Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.
American Federation of Musicians Local 802 recently issued an update to its members in response to new guidelines that the union feels will adversely affect professional musicians. Specifically, the New York State Liquor Authority (which governs restaurants and venues that serve alcohol) announced new guidelines that say: “Only incidental music is permissible at this time. This means that advertised and/or ticketed shows are not permissible. Music should be incidental to the dining experience and not the draw itself.” Local 802’s Executive Board says the guidelines are overly stringent, misguided, and actually counter-productive.
“By preventing venues from selling tickets in advance, a venue is unable to know how many audience members to expect. On the other hand, if venues were allowed to sell tickets, it could set up its crowd control measures in advance and manage the audience more effectively. These guidelines currently only apply to outdoor music at outdoor restaurants in New York City. But we can’t let these guidelines stand […] By not allowing advertised or ticketed shows, our members’ return to a normal work life is threatened. We are currently meeting with state and local officials to make our position known: as New York City continues to re-open, there should be no restrictions on ticketed or advertised shows. We can create safe workplaces for our musicians without threatening their work.”