I spent the better part of this week working on a complicated story for the Entertainer about a subject with potentially far-reaching implications. Anybody with an interest in music or other performing arts should take the time to read it; here’s the link. At risk of sounding competitive, coverage of this issue in other publications has been misleading at times; for example, the Independent just last week ran an article that stated that musicians “are required to obtain a Workers’ Compensation Act exemption” — with no mention that clubs have other options for handling the issue.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that bars, musicians, and others in the biz (as well as us fans) should take lightly. The state has recently begun enforcement on this issue, and already one company, Porterhouse Productions, has pulled out of more than 70 shows that it planned to produce this year as a result of their run-in with the state.
Fortunately, there’s a bill in the legislature right now that would address this issue, at least to an extent (but only related to musicians). It looks like that sidebar to my main story didn’t get up online today, so check out the paper version of today’s Entertainer for info on it. The bill is HB 598; it goes to the full house floor for a first vote this coming week, supposedly. After that, if it passes readings, it’ll go to the Senate.