The Los Angeles Times has poised a valid question this week: Could a night mayor help L.A.’s nightlife scene? It seems to be helping in London and New York, so it’s quite possible it’s exactly what L.A. needs.
There was a time where we thought California would pass the LOCAL act, which would have allowed neighborhoods and communities the option to push back closing times for venues and local bars past the usual 2 AM time to 4 AM. Unfortunately, the LOCAL act failed to make it through legislation, keeping California an early to close/early to rise city. If there were an official that represented the nightlife scene familiar with legislation, it’s possible they could have better advocated for the change in law, much like New York’s recently repealed Cabaret Law.
In addition to limited hours, Los Angeles has seen several tragedies in the nightlife arena, including the Ghost Ship fire and warehouse closures, both of which point back to DIY venues and improper permitting. Many of L.A.’s promotion companies cite an overwhelming lack of support from the city, from convoluted permit processes to insurmountable funding requirements to get venues up to code.
How do you fix that? With conversation, cooperation, and an advocate that understands the difficulties of the promoter and venues but also understands the law. What’s that called? New York says nightlife mayor, London says night czar. Tomato, tomato.
When the city of Amsterdam established a nightlife mayor, one of the first cities to do so, “violent crime went down 28%, nuisance complaints went down 30%, and the effort earned the trust of promoters, government and residents,” according to its night mayor Mirik Milan.
The film and fashion industries both have legislative advocates and panels in Los Angeles, which begets the question: Why is the music and nightlife scene so behind?
So does L.A. need a nightlife mayor? I can’t see how it wouldn’t help the nightlife scene at all. It’d definitely be an improvement. Now the only question is… who? What do you think? Let us know on Twitter.
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