You Can’t Silence Comedy!

Place; Tierra Coffee Roasters. Time; This Friday, February 17th at 7:30pm. Me, my wife, and a couple of our friends are going to see one of my co-hosts on MANville (Kevin Marshall) do stand up. I’m very much looking forward to it. However, I thought it was going to be cancelled. Albany NY is starting to enforce some nonsensical “cabaret law” whereas bars must pay the city what really amounts to extortion money if they’d like to hold any event that uses a microphone.

Well, at least that’s what the police were saying to bar owners as they walked into four bars over the weekend. Elda’s on Lark had to cancel their comedy night indefinitely because they didn’t apply for a “zoning variance.” Luckily a new version of the law has been proposed knocking the fees from a maximum of $900 to $500. Smaller non-alcoholic venues could pay as little as $50.

That’s better, but let’s face it, it’s still a city trying to raise money from small businesses in a down economy. This hasn’t been an issue for as far back as I can remember. I used to play in bands at some of these venues, and the city never said boo. The enforcement of this law has caught bar owners by surprise. Elda Abate (Elda’s on Lark‘s owner) told All Over Albany that she’s been holding these events for 12 years and had no idea she was in violation. In fact, based on how the law is written, even prior to the revision, the law shouldn’t have effected any spoken word, whether amplified or not. The NYC law is very similar and is specific to establishments that allow dancing. But apparently, the police didn’t know that. Why understand the law you’re enforcing?

Anyway, It’s ON! Kevin Marshall Friday night February 17th 7:30pm at Tierra Coffee 1038 Madison ave. Albany NY

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