This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Creative Footprint - Support NYC Nightlife!
Creative Footprint - Support NYC Nightlife!
Help us gather data about NYC music venues to influence the agenda of the new Office of Nightlife.
Help us gather data about NYC music venues to influence the agenda of the new Office of Nightlife. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Support the Creative Footprint by getting tickets to some of the best clubs and venues in New York City! See $25 reward for more info.
We’re gathering data about NYC music venues and hosting a two-day workshop to deliver a grassroots agenda for the new Office of Nightlife, and to help curb gentrification of NYC music venues.
The Creative Footprint is an innovative civic initiative that measures and indexes live music space.
Founded by Berlin's Clubcommissioner alongside Amsterdam's Night Mayor, the Creative Footprint works with our partner Resident Advisor, local NYC scene experts and researchers to gather data about every music venue in the city, and develop a rich cultural impact study of NYC’s scenes.
We launched the project at Music Cities Convention in Berlin in April 2017. The German capital’s Creative Footprint was 8.02 out of 10, indicating a vibrant live music scene which places merit on experimentation while enjoying healthy governmental engagement and support.
Our founder, Lutz Leichsenring, presented our findings to Berlin’s Chamber of Commerce, the city government, and established a forum to engage with the real estate industry called Urban Ground Support. Lutz has since been invited to 11 cities around the world to explain the Creative Footprint and its objectives.
The Creative Footprint’s 'NightCamp NYC'
The funds are currently in place to measure the Creative Footprint of New York City. But this is just a diagnosis. Once we know where the issues are, we can work with the scene to develop solutions.
And this is where we need your help.
With your support, we can organize NightCamp, a two-day intensive workshop series in New York City in March 2018 with local promoters, venue owners, stakeholders, activists, relevant government representatives and global experts on nightlife. The objective of NightCamp is to use the data we have gathered to support the discourse around New York nightlife, and to empower the stakeholders with vital data and tools to establish policy goals and legislation for the incoming Office of Nightlife.
But let’s be clear, NightCamp will not be a traditional conference. It will not be tedious keynotes, rambling panels and awkward mixers. We will work with the local scene experts to establish the most pressing problems facing New York’s music scene (e.g. making your illegal space legal, overcoming zoning regulations, coalition building, fire safety etc.) and program our small group workshops accordingly.
By pairing older and younger venue owners with lawyers and relevant city officials, we will help to bridge the natural gaps that exist in the scenes and find pragmatic solutions to the most pressing issues facing New York’s music venues.
By supporting this project, you can be part of the grassroots movement to protect these vital cultural spaces from gentrification! Your donations go towards arming the next generation of emerging nightlife professionals with the knowledge and data to run a vibrant, sustainable live music scene.
So, Why New York?
New York is one of the world’s most influential live music cities. From the Apollo in Harlem, to the disco temples of Paradise Garage and the Loft, to Manhattan staples Twilo and Limelight, to Brooklyn DIY spaces like 285 Kent, Death By Audio and Shea Stadium, the city has been home to some of the world’s most iconic venues.
Yet despite its reputation and rich cultural legacy, today’s New York is a hostile environment for venue owners, independent promoters, and artists. A combination of skyrocketing rent and a quagmire of bureaucracy have pushed many young cultural innovators towards the boundaries of the city and into illegality, while those that chose to go legal are often forced towards "safe", mainstream programming because the cost of failure is insurmountable.
But things are changing.
At the beginning of 2017, New York's nightlife scene started organizing at a grassroots level. By September, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into a law the creation of an Office of Nightlife in New York City, while in November the city council voted to repeal the 91-year-old Cabaret Law—an institutionally racist law that often targeted minority-run nightlife venues, and was a famously onerous obstacle for any dance space looking to operate legally.
Earlier this year, Mirik consulted with the city on the formation of its Office of Nightlife, and since then we have been in constant communication with a number of government departments, venues owners, promoters and key stakeholders to find out what the needs of the city are.
But let us be very clear: We are not here to tell you how to run your scene. You run your scene. These are New York's problems and they require New Yorkers' solutions.
Since 2009, Lutz has been dealing with his scene’s problems in Berlin, where they banded together and fought for the club scene against rampant commercial and luxury development. Through exhaustive dialogue and remarkable pragmatism, Mirik has been bridging gaps in Amsterdam's nightlife scene since 2012, and his methods are being used as the blueprint for cities around the world.
Despite our founders' outsider status, the people actually powering this project are all based in New York. That's a team of data researchers, scene experts, a project manager, graphic designers, a videographer, a publicist, partners, and venue owners, all pulling together to gather this data and support the project.
We want to bring some of the tools and methods that have made Berlin and Amsterdam the best nightlife cities in the world and pass them on to New Yorkers at this incredibly exciting time in your city's history.
If you want to help in our effort to gather data about NYC's club and live music scene, please reach out to us on our Facebook page.
The best way for you to support nightlife is to go out and have fun!
We have partnered up with some of the best clubs, venues and promoters in New York to encourage our supporters to go out into the night and explore the incredible cultural spaces that make their city unique.
For an even $25 you can get entry to one of the following parties/venues: Output, House of YES!, TBA, Bushwick A/V, Good Room, Avant Gardner, Bespoke, Brut, Friends & Lovers, A Club Called Rhonda NYC, Ostbahnhof, and Twice as Proper as well as a number of tickets for Ad Hoc produced events.
Our official media and data partner is Resident Advisor.
A member of our team will contact backers directly when the campaign concludes in January. Backers will be contacted in the order that they pledged support, and as spaces for each venue are limited, they will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
All partnering clubs, venues and promoters will determine which dates the passes are redeemable, and reserve the right to refuse entry.
If you want your venue, club or party to be an official supporter, contact email@example.com with the subject line "Creative Footprint partner request - [CLUB NAME]"
Beyond New York
The true value of the Creative Footprint comes when we can compare the cities’ scores and data, ideas and best practices, and develop a broad network of nightlife activists informed by a global perspective on the problems that face our local music scenes.
We envision a world where every city that is serious about its role as a nightlife capital has a nightlife office or a night mayor.We see clubs, bars, and music venues forming trade associations and fighting collectively for better operating conditions. We see culturally vibrant cities managing gentrification in a way that doesn’t erode creativity and usurp the communities that make them unique, but places the utmost value in preserving and supporting independent culture, and fostering positive community relations.
If we manage to raise more than the amount needed to run NightCamp, we pledge to put the funds directly back into the New York's creative and nightlife scene:
- There are a number of really important local grassroots activist groups that advocate for the protection of nightlife spaces that we would like to support financially
- We would love to develop content that spotlights some of the most important members of NYC's diverse nightlife community. All works will come from local artists, filmmakers, and creatives.
- We can offer more valuable visualizations and meaningful insights for our data, realized by 501c non-profit PennPraxis
- Continue to offer follow-up workshops and meetings to ensure that the ideas and policy goals that come from NightCamp have a better chance of coming to fruition
About Our Team
Lutz Leichsenring and Mirik Milan are considered global experts at initiating and mediating dialogue between nightlife businesses and city governments. In the past few years, they have presented their ideas to government officials in cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, Geneva, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Tokyo, Stockholm, London, Los Angeles, Bogota, Madrid, Edinburgh, Ibiza, Sao Paulo, and of course, New York City.
Since 2009, Lutz has been the spokesperson of the Berlin Clubcommission—a 220-member lobby group for the city’s nightclub industry—and holds a seat in the city’s chamber of commerce and with the Musicboard. He has an extensive history of nightlife activism, has implemented effective operational structures for successful coalition groups, and has emerged as a leading expert in how negative gentrification affects urban culture.
Since 2012, Mirik Milan has held and defined the ‘Night Mayor’ position in Amsterdam and has played an instrumental role in reshaping the city’s nightlife scene into one of the most vibrant, tolerant and economically robust in the world. Mirik’s innovative position is fast becoming replicated in major nightlife-focused cities around the world. In 2016, Mirik held the first Night Mayor Summit in Amsterdam, which brought over 150 people and 20 international journalists to advance the conversation around the role of nightlife culture and its economy.
Prior to becoming globally-recognized nightlife advocates, Lutz and Mirik were promoters and independent venue owners, and have garnered a reputation for taking the urban creativity conversation out of the lecture rooms and onto the dance floor.
Press About CFP and Our Founders
Los Angeles Times: ‘The L.A. DIY Community Contemplates a Post-Ghost Ship Life’
CityLab: 'How to Be a Good Night Mayor'
DJ Broadcast: ‘The 11 Most Important People in Berlin’s Music Scene’
Business Insider: ‘Amsterdam's 'Night Mayor' is Turning His City Into a 24-hour Adventure’
CFP brand photography via Tim Sandik/Ded Agency
Risks and challenges
The risk with this project is that the policy and legislation that we all draft together at the Creative Footprint’s NightCamp is neglected by government in favor of maintaining the status quo. If the New York City Office of Nightlife has been established to merely pacify the grassroots movement and embolden the powerful, establishment businesses then our project runs the risk of being ineffectual.
It is worth noting however, that it is very difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. New York’s grassroots scene has been emboldened by the incredible victories thus far, and have shown a great capacity to organize and mobilize. It’s been extremely exciting to watch seemingly disparate sections of the music industry come together and build a vision of New York nightlife that works for all.
We hope that we can bring our experience from Europe and combine it with your knowledge and passion in New York to build a model system of pragmatic solutions that can be implemented in cities around the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter