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November 19, 2008

DIY venues are off-limits for me

2640From time to time, people ask me to cover shows that happen in DIY venues.

DIY venues (DIY is short for do-it-yourself) are under-the-radar joints run out of a warehouse or somebody's apartment.

Usually, they don't have live entertainment licenses, which means they're illegal.

And there are tons of them around town. Some really cool shows go down in DIY spaces, and I'd love to write about them.

But very bad things could happen if I did write about them ...

You see, various members of the Powers That Be read Midnight Sun religiously, looking for potential liquor/live entertainment license infringements. I have been approached by at least one member of the Baltimore City Liquor Board, who said Midnight Sun is a great resource for keeping tabs on local bars and clubs.

Plus, if I write about something in The Sun, I have to at least publish the address of the venue. That's a sure-fire way for The Man to come shut the place down.

This threat doesn't seem to stop other city publications such as Metromix, b and City Paper from writing about DIY spaces. Heck, even Rolling Stone wrote about local DIY venue Floristree. (For the record, I talked to Jason Urick of Floristree too -- but only after the Stone piece.)

But I'm sticking to my guns on this one. I don't want anybody to be shut down on my behalf.

(Photo of 2640, a legitimate DIY space run by the Red Emma's collective, by Algerina Perna/Sun photographer) 


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:11 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Local music
        

Comments

"DIY venues (DIY is short for do-it-yourself) are under-the-radar joints run out of a warehouse or somebody's apartment."

So why don't you write about DIY venues that don't straddle the legal line? The Hexagon (formerly The Lo Fi Social Club) in Station North is now run by a collective and attempting to survive with a DIY approach....and they're not located in a warehouse or somebody's apartment.

dude. good call.

Jeff, I do write about venues like the Hexagon:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/midnight_sun/blog/2008/07/lofis_new_name.html

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/midnight_sun/blog/2008/09/ascap_vs_the_hexagon.html

I also did a centerpiece (might have even been on the front page) about 2640 when it opened.

Technically, DIY venues are NOT under the Liquor Board's jurisdiction, since the Liquor Board only regulates licensed agencies. However, we are more than happy to turn that infomation over to BCPD once received, where it is a criminal offense to operate without a license.

Keep up the good work, Sam.

Love, The Man

Sam,

I love The Man!

Hope everything is well, Mr. Fogelman!

Have a great, is there anything I can do for you?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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