Portland music industry proposes plan to save local scene, starting with noise ordinances

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Members of the nonprofit MusicPortland fear the local government is not doing enough to help local music businesses stay afloat.

So the group presented a seven point plan outlining specific steps that could help ensure the survival of the city’s music scene.

The plan includes clarifying city regulations, streamlining enforcement and surveillance, and reducing the use of police in live music settings.

An OPB archive photo of Ural Thomas & the Pain at PDX Pop Now in 2018. PDX Pop Now organizers have signed on to Music Portland’s seven-point plan to help the city’s music scene.

Max Robinson / opbmusic

Among the most important topics discussed at a meeting Monday between music industry executives and city commissioners was how the city is currently responding to noise complaints.

A noise regulation ordinance was specifically addressed by MusicPortland board member Jamie Dunphy, who said the code was too subjective.

“This is the code that has historically been used by the police to break block parties. It’s not meant to be a code by which a regulated industry is governed, ”Dunphy said. “We want a consistent set of standards by which the entire music industry operates and is judged. “

Dunphy also said the police-specific noise code conflicts with another city ordinance enforced by the Portland Noise Program, which monitors noise in decibels based on location and time of day. , and which, according to him, is an objective standard based on science.

Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps suggested that one way to address the noise complaints problem would be to divert noise complaints from the Portland Police Force and other city departments, such as the Noise Complaints Program. city ​​noise.

“We also need to reinvent public safety so that they really focus on public safety rather than harassing your coworkers and shutting down good shows,” Mapps said.

Adam Lyons, director of communications at Mapps’ office, said the last time city council looked at this issue was in the summer, and although there are no public meetings scheduled for the immediate future, MusicPortland hopes to keep the issue on the city’s radar. .

Portland City Commissioners Carmen Rubio, left, and Mingus Mapps address a crowd at Revolution Hall about the state of the Portland music industry on November 1, 2021.

Portland City Commissioners Carmen Rubio, left, and Mingus Mapps address a crowd at Revolution Hall about the state of the Portland music industry on November 1, 2021.

Steven Tonthat / OPB


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