Surveys and Petitions

RVA’s music scene is complex. Its health is connected to the complex interaction of local and state business interests, state ABC regulations, municipal codes, enforcement, etc. The better we understand the nuances of this complex network, the better position we are in to foster growth in the scene.

  • Did you know that Virginia’s Alcohol and Beverage (ABC) laws disallows bars? That means that essentially all small music venues must run as a restaurant. That has real consequences for the amount of money musicians can make and the kind of musics audiences hear.
  • Did you know that Richmond’s Dance Hall Ordinance requires businesses to pay a yearly fee, hire security and off-duty police officers if more than 10 percent of the club’s floor space is used for dancing? 
  • Did you know that even non-profits must pay 7% admissions tax to the city?
  • Did you know that the ABC commission can restrict the genres of music that are performed in licensed establishments?
  • Did you know that any sound that exceeds 55 dBA during nighttime hours and sound that exceeds 65 dBA during daytime hours when measured inside a structure is a violation of Richmond’s noise ordinance? (in residential zones.) That’s not much louder than a conversation. 

Relevant Advocacy:

  • The 2017 Legislative session is now over. Several proposed bills were concerned with live music, including SB1216 and HB1526. There is legislative and industry energy behind dealing directly with the ABC ratio and in establishing a clear performing arts license. These issues will come up again next year.
    Use THIS TOOL to find your delegate. Call them or write them to make your voice heard.
  • Fix the Mix Virginians for Mixed Beverage Reform. The state and RVA restaurant lobbies are currently split on this issue.

Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Here is a short survey we conducted in March 2020 regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local music teachers, performers, and venue owners. Here is the summary of survey responses. Below are images of a few of the question summaries.