The City of Chicago and The Congress Theater owner Eddie Carranza recently signed a document banning all future electronic dance music shows at the venue in hopes of creating a safer environment. The Congress has been shut down since it lost its liquor license last year. The six-page agreement between the city and The Congress pertains to all succeeding owners of the venue, making it eternally binding.
The Congress has hosted some of EDM's biggest acts, including Flosstradamus, Steve Aoki, Bassnectar, Major Lazer, Deadmau5, and Skrillex. The Chicago local liquor commissioner Gregory Steadman maintains that the ban is due to safety regulations and public hazards. He said, “We’re not saying EDM are all bad but in venues of this size — 5,000 seats — we don’t feel this is appropriate for the Congress." Steadman added, "...There's a rising level of concern about these events and whether or not they're safe, but this is about what the community wants and the type of entertainment they want to see there."
The document strictly states what the city and The Congress consider to be an EDM show: "... And an EDM performance shall be defined as a performance of Electronic Dance Music or any performance by a DJ or multiple DJs featured the playing of prerecorded music. Performers that incorporate electronic beats or prerecorded music in their acts shall be allowed, provided those performers either sing vocals or play an instrument(s) (or do both) during their performance."
Any future licensee is unable to host EDM related events as the terms and conditions states “the business address, the licensee, and to all officers, managers, partners, and direct or indirect owners of the licensed entity. The sale of the business to other person purchasing the stock or membership units of the licensed entity does not void the conditions of this Plan of Operations. Any and all potential new owners of the licensed entity shall be subject to the same conditions set forth in this Plan of Operation."
It's unfortunate that the birthplace of house music has singled out EDM as a problem and banned it from being played at a Chicago venue. On the bright side, there are many great venues in Chicago that will continue to play dance music, and we're sure they will welcome the patronage of the EDM community.
[H/T: DNAinfo Chicago]
Cover photo credit: Rukes