City of St Louis Passes a Festival Bill

March 21, 2014

If you’ve been following the news lately, you are probably aware that the Board of Aldermen of the City of St Louis has adopted a bill allowing the signing of a contract with a Delaware corporation, “Summer Rocks,” and its affiliates to produce concerts in the City in the summer. That’s why the Blues Fest and other festivals have left the city for more friendly venues.

Oh, and by the way, apparently Summer Rocks has never produced one music festival. Apparently they are using affiliates – which means another layer of management and managers to soak up more money, which then departs the city for other areas. Somehow, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has convinced itself that money will be rolling in by the wheelbarrow, using this magic company.

Here’s a link to the text of the bill on the City’s website.

Here’s a link to the MoveOn petition about this bill.

For those of you interested in the synopsis of the bill, this is what we understand as of today:

There is a section mandating the use of “Unionized Labor,” but “Talent” is excluded from this. They have to use union carpenters, laborers, electricians, plumbers, stagehands, teamsters, and so forth – but not us.

Why is that? Why are the professional musicians excluded from consideration under this bill?

Could it be that they see a way to “fleece” the musicians – getting them to perform for peanuts, while there is no reduction in ticket price? We don’t know what kind of language will be in the individual “Talent” contracts, but it’s probably safe to say that it will be very, very different for the “headliners.” Once again, the smaller bands and acts subsidize the pay of the better-known bands. You can be pretty sure the difference won’t be coming out of the promoters’ pockets.

Any just why is it that St Louis seems to think that ANYBODY from out of town is better than our local people, both union professionals and non-union. Make no mistake: St. Louis is home to some of the very best musicians in the world who live and work here.

Somehow, the “grass is always greener on the other side,” and that’s a terrible injustice to all of us here in the St Louis Metropolitan area.