Chicago Music Venue Bans EDM Concerts

The ban follows a "rising level of concern about these events and whether or not they're safe."

Ultimate Guitar

Chicago's Congress Theater has permanently banned EDM concerts from its stage as part of an agreement with the city of Chicago, according to DNA Info.

Following a series of violations, the venue lost its liquor license and was subsequently shut down in May 2013. Those violations included several drug-related incidents and failure of venue security to contact police following fights within the venue. A year prior, a female concert patron was raped after being turned away from the venue.

Under terms of the agreement, the venue will continue to operate with the understanding that EDM concerts will no longer take place, regardless of the owner. The city defines EDM as "music created by a DJ or multiple DJs primarily using specialized equipment and software instead of traditional instruments."

According to City of Chicago local liquor commissioner Gregory Steadman, the ban reflects a "rising level of concern about these events and whether or not they're safe." He added, "The community does not want those events there. We're not saying EDM are all bad but in venues of this size - 5,000 seats - we don't feel this is appropriate for the Congress."

The Congress has previously hosted performances from Skrillex, Rusko, Major Lazer, Steve Aoki, and more.

44 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sounds like the venue is a bigger issue than the music
    Seems like that to me. There's a venue in a city near me that puts on mostly Rock shows, yet they have the same problem with drugs and disorderly behaviour (not as extreme as fighting or rape, but it does make the locals feel uneasy). It seems like the venue just attracts dodgy people and they're doing a terrible job at keeping it under control more than anything, the genre of music has nothing to do with it.
    Genre does have a little something to do with it. I mean, sometimes drugs and violence can go with the culture. Unfortunately, it gives a bad reputation to responsible people who enjoy the music and just want to go see a show.
    drugs and violence are apart of any and all musical cultures. people like to smoke pot and go to hip hop concerts. people like to get drunk and go to country concerts. people like to pop molly and go to club concerts as well as pretty much any and all other permutations. people like to do meth and go to I.C.P. (idunno what genre they would be.. what is it punk/rap/metal?). ~ this seems to be more a case of "the venue needs to get it's sh*t together and protect it's patrons".
    The only thing I've seen that really changes from subculture to subculture is the drugs involved, I have a strong feeling it's more of an issue with the venue and the kind of people it attracts. If they said that Rock or Metal was banned, then everyone on here will be instantly pissed off about it and this article would be downvoted into oblivion.
    Floyd Phoenix
    I occasionally do some work at a small venue near where I live that involves nights with a couple of indie bands and a dj, and last time we did one as I was coming out this huge fight had erupted and was holding up traffic and we were all like oh shit we're gonna get in trouble with the council for this, except it later turned out that it had nothing to do with us and was caused by people from a jazz concert across the road... So really, it's down to individuals causing being morons that's the real problem most of the time...
    It's not our best venue because the area is very diverse. It's in a mostly hipster area and it's not far from some gang areas. I'm not sure which is worse the gang bangers or the hipsters...
    Oh those crazy kids with their crazy music. I remember at an Elvis concert a young lad went crazy and started throwing his Pomade around and some of it hit a girl right smack dab in the eye.I know it had to sting something fierce. She fell to the ground and started crying and screaming WHY! WHY! WHY! After that debacle Elvis was never allowed back in that theatre, or even the town for that matter.Serves him right, that Elvis. No good trouble maker is all he was.
    Yeah! Damn these kids with their EDM, LSD, Hip Hop music, internet, cardiac reanimation, bebop jazz, backed potatoes, nuclear warfare, baby on board stickers, colour TV, auto mobiles, antibiotics, miniature golf...
    Epi g-310
    This is exactly what it is, and I think there's a good ****ing chance this incident will cause an EDM explosion. Calling it, EDM is the new rock.
    Ah... black-and-white ivory tower politics. Gotta love those, especially with that HUGE loophole: "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)"
    HEY WE'RE AT A METAL SHOW, LET'S ALL RAPE AND PILLAGE AND LEAVE A VAST WASTELAND OF DEATH, DEPRESSION, AND DESTRUCTION BEHIND! Believe it or not, I know people who think I act this way because I'm a metal fan.
    I just find this funny because of how true it is. People ask me what some of my favorite music is and I reply "You really don't want to know", they insist and I respond "Black Metal, Death Metal, and video game music." The looks I get.
    Heres the funny part. Once upon a time that was a prono theater. I have been there for several shows (Testament, Death Angel, etc) seriously, That type of music belongs in smaller clubs that are set up for that. This is a traditional theater more akin to traditional concerts/shows. Security is brought in by a rental company used to the traditional style shows.
    Yeesss, because banning something automatically makes people want to stop doing it. *cough* The Prohibition *cough*
    Yeah, they're gonna have those damn underground EDM concerts at that venue when nobody is there. The point is to get that type of show and audience out of that specific venue becuase it's resulting in a bad name for them.
    Hardcore metal fans liking the article because it's dance music. Well here's a kicker, with the genre being assosicated and banned the same thing could happen to metal at these venues aswell if it catches on, so get a grip and defend gig venues and not get all high and mighty because you don't like dance music, jesus christ
    Flying Afros
    Don't know why you're downvoted. Most of us here will probably agree that yes, EDM sucks, but that's not the point. An entire genre of music is being banned because a certain venue's staff can't handle their shit. This could easily be translated to any other genre of music, because humans like to get ****ed up and have a good time at shows.
    Every genre of music has its pros and cons for that matter. EDM - count me out. More importantly is the scene and lifestyle. I do not see how people can go from rave to rave to weekend long festival and deny participation in hardcore substance abuse. There may be a 10% margin of people who sincerely only care about the music but lets look at the majority. In short, EDM is bad for you.
    In the past few years from being 15 when I totally hated this type of music and wouldn't shut up about how much I hated it to now being 18 and seeing that the shit really doesn't affect me and all music has its place in the world. It's really sad that there are people twice my age acting like I did when I was 15...
    Instead of punishing the artists and the venues, why not hand out bans from all venues to people who cause trouble.
    Because - as it seems - the venue in question can't keep their shit together and wouldn't even report those people. Just like they didn't call the police when fights happened there in the past. Still a shitty reason to ban a genre of music, though.
    It's unfortunate for EDM music to be banned because of some bad apples, but if it is to prevent someone from being raped then I think it's okay. As a metalhead, I wouldn't like it if they banned Metal from my local hole in the wall venue, but if it is to prevent someone from being raped I would understand.
    Yeah, but if it's true that the woman was raped after being denied entry to the venue, then I don't see how the venue is remotely responsible. Banning a genre of music isn't gonna stop the *******s who do deplorable things like that.
    good point. It's not even the music thats the problem. I think the venue security could have prevented it had they given her assistance instead. (I'm assuming she was acting belligerent or irrational and thats why she was turned away) not necessarily the fault of the venue itself, but the hired personnel.
    Been to this venue a few times over the last couple years. but they have a ton of problems.... Aragon ballroom is just a better place to have events than The Congress theater
    Shame for the fans that are left without a nearby venue. And damn the venue really can't keep it together.