City of Chicago finally recognizes DJing as an art form

Illinois’ very own Cook County has had a history of antagonizing small local venues because their bookings do not include “live cultural performances”. The county deprives these venues from the tax exemption of 3% on cover and ticket fees that other “live theatrical” and “live musical” properties have had the luxury of avoiding. This is a direct confrontation with the electronic dance music community as it implies that they do not recognize DJing as a “live cultural performance”.

However, shedding light on recent change in regulations, the city of Chicago has finally recognized DJing as a live performance art form – allowing it to fall under the same bracket as other concerts. The 3% tax exemption is now applicable to venues that book DJs and hip-hop artists. Joe Shanahan, the owner of popular Chicago venues such as Metro and Smart Bar has spoken out on this issue

This agreement confirms that government officials should not be the arbiters of what constitutes art while affording small venue owners a sense of certainty as they continue to present musical talent to Chicagoans and the many visitors who flock to our venues based on our city’s international reputation as a music capital.

The amendment to Amusement tax will be heard in court on October 26, 2016.