Pasadena house concerts can resume as long as they're not a business operation, says mayor
The conflict between the Town of Pasadena and resident Jan Stephen, who was ordered to stop holding concerts in his house, has been resolved.
Pasadena Mayor Darren Gardner told CBC News Friday that the concerts can resume as long as it's clear that they're not happening under a business operation.
"The town has no business what goes on in anybody's private home. And everybody knows Newfoundlanders have been having music in their homes for well over 100 years, I'm sure," said Gardner.
"But it's when you take that private home and turn it into a venue and invite the public in, and in the case of some of his advertisements, charge an admission, well, now that's a public space."
Pasadena resident Jan Stephen had been inviting people into his rec room, dubbed Vinyl Garage, for live shows, charging them a fee. The town said after it had received multiple complaints about the concerts, it ordered Stephen to cease and desist, as he was operating an unlicensed concert venue without permit.
Stephen clarified that the concerts in his home don't generate revenue for him as the host, but only for the artists.
Gardner said while it's unfortunate for the matter to have become a public dispute, he is glad to be able to offer a clarification.
"There seems to be kind of a muddying or unclarity in terms of why we're involved," said Gardner.
"As a local government, we have a responsibility if you're gonna invite the public into your space as a venue, then we have a responsibility to make sure that that venue is properly zoned. That fire, life, safety concerns are met, capacity cards are issued and so on."
Stephen agrees that the conflict arose over the perception of the rec room concerts, both from the town and from some people within the community.
"The town really had an issue with me publicly inviting people into my house and the way I did it on the internet and some of the language that I use," said Stephen. "It created the perception that I had a home-based business."
"So, I just have to market it differently and try to keep it a bit more internal."
While the way he'll arrange for people to come into his house for live music will slightly change, said Stephen, he'll continue having people over, and sharing videos and pictures of the concerts online.
Stephen said although a conversation should have happened before issuing the order, he is glad the town made an effort to resolve the conflict.
"I want to be in accordance with my town and have a good relationship with my town," he said.
"I'm going to move forward. There's going to be live music in my house. There's going to be happiness and friends spending time together, it's just not going to appear like a business."