When talking about Savannah’s live music scene and the noise ordinance here in the city, the pendulum continues to swing between the needs of bar owners and city residents. As noise complaints rise, property owners remit cease-and-desist letters while longtime music institutions simultaneously fight to keep live music in the Starland District, many through crowdfunding campaigns held to offset legal costs, as well as renovate and soundproof buildings.
It’s a hot-button issue and Emergent Savannah will bring this ongoing debate to the table July 13 during the Monday Means Community meeting with the discussion, “The Price of Silence: Balancing Savannah’s Live Music and the Noise Ordinance.”
The monthly meetings, which started in January, are a community forum aimed at discussing topics that directly impact the city and its residents.
IF YOU GO
What: Monday Means Community presents “The Price of Silence: Balancing Savannah’s Live Music and the Noise Ordinance”
When: 7 p.m. July 13
Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
“We focus on what the community is already talking about it,” said Alexis Perez, co-founder and organizer for Emergent Savannah. “We bring those same conversations to a bigger platform and pack them with information so the audience can then take what they already know, what they learned and broaden their perspective on the topic.
“We’re all living with these debates, we’re all involved with this community and we want people to walk away with more knowledge,” he added.
The forum brings expert voices to the table to ask if the ordinance is outdated and what the real cost of chipping away at Savannah’s local music scene would be. Industry merit, entertainment values and legal perspectives will also be examined during the hour-long event.
Local musician and writer Jim Reed will facilitate the discussion and interview panelists, including Kayne Lanahan, founder and CEO of MusicFile Productions, which hosts Savannah Stopover and Revival Fest; Savannah public information office director Bret Bell; local musician and writer Anna Chandler; and Kevin Rosem, a local sound engineer and technician.
The point of bringing together such a diverse group of panelists, Perez said, is to create a mutual, unbiased playing field.
“We’re not singling out any group, not pushing personal opinions. We just want to shed light on the topic and have an intellectual discussion.”
Courtnay Papy, another organizer for Emergent Savannah, hopes the open discussion brings social change.
“This isn’t just a music issue, it’s a quality of life issue,” Papy said. “When you bring different walks of life together in the room, you tend to get lost in conversation, especially with an issue like this that means so much to so many people. But we can all be better informed and with a little more information, we can then decide what personal action to take.”
“That’s what it’s all about,” Perez added. “When you put people in the same room to talk, you’re putting responsibility back on the people. I think we seem to have forgotten that we do have that power and we can make things happen. We come as a force.”
The discussion starts at 7 p.m. sharp at The Sentient Bean and will last about 50 minutes. A moderated 15-minute question and answer session will follow. Conversations will continue after the event at the American Legion Post 135 bar around the corner.