What You Need To Know About Squilla’s Bill

Featured Image via

A new bill proposed by Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla will require all performers, venues, and bookers in Philadelphia to register to hold a live music event. That means any and all performances will need to be licensed by the City of Philadelphia to happen in Philadelphia. This gives law enforcement veto power over shows at venues that hold fifty or more people, and creates a registry of artists’ personal information.

What does that mean for performances?


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia – Photo by Vladimir

It means that Bill #160016 requires that all performers–international, national, and local bands, DJ’s, singer-songwriters–will need to register to perform their music in Philadelphia by turning their personal information to venue owners and promoters.

It also means that bookers, promoters, and venues wishing to hold these events must also comply with creating this new registry and turn over the artists’ personal information to the City of Philadelphia and Police Department.

This gives the City of Philadelphia and the Police Department the power to decide what and where entertainment happens within city limits.

How does it change the systems in place?


Fans at Made In America Festival 2015 – Photo by Stephanie DeFeo

In addition, Squilla’s bill raises the cost of live music permits to $500 every two years, instead of the $100 fee already in place for owners to apply or renew a license each year, making it much more costly to hold music.

While the licenses are not new–as they are required by the Deparment of Licenses and Inspections–the involvement of the Philadelphia Police Department is.

The Bill states: “The Department [shall] may promulgate such regulations as it deems proper to regulate the form and manner of issuing and revoking special assembly occupancy licenses and the imposition of sanctions set forth in this Chapter for operating without […] a valid license.”

How can you voice your opinion?

Read Bill#160016 in full here.

You can contact Councilman Squilla directly calling (215) 686-3458 or (215) 686-3459, sending a fax to (215) 686-1931. You can also contact Squilla via social media, using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can also sign a petition to stop this proposal here.




  1. Lauren Silvestri

    January 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    With all the things Philly can improve on, this is not one of time. Councilman Squilla needs to focus on actually helping Philadelphians instead of creating a culture that will stifle creativity, and civil rights too!

    • Samantha Sweeney

      January 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm


    • E Elizabeth youron-smith

      January 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      He is an ass. Some bands are not paid. So he is harming young mucians

  2. Philip Johannessen

    January 28, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I agree with Lauren Silvestri 100%. Also, the link for the full text of the bill isn’t working.

  3. Jesse

    January 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I agree that this bill is nonsense. However Mark Squilla is a great guy and this bill should not reflect his character. I think his intentions are good. It was mainly imposed because of a few shootings that took place at local concert halls and the city should be able to stop these events from taking place if they continue to be unsafe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.