are already taking care of not letting people get trampled to death?
PS: There's been talk of a rally at City Hall at 9 AM Wednesday, and even in light of the vote deferral, it might be a good idea to show up. If Daley and company still mean to pass this thing, they're doubtless hoping that this maneuver will dissolve the coalition that's arisen so suddenly to fight it. It can't hurt to keep the heat on, in case there's a round three coming up.