Search Menu
Home Latest News Menu

Chicago is the latest city to recognise DJ performances as an art form

Joining Berlin and Vienna as a city that sees clubs as cultural hubs

  • Dave Turner
  • 17 October 2016

New rules in Chicago means small venues are to be exempt from paying a three per cent tax on admission fees.

Officials from Cook County, the City of Chicago and industry stakeholders met to discuss amending the amusement tax ordinance, resulting in live music venues and DJ performances being seen as "recognised art forms".

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey said: "This agreement makes it clear that it was never the intent of the Administration for the County to play culture police and make decisions on what is, or isn’t, music or art, and that fact is bolstered by [Cook County Board] President Preckwinkle’s desire to co-sponsor my amendment.

"By bringing together public officials and music industry representatives, we were able to arrive at language that all parties agree recognizes the diverse and robust nature of live music while providing the County with the ability to collect those taxes that are legitimately owed to it.”

This follows similar measures in Berlin and Vienna to make nightclubs fall under the same status as concert spaces.

Joe Shanahan, owner of Chicago venues Metro and Smart Bar, believes the amendment is worthy of a city where house music originated.

"These musical styles are all recognized as art around the world and Chicago is rightly recognized as the birthplace of some of the best-known artists.

"This agreement confirms that government officials should not be the arbiters of what constitutes art while affording small venue owners a sense of certainty as they continue to present musical talent to Chicagoans and the many visitors who flock to our venues based on our city’s international reputation as a music capital."

The Amusement Tax amendment is set to be heard on October 26.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

Load the next article