Court rules order in New York on live music unconstitutional

A Western New York bar has won in court to block Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on live music.

Those rules, which are being enforced by the State Liquor Authority, indicated that only ‘incidental’ music was allowed at bars and other restaurants.

The aim of that executive order was to remove the possibility of events being advertised to a large audience and prevent unnecessary gatherings amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Sportsmen’s Tavern in Buffalo challenged the guidelines. Mainly because the order didn’t prevent ‘music’ from happening at venues, but rather only prevented venues from charging money for live entertainment in form of cover charges or tickets.

It also prevented advertising for such performances.

A New York State Supreme Court justice in Erie County struck down the guidelines calling them unconstitutional. At this point, it’s not clear if the State Liquor Authority will challenge the ruling, or if it means this applies to other similar venues.

“We are considering all options, including filing for an immediate stay and appeal. Remember: we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and with the threat of clusters around the state and cases surging across the country, preventing mass gatherings remains one of the best public health tools in our toolbox,” the SLA said in a statement.