Call Us Today! 843-347-5742|

Musical Discrimination

//Musical Discrimination

Musical Discrimination

Where can you move to a city, and then be asked to get a license to simply do your job? A doctor-sure! Account, Nurse, Dentist all require licenses. I get that. What about a Hotel manager, server, bartender or restaurant manager? None of these positions require a special license from a city to simply go to work and do your job. So why guitar players?

Musicians are and have been subjected to much musical discrimination over the years. In fact, it is still prevalent in 2019. In Myrtle Beach, S.C. county of Horry, discriminatory laws and statutes for musicians still exist.

From: WMBF News, in their investigation they discovered musician Rich Johnson, a musician from Long Island, makes as little as $75-$100 per night playing music part-time at a local restaurant. However, the City of Myrtle Beach in answer to the ” musical discrimination” issue, insists under penalty of law that he spend $100 on a “business license” and if not face up to $500 in fines or a month imprisonment for each unlicensed performance. Does this make sense? What other jobs in Myrtle Beach require a license to work? Why are musicians treated like “second class” citizens and made to pay for licenses to work?

Most importantly, this excessive greed directly harms the ability of law-abiding South Carolinians to earn an honest living playing music. See law excerpt below.

Musical Discrimination Business License Requirements

(843) 918-1200

The City of Myrtle Beach is an ever-growing and thriving place to open and operate a business!  Below you’ll find information about the city’s business license requirements.  For answers to frequently asked questions regarding the business licensure process, see our Business License FAQ page.  To see lists of recently approved business licenses, visit the New Business Licenses page.

Questions?  Contact the Business License office directly at 843-918-1200. 


The following information represents part, but not all of the City Code pertaining to Business License musical discrimination requirements. 

NOTE:  City Council has approved the following revised business license ordinance which took effect with the license year that began June 1, 2015. 

Sec. 11-21.       License Required.

Every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation or profession,  in whole or in part, within the limits of the city is required to pay an annual license tax for the privilege of doing business and obtain a business license as herein provided, to include charitable and not-for-profit organizations as provided herein; provided however, a business license shall not be required for a promoter or vendor that is a participant in an event or convention that is contained within the interior meeting or convention space of a hotel or motel and where said event or convention is not open to the public and attendance is by registration only”.

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

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

So, how did the City of Myrtle Beach react to musicians when asked about the unfair music fees? In fact, they raised the fees, then after the musicians paid the fees to perform, Myrtle Beach, banned “busking”.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) May 3, 2018 / 01:23 PM EDT – Myrtle Beach musicians want the city of Myrtle Beach to remove its ban against “busking,” which would allow artists to play on street corners receiving tips from bystanders. 

Dennis Fox says he started playing his guitar along Ocean Boulevard when he turned 18. In 2016, he says he bought a year-round busking pass through the city for $750 allowing him to play wherever, but the city banned all busking last summer.  In addition Myrtle Beach has also decided to charge enormous amounts to park when simply going the beach. Importantly, no more free beach parking they say! No more Mr. Nice guy. Myrtle Beach’s greed has gotten out of hand. Take a musician out to lunch today, but not in Myrtle Beach.

By | 2019-12-18T19:52:11-05:00 June 26th, 2019|Guitar Education|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

Leave A Comment