In the wake of last week’s deadly violence during a private party at Heritage India, Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) introduced a bill on Monday that’s aiming to shake up how D.C. promoters can book events.
Under the bill, which was co-introduced by councilmembers Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Michael A. Brown (I-At Large), and Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), promoters will have to apply for licenses with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration—-and suffer the consequences if rules aren’t followed.
So what does this mean for local independent promoters who book events at clubs and concert venues? Not much, according to Evans. “The bill is not targeted toward bona fide concert/music venues,” he writes in an email. “The purpose of the bill is really designed to regulate restaurants that have a second life as a kind of club a couple of nights a month, to ensure that adequate security is in place, and to help the government better monitor and regulate the activity of promoters.”
The bill, Evans adds, suggests that ABRA grant exceptions to certain promoters, such as performers, off-premise ticket sellers, and newspapers that allow ad space for events. Nonetheless, he says the “recent outbreaks of violence,” such as the shooting at Heritage India, suggest that regulation is needed to target venues with poor track records. “[T]here seems to be a high correlation of this bad behavior and the involvement of promoters,” he says.