Musicians’ Loading zones: Survey results (updated: 5/19/14)

We’ve been running a survey on musicians’ load in/out parking experiences  since roughly January of 2014.

If you’re a musician and you haven’t taken it, please do so now!

ReservedParkingForMusiciansOnlyThe goal is to gather 100 musicians’ stories, identify the worst spots, and go with a group of musicians to tell those stories at City Hall.

Speaking of city hall, we’ve been in contact with the Portland transportation office (PDOT,) including the commissioner and key staffers. Those staffers have, in turn, requested information from the City of Seattle to find out how they implemented musician loading zones up there.

So far, here are Portland’s Top 10 places in need of Musician Loading Zones:

1st: Ash St. Saloon, with 25 votes.  

This place also had the most complaints about tickets, as well as reports of parking vultures.

Tie for 2nd & 3rd:  Crystal Ballroom & Dante’s – 20 votes

Crystal had reports of parking vultures and one fella got towed.

Dante’s had plenty of tickets reported.

tie for 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th – 16 votes.   

Mississippi Studios
Curious because supposedly they have a parking permit musicians can go in and grab

Star Theatre
Not too surprising, given the location in the middle of a one-lane block on the bus mall downtown.

Mississippi Pizza Pub / Atlantis lounge 

There’s not a lot of street parking there, and though that outdoor gazebo thing is pretty rad, it takes up two or three spaces.
We’ve just heard you can park at the Rebuilding Center.

Jimmy Mak’s
parking vultures reported

Tie for 8th & 9th –  15 votes

Blue Monk

closed, supposedly destined to become ‘something upscale.’
(That probably means once they’ve removed the stage they’ll find some tiny corner for musicians to squeeze into…)

Mississippi Studios

Tie for 10th & 11th – 14 votes

Berbati’s Pan

Alhambra Theatre

Comment highlights:

“Seems like a city that prides itself on its art could take this small step to support artists.” 

“There are parking meter people who know Jimmy Mak’s and the Crystal are prime targets and they ticket that way with the musicians on a regular basis”

“…Tickets for whole band unloading in the loading zone. Meter maid angrily pointed to the sign saying “do you look like that?” – which was wrong, she didn’t even know the law. Looking it up later we found that what is actually required is a permit sticker to load and unload in those zones. The signs never indicated “permit required”, they just say loading zone”

“10.00 to park accros the street from ash street”

I have Been ticketed at Ash Street”

“been ticketed across from Ashstreet… they wait for you in that parking lot”

“[A] singer/guitar player in a band i play in received a ticket outside Ted’s Berbati Pan. Some clubs–like backspace–make it nearly impossible to load/unload without having to pay extra for parking and then you still have to schlep your gear a block away”

“… Some [of these] are impossible such as the Know, Valentines, Kelly’s, and Mississippi Studios mainly because there is only timed on-street parking or pay-to-park lots and people waiting around to give tickets.”

“As a roadie/stage hand/tech it’s really annoying trying to load in at many venues especially during the fall/winter months when chance of rain is high. We dont get paod enough if at all to get soaked to the bone helping the show happen.”

“[This campaign] Makes sense to me. It’s an absolute pain. Everyone, both the venue hosts and the musicians would benefit from adequate load-in accommodations, at least a couple parking spots near the front that are reserved from between 7PM and 4AM or something. I understand that’s probably considered “peak times” for most venues in Portland hosting music in the evenings, but I think it’d be a luxury offered to the musicians that most people would find pretentious and questionable to naysay such proposals. Having the extra time and energy saved by a more convenient load-in situation would only aid in setup and soundcheck processes. Hell, maybe the relationships between performers and hosts would improve due to the extra time and energy gained. I’m sure the people working or managing the venues would eventually be capable of understanding, or vicariously experiencing and feeling empathy for the notion of dragging hundreds of pounds of sound-related gear into work everyday. Anyway, I’m all for it. All of those venues, for the most part, are serious pains-in-the-ass places to load in and out of for musicians, who, by the way, frequent most of these locations and, of course, collectively, all of said locations, eventually.”

“…ticketed across street from The White Eagle where there’s available parking, PDX Police (not meter patrol)  issued ticket on a rainy Sat night around 11 PM and have been doing so for quite a while according to neighbors.”

“…Expecting tickets at several Portland venues all the time. For example, at Portland Art Museum we had to park across the street to unload a large cargo van for a 400 people event. After a place opened up out front we moved the van closer to finish unloading it. We got a ticket immediately for not moving the parking ticket from one side of the windshield to the other. Sometimes parking enforcement hangs around because they know they can give tickets to several musicians and vendors trying to load their equipment into venues”

“our band received 3 parking tickets at the same time while loading and then received a 4th when another vehicle was brought in.  The last one was running with an occupant inside!”

“I have been ticketed with my vehicle (mini van, yes, but none the less, a “truck”) in the truck loading zone parked directly next to the load-in door at Dante’s. This occurred with flashers on, the back hatch open, and some assorted gear still visible. It occurred in under 10 min of me dragging my 4×12 cabinet in and placed on the stage.”

 “I had my van towed from downtown between NW 3rd & 4th & Couch. confusing signs. Cops sitting at the end of the street watched me park, said nothing had me towed & over $400 later (in fines & tow bill/ impound release) I’m back on the road. I was support crew for a buddy playing @ Dante’s. I also play drums for numerous acts & it can be a real challenge finding parking to load/ unload. I’ve received way too many fines to even begin to recount…”

“If you know what the loading schedule is like at a show, then you know it’s often not practical to park, unload, then move your car.  Recently at a Dante’s show, three of my bandmates parked on 3rd next to the load-in door in a ‘loading’ zone.  We unloaded and were in a rush to unpack, setup and sound check.  When we came out later, there were tickets on all 3 cars.  We parked elsewhere, while our RV/Tour bus parked outside and was also ticketed.  It’s become such a problem that we’re amending our contracts to say that the venues are responsible for parking fees/tickets.”


Brought to you by Seabeasties and Fair Trade Music PDX
Supported by Local 99 – helping musicians help each other since 1899

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