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Performer outraged with need for liability insurance

October 7, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

You know, when you mix "lawyers" with government, add seawater and stir, what you get is always higher fees and smothering regulations. In other words, MORE government. "On" the People, "Not" for the People.

I'll give you a little background. Last season, I purchased a barely affordable permit from town hall to "allow" me to perform my music live down at Times Square for $100. I thought, "I'll eventually make that back in tips." I had a great time playing my music at the Square and brought many a smile to the faces there, and Citrola's across the way would always kick in free pizza to encourage e to come back each week. But, I didn't make much money; times are tight. But for the love of playing and all the positive reactions that I received, I played there ongoing anyway.

This is something government or lawyers will never understand. This week, I went back to town hall to re-up my permit for this season coming up and was informed by the permit official there that the fee has now gone up to $150, and we performers would now be required to have liability insurance!!!! What??? Outrageous!!! I'd either have to be an idiot or desperate to pay that. I am neither. I did question a Council member about this liability insurance requirement. I said, "What? Are you afraid one of my songs might fly out and hit a tourist on the head?" The Councilwoman responded, "No, one of your songs might offend somebody!!!"

What? Huh?!!! I'm a professional musician and have been for many years. I am NOT in the business of offending people, ONLY entertaining them! As far as I'm concerned, Town hall should be paying the performers for performing down at Times Square instead of unfairly taxing us to do so. We add local color, fun and entertainment for all the tourists there. Just more government "On" the People.

This is truly "The Day the Music Died" on Fort Myers Beach.

Jeff Burdge


Fort Myers Beach



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