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Why the Northwest Music Scene Needs a 4am Closing Time

California recently denied extending last call from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.. Senator Scott Wiener fought for the bill that stems from “Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act” (LOCAL), but it did not pass the assembly round. He believes “there’s nothing radical about letting local communities decide for themselves whether to let their bars and nightclubs go later. It’s embarrassing that California shuts down its nightlife so early. We’re not going to give up. Nightlife matters to our economy and culture and California’s one-size-fits-all approach to closing time needs to be reformed.”

Weiner believes that extending closing time from 2am to 4 a, will boost the economy. The counterargument believes that there will be an increase in DUIs and other alcohol related incidences. But how would something like this benefit cities such as Portland and Seattle?

Providing people a legal place to party will defer them from going to underground illegal parties and clubs. Tragedies like Ghost Ship would be less likely because the establishments would be under the appropriate safety codes. At 2am, people still want to have fun and continue the night elsewhere. If clubs have the option to stay open until 4am, people are less likely to find their own fun.

Keeping the doors open until 4am also helps nightlife culture as a whole. Venues can program a fuller night of music, while including a “cooldown” DJ that many late-night clubs across the country utilize to close down in the latter hours. Beyond that, a later last-call makes it so fewer people are trying to convince themselves they can drive under the influence circa 1am.

Of course, there are two sides to every story, but how do you think Washington and Oregon would vote if we proposed a later closing time?