Occupy Albany will gather with over 200 residents, artists, students, musicians, patrons and small business owners of the City of Albany to protest at City Hall during tonight’s Common Council meeting regarding the proposed ‘cabaret’ law. OPERATION FOOTLOOSE is the Capital Region’s response to these proposed changes to the City of Albany’s fee and permit procedures for various forms of live entertainment and current licensing for cabaret, “Any musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other form of amusement…” Residents, performers and business owners are outraged by the proposed changes, which include restrictions on groups of more than two individuals who engage in any use of amplified and non-amplified sound for entertainment purposes. In addition to standard musical performances, the language of the proposed ordinance expands to include disc jockeys, trivia nights, karaoke and open mics. The definition of cabaret will incorporate events at both religious and educational institutions with “musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other forms of amusement… that do not coincide with religious or educational services.” These changes will deal a serious blow to the arts and music community and the free exchange of ideas and expression in the Capital Region and impact Albany’s culture and entertainment economy.
Occupy Albany will protest with music, dancing, and other forms of free speech to demand that the proposed changes not be accepted by any Committee of the Albany Common Council. Passing the proposed revisions without significant amendment and consideration to the impact to the local arts and music scene will limit the free exchange of art and thought in the City of Albany, and through increased fees and licensing will reserve the enjoyment of live music for those of higher financial means. Occupy Albany demands that the proposed licensing and fee schedule be amended so that it facilitates free artistic expression, as well as equal access to live music and entertainment for all of Albany’s residents and not only those of privilege.