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Music venues sue State Liquor Authority over live music restrictions

Aug 26, 2020 1:45 pm
Don Cazentre is reporting for nyup [dot] com a lawsuit filed August 25, in the federal district court in Manhattan by the New York Independent Venue Association, and other businesses, challenges the new state rules that prohibit bars and other music venues statewide from charging customers to hear performances or to advertise their shows. The rules announced last week are aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, state officials said. The rules permit only what the state calls incidental music to be performed at a venue. The plaintiffs argue the live music restriction “is not just unworkable, it is unconstitutional.” They challenge both the ad ban and the rule against charging for shows as arbitrary since the state offered no evidence of their effect on the coronavirus. The suit names State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley as the defendant. In addition to the venue association, the plaintiffs are establishments that serve liquor and host or promote live music or entertainment, located in New York City and upstate. The lawsuit asks the court to stop the state from enforcing the orders. The state guidelines specifically prohibit ticketed events, but the rules also seem to ban cover charges for venues that offer music. “Licensees who have called the SLA for clarification have been told that ‘dinner and a show’ packages are prohibited, that minimum spends for tables are prohibited, and that virtually any attempt to collect a fee for one’s presence at an establishment (as opposed to for the food and drink sold) is now unlawful,” according to the complaint. Read the full story at syracuse [dot] com.