Outdoor music permits debated 

BAR HARBOR — The town’s rules for live music and other performances, called “special amusements” in the ordinance governing them, have been a frequent topic of discussion this year as restaurants and hotels that usually host music inside their buildings have moved them outdoors for safety. 

However, the special amusement permits do not allow any outdoor musical performance to have mechanical amplification. Town Councilor Matthew Hochman has been working on changing the ordinance. He told the council Tuesday he has been getting phone calls from local musicians whose gigs have been canceled. 

He proposed an emergency ordinance that would allow amplification for certain permit types, those with one or two musicians. But only two businesses have those types of permits, so the council agreed it would be hard to justify using its emergency powers for something with such a limited scope. 

The council took no action on the emergency ordinance but is set to consider changes to the regular ordinance next month. Except for one complaint this past weekend that was quickly resolved, involving a speaker pointed out a window, Police Chief Jim Willis said, “I don’t think we’ve had any complaints about outdoor music this summer.” 

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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