Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

Third Place Restored?

Dateline: 10:48 am November 5, 2007 Filed under:

I recently wrote a post bemoaning the enforcement of a $400 annual license for live music performance at my local coffee shop, Tillie’s Bean. Fortunately, either music fans, or, I suspect musicians, got together an complained loudly and to the right people. Minneapolis City Council member Gary Schiff has written a bill waiving the license fee for coffeehouses that limit live acts of three musicians or fewer. (Yes, drummers count as musicians.)

This is good news for local coffeehouses and part time musicians who simply like to play. It is also good news for bands with three or fewer members. In theory, this allows the Police to play at a local coffeehouse, but not U2. Crosby, Stills and Nash could play, as long as Neil Young wasn’t along. Although we may not see the entire E Street Band at Tillie’s Bean (although Bruce is welcome to play a solo set any time!), I applaud Gary Schiff and all the musicians and coffehouse lovers that spoke up. Hopefully, the entire city council will support coffeehouses and their role as critical third places in our city.

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