The Introductory paragraph states:
“Experience has shown that underaged admission events at nightclub facilities create safety and order issues for the surrounding area…This places signifigant additional burdens on Police resources”
“..in recent months there has been an alarming increase in problems of this nature associated with these events…Because of these specific concerns in this area, the Licensing Division is currently working with the Boston Police and obtaining their input of the issues..”
“Until this process is completed, you as a established licenesed for the entertainment categories of disc jockey, dancing and/or live music are hearby directed not to operate any underage admission events at your facility until further notice”
It goes on:
.”As an exception, licensees will be allowed to feature live music concerts at which persons under 21 may attend pursuant to the following guidelines:”
1. Such live concerts must end no later than 11pm after which the establishment must enforce a 21+ admission policy
2. Licensees offering underage admission concerts may not offer another live concert of live instrumental and vocal music on the same day, but may offer other approved categories of their entertainment license…
3. Licensees must provide advance notice of 14 days to the Licensing Division…for such events…
4. Licensee must have on file approved plan on how they are to prevent under 21 from consuming alcholic beverages…
The directive closes in part with this:
“licensees are directed to refrain from underage admission events other than the concerts described above. Failure to adhere to this directive would create serious public safety and order issues for the City”
My two main issues with the way this is being handled are
(1)BPD and Licensing refuses to back up their claim and provide any hard evidence or data that would support their contention that enabling underage events contributes in a disproportionate way to law and order issues in the City. In fact they seem to ignore the ramifications for law and order by encouraging the under 21 set to hold their own events in homes and basements throughout the City. Their supposed “solution” will create dangerous situations where thousands of undergrads will have no choice but to seek out unsupervised, unlicensed venues to gather. They will drink more and put themsleves and the surrounding neighborhoods at increased risk.
(2)This policy is not being applied evenly. No one is enforcing this rule on the Garden for example. So the giant corporate owners of the Garden will continue to hold concerts and sporting events for all ages, while nightclubs lounges and other venues will not be able to. It is also unclear if this directive is being applied to all clubs and bars throughout all of Boston or not. Earlier last month, the City had said it was only halting underage events at a smaller number of venues. Now it may be that they are extending this policy city wide, but since no public clarifications have come, we don’t know for sure.
This policy change is being made in secret, devoid of hearings or input from the public and it is favoring the large arenas like the Garden and Fenway over small, orginal and unique venues that are owned and operated by regular Boston residents. The Mayor is casually taking this action without regard to the economic and cultural ramifications and he is doing it in secret without feeling the slightest need to explain himself or hold public hearings.
The Mayor it seems is warming up to the idea of being Mayor for life, and he seems to be increasingly fond of grandstanding while accomplishing very little. We have a Mayor who is issuing decrees that affect the lives of thousands and the economic well being of many.
What I ask is for whatever data they City is basing this decision on be released, now. Mr Mayor does not have the right to rule us like we are his dutiful minions. He must explain this policy in public, or it should be scraped.