You can click here to read Bryan’s editorial in The Pittsburgh Current. Below is an excerpt:
While performing for an audience can be a thrill, it is also a job that requires professional musicians to work very hard in order to make a living.
The economics of the local music business aren’t pretty either. The money that is offered most local musicians for your average gig at a bar or hotel would shock people if they knew.
With all of these pressures in mind, seemingly out of left field, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a Bill recently that will make the economic life of the professional musician much, much more difficult.
This odious piece of legislation is House Bill 561.
HB561 allows liquor licensees (hotels, bars, restaurants) to hire minors to perform as musicians, but the same bill expressly prohibits any payment to those performers for their services. Yes, you read that correctly. The language of the Bill actually forbids payment to minors even though they are working at the establishment.