Musicians Upset Over Musicians’ Tax

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Musicians Upset Over Musicians’ License Required By City Of Myrtle Beach

Fines of $1,095.00 per instance charged by city of Myrtle Beach


“The City of Myrtle Beach is requiring all bands and musicians who perform within the city limits to hold a business license, even if the venue’s license is current and valid. Unlicensed performers may be fined up to $1,095.00 per instance. A uniformed officer may be dispatched to random venues at any time to ask the band to present a business license. If the band or performer is not licensed, that officer may issue a ticket to the band or performer. Please understand this will not affect how I hire bands. But for those of you, who choose not to obtain a license, please be aware that you may face fines any time you play at any venue within [Myrtle Beach] city limits. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Thanks to all – Robyn Morrison.”

The above group email was sent out by Robyn Morrison of Hard Rock Cafe in 2014.  This little-known city ordinance has been on the books for several years but rarely enforced.   Myrtle Beach city government has apparently decided to make 2017 the year of extreme compliance.   As such, local musicians, small taverns, and venues are becoming active in response.

Below are just a few of the comments found on the petition Stop Myrtle Beach Musician’s License

Mayor Rhodes Must Go

Mayor Must Go

The petition was put up by Rich Johnson, a local musician.  Rich was planning to perform this week at Pine Lakes Tavern in Myrtle Beach when local law enforcement showed up planning to arrest him and any others who played.

The petition states:  First the City charges people and residents to park near the beach, then they pass this phony baloney supposedly “Tourist Paid” 1% sales tax increase, which as a full-time resident I am paying 12 months / 365 days per year as are all the other year round and full-time residents, so we are paying the bulk of this phony tax.

Now any working musician, who most likely is making $100 for the night, which by the way was what we made in 1985, has to get “taxed” by getting a musician license to play a bar, club or restaurant in MB? Are they serious?? AND a license may cost two hundred something dollars as you have to estimate your income, and that goes into deciding how much your license will cost. I don’t think it’s always as simple as buying a $100 license, unfortunately.

We spoke with several small business owners,  who said the license was no more than a tax that destroys small restaurants and small business.  “A restaurant who wants to hire a piano player for his guests  simply can not afford to buy a license each time a performance is done.  This town will never move forward as long as John Rhodes and Wayne Gray are in office,” said one local fast food operator who asked not to be named.

Mayor John Rhodes and Councilman Wayne Gray are both up for re-election this November 2017.

Councilmen and Mayor Who Support Musicians’ License That Are Up For Re-Election Nov 2017

Myrtle Beach City Politicians




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