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New York City councillor prepares bill to repeal the Cabaret Law

"Venues and spaces where dancing, culture and art thrive have a right to exist," says Rafael Espinal

  • Patrick HInton
  • 20 June 2017

New York has historically been a vibrant nightlife hub, from smoky jazz bars to the glorious madness of Studio 54.

But in recent years the city’s night scene has begun to flag, suffering under the pressures of gentrification, conservative officials and red tape, such as the antiquated Cabaret Law which prohibits dancing in unlicensed spaces.

New York councillor Rafael Espinal has already called for the city to follow in the footsteps of Amsterdam and London by appointing a Night Mayor to protect its nightlife industry, and now he’s announced plans to introduce a bill on Wednesday to repeal the Cabaret Law.

In a recent Op-Ed for the NY Daily News, Espinal wrote: “We can’t sit idly by. Nightlife is a $10 billion industry government needs to nourish, not treat primarily as an irritant and source of noise complaints. When they are complying with the laws, the venues and spaces where dancing, culture and art thrive have a right to exist."

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter

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