News / Edmonton

Edmonton MLA pushes for later curfews for music venues

David Shepherd wants AGLC to move last call back to 3 a.m.

If the proposed motion is passed the AGLC would be asked to consider allowing bars to stay open if they have live music.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

If the proposed motion is passed the AGLC would be asked to consider allowing bars to stay open if they have live music.

An Edmonton MLA is hoping later hours can help the city’s live music venues keep rocking the beat.

Edmonton Centre MLA David Shepherd introduced a motion into the legislature Wednesday that, if passed, would encourage the AGLC to move last call back to 3 a.m. for any bar that has live music.

Shepherd said he wants to boost the city’s already strong music scene.

“We have a rich crop of musicians already happening in the city and from that we have got what is a fairly dynamic music scene, already as it is.”

Shepherd said he’s talked about his idea with Senator Tommy Banks, a former Edmonton musician, who told him similar rules were in places in the early 1960s.

Shepherd said having a strong music scene is an economic spin-off and a tourism draw and there is no need not to pursue it.

“We have a real opportunity to capitalize on that resource. You have towns like Austin that are known for being music cities and Edmonton very much could be, too,” he said.

Denton Morrell, general manager of Blues On Whyte, said he would appreciate the extra hour, because it costs a lot to bring in live music. 

“My entertainment cost is staggering compared to a bar that runs a D.J.,” he said.

On Whyte in particular he said it would be great because not all of the bars would be closing at the same time, lowering the demand for taxis and transit. 

“You have 20 bars on the avenue if five do live music than you would have 15 leave at one time and five leave at a different time.”

The proposed new rules would come too late for at least one local spot, as the Wunderbar on Whyte Avenue announced it would be closing its doors this weekend.

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