Revised Promoter Ordinance Could Provide More Flexibility for Businesses

Proposed "promoter's venue license" would allow West Hollywood bars, clubs and restaurants to bring in any promoter they want, rather than just promoters who are licensed with the city.

An ordinance set to go before City Council later this spring could give West Hollywood nightclubs, bars and restaurants more flexibility in hiring event promoters.

It has long been mandatory for a promoter working in the City of West Hollywood to obtain a "promoter's license," essentially a business license to operate on behalf of Weho's bars and nightclubs.

For promoters who do multiple events in the city, paying the $300 fee and submitting to a background check and fingerprinting is worthwhile. However, for those promoting single events, purchasing a license is often a hassle, especially when they can take an event into Los Angeles, where licenses are not needed.

“Our enforcement of the code was actually chasing some people away,” West Hollywood Code Compliance Supervisor Daniel Mick told Weho Patch.

Mick has suggested the city change the code and allow the bars and clubs to get a “promoter's venue license” that would cover any promoter hired.

“We want to give them more flexibility, but still know who’s doing business here,” said Mick. “We want to make sure we have the right people operating in our city. It’s about protecting the city’s interests.”

The venues would have to keep detailed records about the promoters and how to get in contact with them, in case there are problems.

Venues that opt not to get a promoters venue license would still be required to use promoters carrying the individual promoter’s license.

The Business License Commission unanimously approved the idea at its February meeting. Next week, Mick will meet with the approximately 35 bars, clubs and restaurants affected for their input. That meeting is not open to the public.  

The City Council will hear the ordinance on a yet-to-be-determined date in the spring, at which time the public can weigh in. 

Contrary to rumors, this ordinance is not a money grab on the part of the city.

“This is probably going to result in a reduction of income,” said Mick. “The venue license fee is just $300, so it’s not a money-making thing whatsoever.”

Venues that persistently have problems with events could have their promoters venue license revoked. Thus, it creates an incentive for the businesses to make sure the promoters they use are reputable.

West Hollywood has never had a reputation for having problems with events thanks in large part to the existence of the promoter’s license. And the idea is catching on in other places, Mick reports.

“I recently met with the Hollywood Business Improvement District about the promoter’s license idea,” said Mick. “So, they’re looking at doing something like what we’re doing.”

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