Something pretty scary is happening in the music world, and we're not talking about Kanye West's Twitter rant. Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla has this week proposed a bill that would require local and touring bands, rappers, DJs, et. performing in the city to submit their personal information to a registry for use in Police work. If you are a musician, whether you're from the City of Brotherly Love (like me!) or not, this is a huge threat to the music scene that is incredibly vibrant and exciting. While most don't think this will become a law, you should still make sure to save the Philly music scene by reading more below.
"Giving performers' information to police when requested enables them to review past performances to see if there were any public safety issues during their events," the Councilman explained in an email to the publication. The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to any questions about the bill.
On a personal note - my social media feeds are blowing up with this news, linking information on how to contact Squilla, a petition webpage and just venting on how this is threatening the music scene. It's scary, but the odds are in our favors, you guys!
Famed Philadelphian, Sean Agnew, founder of R5 Productions, was informed about the bill by Billy Penn, and had a great response.
"This is news to me. I'm not sure what the reasoning or theory is. As someone who books 600+ shows a year, I have never once received an artist's home address or phone number. It's all through booking agents, managers, publicists," he said. "There is a firewall in place with the artists. I can't imagine a band's representatives wanting to give their clients information over to the police without a really good reason."
This reasoning has us believing that this bill will die.
Make sure to sign that petition above!
Who does this bill help? C'mon, Philly. https://t.co/8Xjvs9rCpM
— Restorations (@Restorations) January 27, 2016