Party promoters may have to register with city

Event promoters responsible for parties at venues such as clubs and street fairs have been unregulated by The City, but as a result of recent shootings and killings associated with San Francisco’s vibrant nightlife, these party pushers may now be required to register.

After the recent shootings of a patron outside a Mission Bay nightclub and a German tourist near Union Square, San Francisco’s nightlife has come under intense scrutiny as city officials work to counter the violence.

“We have had no oversight over a number of fly-by-night party promoters whose activities and events have unfortunately led to a number of avoidable tragedies,” Board of Supervisors President David Chiu said Tuesday.

Chiu introduced legislation that would require event promoters doing business in San Francisco to register online, with the information posted publicly. Entertainment venues would only be permitted to do business with registered promoters. Violators would face permit suspensions or revocations and fines.

Promoters with a record of putting on events in or outside San Francisco that resulted in violence or other troubling behavior would face tougher regulations, including  more-extensive security, liability insurance and criminal background checks of employees.

Those in the industry are wary of increased regulations, saying they could drive events elsewhere or make the business overly cumbersome.

The California Music and Culture Association, an advocacy group representing promoters and venue owners, has yet to take a position on the proposal.

Sean Manchester, a nightclub owner and president of the CMAC board, said blaming the recent violence on nightclubs is a “knee-jerk” reaction when “a lot of this is a greater societal issue.”

“In an industry as a whole, there’s probably a few bad apples, whether they don’t know or don’t care,” Manchester said.

Local promoter Demetrius Chapin-Rienzo, who declined to comment on Chiu’s proposal, said that while “the finger-pointing toward nightlife has been problematic and not always fair,” he said that “in terms of promoters, there needs to be accountability as well … to help ensure the vitality and safety of promoted events.”

“What we call the other 9-to-5 [nightlife] is a very big economic base and a big reason why San Francisco is a popular tourist destination,” Chapin-Rienzo said.

Chiu said that “the intent of my legislation is to have as minimal an impact as possible on good party promoters while ensuring that The City closely regulates party promoters that have a history of problems.”

The legislation would require approval by the Board of Supervisors.


Deadly connection

This year, police have attributed four fatalities to activity associated with clubs.

Feb. 7
Lawon Hall, 19  
Hall was shot and four others wounded in a hail of gunfire in front of Club Suede at Fisherman’s Wharf

June 26
Stephen Powell, 19  
Powell was shot and three others injured during the Pink Saturday celebration in the Castro

July 11
Lee Farley, 39 
Farley was shot during an argument police say started inside Jelly’s dance club

Aug. 8
Mechthild Schröer, 50  
An innocent tourist was killed as she walked with her husband near Union Square; police say the shooters were unable to go inside a dance party for teens

Crackdown on violence targets hotels

Hotels that hold weddings, holiday parties and other large events are under scrutiny as city officials crack down on the entertainment industry due to recent violence connected with parties at various venues.

The hotels that have events with live music, dancing and DJs are required to have special entertainment permits just like small nightclubs, though some of those hotels may not be in compliance.

The City requires clubs, restaurants and even piano bars to apply for a permit, which has an initial cost of $1,576 and an annual fee of about $450.

Without naming specific hotels, the Entertainment Commission’s sound inspector, Vajra Granelli, said there were incidents of violence in summer connected to large events at Bay Area hotels.

“In the past, this has been pretty low on our priority list,” Granelli said. “This is something we’re starting to look at much more closely.”

Jocelyn Kane, the acting director of the Entertainment Commission, said the issue was more of a housekeeping problem than hotels deliberately skirting the rules.

“Some of them are not permitted, but that’s mostly because of staff turnover,” she said, adding that The City didn’t know specifically how many hotels have permits.

Patricia Breslin, executive director of the Hotel Council trade group, said she was “taken aback” by the idea. Major hotels do everything they can to comply with city laws, she said.

“We all are concerned about safety,” Breslin said. “We intend to work closely with the Entertainment Commission on any safety efforts.” – Brent Begin

Bay Area NewsDavid ChiuGovernment & PoliticsLocalPoliticsvenues

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that funding would be diverted from the police budget toward the black community in June 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City directs $60 million toward Black community services and housing support

San Francisco released new details Thursday for how it plans to spend… Continue reading

The Stud, The City’s oldest gay bar which is vacating its longtime home at Ninth and Harrison streets after more than 50 years, on Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City’s nightlife recovery fund approved but struggling business owners fear relief may come too late

As San Francisco’s nightlife scene approaches nearly a year of a complete… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

Most Read