The New York City council voted this week (24th August) to create an official office of nightlife for the dance music mecca. The move comes after similar legislation at London and Amsterdam.
According to a press release distributed by council member Rafael Espinal (who sponsored the bill), the office will consist of a "nightlife director," who will be appointed by the mayor, and a "nightlife advisory board" comprised of 12 members. Responsibilities include "conducting outreach to establishments, assisting in the resolution of enforcement actions, receiving 311 complaints and compiling recommendations, supporting workforce conditions and liaising between communities and venues."
The board’s broader goal is to serve as an advocate for the city’s nightlife economy and act as a point of contact between the city and those within the industry. Two immediate points of concern are rising property values within the city, a deterrent for artists and musicians to thrive near the city center, and antiquated cabaret laws that critics say allow for unjust closure of dance venues.
Alan D. Miller, a board member of London’s nightlife committee, was elated by the ruling (via Resident Advisor): “It is fantastic news that New York is to have a director of nightlife. This position is crucial in acting as both a liaison between all stakeholders; the police, councillors and industry and indeed as an ambassador for some of what is the best that New York has to provide to the world. In London, the creation of the position of night czar and nighttime commission to work alongside our Mayor has already made a significant impact across the capital.”
Given the ongoing tribulations for music venues near Ibiza, or last year’s issues surrounding London’s fabric, dance music fans should be able to understand the need for these legislative bodies to serve as a megaphone for the nightlife’s many stakeholders.