Covid latest: Only incidental music is permitted in New York

Covid latest: Only incidental music is permitted in New York


norman lebrecht

September 04, 2020

The music unions are upset at recent Covid relaxations that do not permit ticketed events. TheAmerican Federation of Musicians (AFM) union locals have just issued this statement:

As New York State continues to take steps towards re-opening, musicians must not be left out. The New York State Liquor Authority has announced guidelines that say: “Only incidental music is permissible at this time. This means that advertised and/or ticketed shows are not permissible. Music should be incidental to the dining experience and not the draw itself.”

It’s clear that the Liquor Authority is attempting to control crowds and limit numbers. We appreciate that concern, but we feel that the new guidelines are overly stringent, misguided, and actually counter-productive.

By preventing venues from selling tickets in advance, a venue is unable to know how many audience members to expect. On the other hand, if venues were allowed to sell tickets, it could set up its crowd control measures in advance and manage the audience more effectively. 



  • M2N2K says:

    Since when does “Liquor Authority” have a right to decide what kinds of music performances are allowed and which ones are strictly verboten? This is beyond weird.

    • Marc Harrold says:

      Democrat logic: It’s never thought out no matter if it hurts even their own since it’s rooted in fleeting, neurotic emotions and sarcasm.

      Besides DiBlasio is like Cuomo unified in victimhood. The whole state is hemorrhaging tax dollars as it is with white flight due to no more well-paying jobs that can support NYC high rents., spiked crime and too many regulations.

      It’s better to let ANTIFA and BLM loose on liberal neighborhoods since they support them over police.

    • MWnyc says:

      The New York State Liquor Authority would have some (and only some) jurisdiction over any venue where alcoholic beverages are sold (for example, at intermission).

      I’d suppose that Carnegie Hall, BAM and the halls at Lincoln Center, for instance, would not like to have their licenses to sell wine at intermission and at their on-premises restaurants revoked.

      I doubt that the NYS Liquor Authority would even try to claim that it has any authority over concerts at, say, Trinity Church Wall Street or the Miller Theatre at Columbia University.

      But classical musicians aren’t the only ones who are members of AFM. This scuffle would appear to be over jazz clubs and bar/nightclubs that host musical performances and have full-service bars.

    • Hourray!!!!!!!! says:

      It’s socialism.

      Leftists got what they wanted.

  • M2N2K says:

    Since when does the mighty “Liquor Authority” have the power to decide what kinds of music performances are allowed and which ones are strictly ‘verboten’? This is way beyond weird.

  • Nick says:

    Music? They have to change the mayor first!!

  • drummerman says:

    The A.F.M. is making a good point.

  • Confused College-Educated Liberal says:

    I don’t understand why this is a “problem”???

    To start with, all Cuomo has to do is shift the $1Billion just taken from the NYC Police to another account and simply “hand out” money to anybody who claims to be a performer. Say $10K per claimant and act like an upset victim on CNN. Cuomo already begs Trump for plenty of money regularly since NYS is BROKE so what’s the issue?

    Then have Chuck Schumer scream and cry to President Trump again in order to take Federal assistance from the government to MSNBC and the lot. That’s his JOB!! So what?

    Why expect us to work??
    Odd concept.

    What difference at this point does it make?!?!?!?!?!?!

  • This is very sad indeed! All over the world, live music performances are being discriminated against sports and dining events! And “incidental”? The music itself is the incident and does not need not any other pretext! What is it that makes authorities so afraid of permitting classical music audiences? They are well-educated, well-behaving people, and with a little distancing regime everybody should be safe!

  • Sharon says:

    In New York City in order to sell liquor to consume at a bar or restaurant (although only outdoor seating is permitted) the establishment must also sell food.
    Most venues cannot afford to have concerts and maintain the required social distancing anyway.
    Musicians must learn the technology to allow them to perform together remotely. However, I agree, it’s just not he same

    • Adam Fromke says:

      That’s Cuomo’s socialist EDICT.

      He needs to GO and stop treating musicians like concentration camp slaves.

      Cuomo is killing off too many businesses as it is while digging himself into an enormous financial hole with all of the tax money he’s cutting off not to mention everyone abandoning both NYC along with the state.