Following another unruly Spring Break, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber proposed a bundle of ordinances to reel in behavior during high impact periods, all of which passed the Commission in time for Memorial Day Weekend. This week, the City got its first “win” under one of the new laws, a crackdown on large events at private bars and clubs when Cameo Nightclub cancelled the “Henny and Waffles” Memorial Day Weekend brunch and party (though the Henny and Waffles website says it is “postponed”).
"Henny and Waffles" looks pretty tame compared to some of the salacious promotions out there but it falls under the “promoter ordinance” which addresses events sponsored by out-of-state promoters. The target is organizers who rent out a club on a short-term basis and promote their party heavily on social media, resulting in large crowds. Often the message is “anything goes” and is aimed at underage drinkers.
The new law prohibits the issuance of a business license (BTR) to promoters for dance or entertainment events at alcoholic beverage establishments within the Entertainment District during high impact periods. It also allows for suspension of a promoter’s annual license if they are promoting a dance or entertainment event during a high impact period. The Entertainment District is defined as Ocean Drive from 5th to 16th Street, Collins Avenue from 5th to 16th Street, and Washington Avenue from 5th to 16th Street.
The law also targets the businesses that allow promoters to operate without a license on their premises through fines and closure. In a letter to impacted alcoholic beverage establishments notifying them of the new law, Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Jimmy Morales warned businesses of allowing illegally promoted events. Penalties include a fine of $1,000 for each violation, suspension and/or revocation of the business’s BTR, and immediate closure of the establishment “for the promoted event duration.”
In this case, Cameo decided to cancel the event.
Mayor Dan Gelber told RE:MiamiBeach, “I’m hopeful that more will follow. For a decade we’ve been struggling with getting to the root of the problem and we may have come closer to it but it’s important that we get more and more compliance.”
Gelber said the Code Compliance and Police Departments are taking the lead on the new law.
“We’re doing everything we can. We’re talking to club owners. We’re reaching out. We’re urging people to conduct themselves consistent with our rules,” Gelber said. “And we’re going to be incredibly vigilant in the enforcement of this. People need to know, if you put out one of these events here we’re going to try to find it. We’re going to shut it down. We’re going to take whatever legal action we can and the venue will have very serious repercussions.”
Photo from Cameo Nightclub website
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