Arts vs. Commerce coming soon to a music venue near you

By Sarah Duffy
September 23, 2004

The impact of Clear Channel is being felt in Philadelphia. Aside from the media conglomerates 1,182 radio stations nation wide, the companies purchase of SFX National Concert Network, for 4.4 million dollars, has lead Clear Channel to pursue independent promotions companies and local venues throughout 16 major U.S. cities, Philadelphia not excluded.

Though buying out local booking agents and bringing them on board the Clear Channel bandwagon, the company has accumulated booking interests in the Electric Factory, the Pontiac Grill, the Khyber, the TLA, the North Star Bar, North by North West in addition to the Wachovia and Tweeter Centers.

What this means is a sharp increase in ticket prices for the general public attending shows at these venues. Under the titles of Convenience Fees, Facility Fees, VIP Parking Fees, Clear Channel is making a drastic attempt to raise there 6 percent profit in their Live Entertainment Division.

There are still a few independent Promoters and Venues still standing in Philadelphia, though not without a fight. The Trocadaro, the Tin Angle, the Fire, a few Northern Liberties venues, and their corresponding booking agents have turned down generous promotions with Clear Channel so that they may remain independent and keep the Philadelphia Music scene focused on Music.

Perhaps the strongest blow to Clear Channel’s presence in Philadelphia will be the opening of the World Caf

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Sarah Duffy

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