Support Local Live Music

Live music in Chico is under attack. The Chief of Police has penned a series of recommendations that, if implemented, would basically convert our cheery little burg into a bad Kevin Bacon movie from the ‘80s. Scattered among a host of draconian (and sometimes bizarre) suggestions, the Chief includes the following: any amplified music that can be heard outside of the establishment is not allowed, there must be one security guard for every twenty-five attendees, no dancing would be allowed, no restaurants are allowed to host live entertainment, no fashion shows, and no topless performances would be allowed. This is only a tiny portion of an exhaustive list. Basically, if it seems like it would be fun, the Chief is against it.

It’s an affront to what makes (and has made) Chico a great music and arts community for decades.

I moved up here in early 2000. At that time there was a music scene, but it was on life-support. There was a serious lack of venues, promoters, and talent. But over the course of the ensuing years, a host of people have worked tirelessly to establish venues, host shows, form and promote bands… the list goes on. All of these elements have come together to form an infrastructure that allows local live entertainment to thrive. The rich and diverse scene we enjoy now—with a number of all-ages and adult venues hosting a wide variety of different styles of music—is a direct result of sweat, toil, sacrifice, commitment, and difficult work. This current scene is the result of collective years of dedication. With a stroke of his pen, the Chief of Police is effectively hoping to tear the whole thing to ribbons. It’s offensive. Don’t let it happen. Talk to your City Council members and let them know you are a supporter of art, music, and live entertainment in Chico.

SOTA Songwriting Competition 

One organization that has been part of the mix is the Chico State School of the Arts. SOTA is hosting another songwriting competition at Woodstock’s Pizza in downtown Chico. The contest runs over the course of a month with showcases being held on Thursday September 26th, Thursday October 3rd, and Thursday October 17th. For songwriters, the format is welcoming; for music fans, this is a wonderful way to take in some new talent. The showcases start at 7 o’clock each evening. The prize for the winners is a chance to record their song with the SOTA engineers. These really are great fun. I’ve been known to get up there and play a few songs, but apparently the judges haven’t yet warmed up to my particular style of gothic sleaze-folk. Oh well, that’s what I get for being avant-garde.


To my way of thinking, live music, art, and theater are reflections of the community. For a pittance you can be entertained for an evening. You can talk to other show-goers, meet people, talk to the performers; maybe drink a few cold beverages.

Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.