After a string of rule-breaking activities across New York (from crowded bars, crowded streets, and even a full-fledged concert in the middle of a pandemic), New York State is banning any ticket sales or cover charges to bars or restaurants offering live music.
This new rule was put in motion literally overnight, causing many already struggling bars and restaurant to scramble (again) to meet the ever-changing guidelines. However, it should come at no surprise since 148 businesses have had their liquor licenses suspended, with an additional 16 being added to the list just last weekend.
The new rule means people will not be allowed to purchase any tickets (including those in the form of a cover charge) to see a live performance. Likewise, venues will not be allowed to advertise live music either. Yes, even if they’re not ticketing it. These guidelines were announced through the New York State’s liquor Authority in the Q&A for “Phase 3/4 Guidelines for Licensed On-Premises Establishments.” The guideline reads:
“Q: Can I have live entertainment or a DJ in my indoor or outdoor dining area?
A: …Additionally, please note that 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. “
They also mention:
“Q: I am a bar/restaurant owner that has a method of operation that allows for live entertainment…can I provide live entertainment currently?
A: No, generally incidental music is the only form of live entertainment which is permissible in a bar/restaurant setting currently (in any phase of New York Forward) – so long as see above FAQ on live music.”
Also published on Medium.