Outdoor music gets thumbs up 

BAR HARBOR — Businesses that hold special amusement permits from the town will be allowed to host amplified live music outside, within certain parameters, under an emergency ordinance approved by the Town Council Tuesday. 

Under the regular special amusement ordinance, no live music with mechanical amplification is allowed outdoors. But because indoor space at restaurants is so limited with social distancing requirements during the pandemic, more is happening outdoors this year. 

Councilor Matthew Hochman requested the change after hearing from several local musicians whose income depends on being able to play live gigs at restaurants. Under the emergency ordinance, groups of no more than three musicians may perform at establishments with special amusement permits, with one vocal microphone per performer, until 9 p.m. The change is in effect for at least the next two weeks, at which point the council will evaluate and decide whether to extend it. 

Police Chief Jim Willis asked residents with questions or concerns about noise levels to call the police department “at the time it’s happening,” rather than waiting until the next day or emailing town councilors. That way, an officer can respond and “get you back some good information” about how the policy is working on the ground, he told councilors. 

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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