The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

21st Century 'Footloose'? Chicago Bans EDM From Congress Theatre

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 16, 2014 7:30PM

Darryl Holliday of DNAinfo Chicago kicked off his Sunday shoes to report that controversial Congress Theater owner Eddie Carranza and City of Chicago local liquor commissioner Gregory Steadman basically agreed to ban EDM from the Congress Theater forever.

That's not an exaggeration. This is a 21st century Footloose situation.

EDM is banned from the theater — regardless of whether it is sold to a new operator. ...

The EDM ban is tucked into a six-page plan of operation for the Congress, which has stood at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. since 1926. ...

The document, signed by Congress owner Eddie Carranza and City of Chicago local liquor commissioner Gregory Steadman, says the "licensee shall not allow any EDM shows/events at the premises." ...

The city defines EDM as “music created by a DJ or multiple DJs primarily using specialized equipment and software instead of traditional instruments."

"... And an EDM performance shall be defined as a performance of Electronic Dance Music or any performance by a DJ or multiple DJs featured the playing of prerecorded music. Performers that incorporate electronic beats or prerecorded music in their acts shall be allowed, provided those performers either sing vocals or play an instrument(s) (or do both) during their performance."

Basically, the ban appears to make no distinction between Skrillex or Four Tet or DJ Shadow or Traxman or DJ Spinn any other artist who could conceivably fit into this ban's ridiculous parameters. So long, footwork, juke, lDM and trip-hop.

While city employees defend the ban, others call it excessive, with Ald. Joe Moreno [1st] saying, "I think this is a little stronger than it needs to be." [Though Moreno also says he ultimately "support[s] [the plan of operation]." Still, when the dude who protested Chik-Fil-A says you're being excessive, you're probably being a little excessive.

The Congress Theater lost its liquor license last year, while owner Eddie Carranza reportedly had a deal in place to sell the Congress back in January.