On Monday, Aug. 13, a local named Sam Atakra created a Facebook event titled "Public Meeting with OTAB about 'Diminishing Nightlife,'" kicking off a lengthy, impassioned Facebook forum on all things nightlife.
The post concerns a regular meeting of the Occupancy Tax Advisory Board, an appointed body charged with advising the Santa Fe City Council on how to spend revenue from lodgers' taxes, which are generated by sales of hotel room nights. The city code specifies that certain percentages of the city's lodgers' tax income must be allocated for "advertising, publicizing and promoting tourist-related attractions, facilities and events," with a percentage of that going toward "nonprofit art activities."
The OTAB meeting is scheduled for 8:30 am on Thursday, Aug. 30, and is open to the public. As of press time, 147 people had committed—via Facebook—to attend. Below, read comments from the ongoing discussion about local nightlife. (Posts have been edited for clarity. See full conversation HERE.)
Kevin Sullivan: [A]ll musicians and Gen Xers please get there by 8:30 am? We should throw a huge all-night party and shuttle everyone there in the morning. After we spray everyone down with Febreze.
August 13 at 12:09 pm
Jimmy Heil: [...A]s a twenty-something, I really couldn't care less if events like folk art market even existed. […] Kudos to Meow Wolf, Red Cell, Team Everything and T-Cubed Productions for making this city bearable to live in. If it wasn't for these organizations, myself and many of my peers would have bailed long ago.
August 13 at 12:29 pm
Alysha Shaw: [...T]here is a very real attrition of young people and professional musicians who are not sustained by the limited nightlife, which impacts the economic viability of the city. […] It's all interconnected, and the way Santa Fe is marketed to tourists is a major hindrance to the sustainability of contemporary Santa Fean culture and community. [...]
August 13 at 9:26 pm
Sam Atakra: Please list your ideas on how to create a progressive music scene here. Keep it short. Let me start:
1. When events happen, albeit being music or art, we would like public bussing from events to homes, preferably subsidized by the city/state/county.
2. Contemporary music events that are created in tandem with existing events in SF like Indian Market, Folk Market, Spanish Market so that all ages will have fun things to do.
3. Wider music style considerations when it comes to Bandstand on the plaza, bigger bands, less of a narrow focus on the same old, same old.
4. The creation of a board of directors with a singular focus on the nightlife in Santa Fe […]
August 13 at 11:25 pm
Jamie Lenfestey: […] Santa Fe would be best served if OTAB simply started a fund to pay the rent of anyone say ages 21-28 who moves here, or who stays after college…You'd have to be a cool, intelligent, productive person with some ambition... the type to go out a lot and hang at bars and coffee shops and attend concerts and art openings…no slackers, but if you fit the mold Santa Fe just pays you to live here until you're 30 and then either you're hooked by Santa Fe's many (elusive?) charms or we don't want you anymore. Like a scholarship… now that would be tax money well spent.
August 14 at 2:23 pm
Carlos Romero: […] Our antiquated liquor laws prevent the creation of "neighborhood" bars [...]. These bars could be additional venues for our local musicians. These bars, if created, would be more "walkable" thus possibly improving our dismal DWI record. [...]
August 14 at 1:15 pm
Shannon Murphy: OTAB is currently in the process of investigating ways to extend tourism-focused events to a younger demographic, as directed by the city council. So maybe if we play our cards right we can provide some insight or guidance that will help them take that on. Two, creating nightlife is not the responsibility of OTAB. It is the responsibility of entrepreneurs, of promoters, of artists and of audiences. […] I hope that this meeting is well attended, and I hope that those in attendance realize that OTAB and the city council are allies, not enemies, in this fight.
August 16 at 12:08 pm
Jon Hendry: I sit on the OTAB Board. […] I'd like to see a capital investment in a venue to replace Palo, funding for at least two big music-based events and, probably nearest to my heart (and in David's honor), an insurance plan that covers musicians in this town, as I'm tired of going to benefits for their medical bills after they got sick. Let's work together on this.
August 15 at 4:25 pm