NEWS ROUNDUP: NYC’s Music Industry “Thriving,” SXSW Updates & More

  • Shea Stadium Closes Again

    The venue cited “increasing pressure from the local authorities” and the fines that come along with getting permits to keep the beloved DIY venue open as the reason for closing again. The Facebook post that broke the news stated the team behind Shea Stadium hoped to reopen as soon as possible. The venue’s troubles started in January, when a show was raided by police and the venue closed for a short period of time. Unfortunately, this bit of news segues right into our next item…

  • NYC Mayor Investigation Finds Small Venues Threatened

    Meanwhile, a study conducted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the thriving economic presence of the music industry in The Big Apple, one that generated $21 billion in 2015 and employs over 30,000 of its denizens, particularly through digital music services and start-ups. This was enough for the some to declare NYC the music capital of the world. But that same study warns that the city’s smaller venues, DIY spaces and artists who frequent them instead of major, corporate venues remain vulnerable, while conveniently forgetting to omit that their permit procedures and strict enforcement of policies are directly responsible for the threat. Read the full report here.

  • SXSW Removes Immigration Language From Contract

    Last week, the music industry was in an uproar over a deportation clause in South By Southwest’s performers contract that threatened international artists with being turned over to the immigration authorities and getting their passports revoked for as little as playing an unofficial SXSW show. A petition was quickly started by Told Slant (who first tweeted about the language in the contract), Priests, Downtown Boys, and many other musicians voicing protest over the policy. After skirting the issue with poor excuses, SXSW apologized and promised to remove the deportation clause. From the writers of the petition: “We applaud SXSW’s decision to stand with immigrants and against ICE, and are thrilled that collective action from musicians has worked to push a massive institution into taking a principled stand on an issue with ramifications far beyond next week’s festival in Austin.” The musical portion of the festival starts next week.

  • Other Highlights

    Listen to Kim Gordon & Mikal Cronin’s anti-Trump song, Chance The Rapper donated a ton of money to Chicago schools, Happy 50th Birthday to The Velvet Underground & Nico, a tech company has an interesting way to influence your fetus’s musical tastes, and there’s a rare, $400,000 guitar burning holes in bidders’ pockets on Ebay.


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