Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tear-Down Special: Proposed Law Would Fine Music Venues for Show Flyers

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:44 AM

click to enlarge posterflyer_opt.jpg

If sending out troupes of mysterious people in yellow vests to tear down show flyers has not worked, then it looks like there is a Plan B in the works, and it aims to make venues responsible for preventing illegal flyering.

According to this report in the City Paper, at-large Councilman Charlie Tygard has "filed legislation that would hold a venue responsible for illegally posted fliers. The fine would be $50 per illegal sign."

As you may already know, hanging flyers in the public "right-of-way" (lamp posts and the like) is already illegal. So why make a new law?

Up to this point, Tygard said, public sign laws have been nearly impossible to enforce. Traditionally enforcement has been difficult and those who post illegal flyers are seldom caught. On the rare occasion the issue ever goes to environmental court, the venue, the promoter and the band have each routinely maintained they had nothing to do with posting concert fliers and the matter is dismissed.

Tygard's legislation would change that and make the venue responsible. The bill was co-sponsored by Council members Jim Forkum, Michael Craddock, Robert Duvall, Randy Foster, Phil Claiborne and Jim Gotto.

But does it really make any sense to put venue owners on the hook for flyering? As anyone who's ever booked a show knows, it's hard enough getting bands to make their call time, sound check in an orderly fashion or play their allotted time slot--much less prevent them from hanging flyers. As Exit/In owner Josh Billue puts it in the article, "I could be driving down the street and see a flier for a show and know nothing about it. How the hell am I supposed to police that?"

(Note that the tags for the CP article include Eureka Gold, The Privates, Those Darlins, How I Became the Bomb and Mercy Lounge, though none of those are named.)

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