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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington’s decision to enforce a sign ordinance that limits how much of a building’s window is used for advertising, is not only affecting businesses downtown.

Artists and musicians say those fliers hanging in the window are a big help for them. They say they help them get the word out for their upcoming shows. But now those musicians are worried that the city will take away a valuable form of advertising for them.

Seth Moody is a member of the local band the Noseriders. He is one of the many musicians who are finding out about the City of Wilmington’s sign ordinance that is now being enforced.

The city requires that advertisements take up no more than 10 percent of a business’s window.

“If the local government is going to come down on what business owners can put in their own businesses, maybe they should pay some of the rent,” Moody said.

The ordinance is a sour note for musicians and other performers and artists. Moody says websites like Facebook are a good promotion tool, but he says bands still need those posters.

“Social media is not the only way to get people to come to your shows ’cause a lot of people are still not on the social media sites, so that’s the only way to get them,” Moody said.

And Moody is not alone.

Charles Smith, with the band Monkey Knife Fight, actually designs posters for his band and other shows that come through the area.

“Posters getting out really helps spread the word,” Smith said.

Smith says the posters downtown are a valuable asset.

“I just think a lot of tourists are looking for stuff to do and live entertainment is the way to go,” he said.

Musicians like Smith and Moody say they hope the city will reconsider its enforcement of the ordinance. They’re also worried that bands may soon be competing for that 10 percent of window space.

For now the city plans to work with businesses on a case-by-case basis to deal with sign ordinance violations.

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10 Comments on "City of Wilmington dictates to downtown business owners what they can’t put in their own windows"

2015 years 9 months ago

One of theses days, they will want to put up re-election poster/stickers on the same windows and litter the side of the roadways with sign after sign after figgin sign. I guess in case we missed the first ten. These guys are a bunch of idiots!

E. Nraged
2015 years 9 months ago

I live and walk downtown everyday, and for the city council to bully on businesses is a shame. Posters are an eyesore they say? What about this “key fence”, or the numerous amounts of homeless people sitting in park benches or panhandling on the streets? Just yesterday morning I witnessed a man pushing a shopping cart down front street, digging through the trash and asking people for cigarettes. There are more eyesores in downtown Wilmington. And art is not one of them. Come on city council and stop be a follower of other cities and find something else in downtown that needs attention, besides telling business owners what musical acts are coming to town. And if Downtown Wilmington remarks that there is a website to post the future of musical acts to come, then we need to vote on a new city council. For tourists, and a majority of people do not pay attention to these things, nor do many people still do not own a computer. Thank You, E.

2015 years 9 months ago

Moving out off downtown will help them with the problem.

2015 years 9 months ago

This is ridiculous. We have bigger things to worry about. Places like the soapbox do advertise which shows or events are coming. Its known for it. And personally I like looking at them, most have neat artwork. I don’t think to go online to look up the schedule always so its a quick easy way if I’m down town walking by. It adds character to the building and is one of the things that makes it unique!

guys who knows something
2015 years 9 months ago

this isnt democracy or capitalism, its communism. this is what you get when u have a horrible choices for politicians

2015 years 9 months ago

at least the city, instead of just blindly handing out violations, is willing to work with businesses on a case-by-case basis.

2015 years 9 months ago

put this amount of effort into cleaning up downtown. . why can’t they clean up the fights downtown. . why can’t they put this effort into cleaning up the drug industry. . I think all of this sort of thing is a smoke screen to take the public’s attention away from the real issues. If this sign ordinance is a true law why wait till now to make such an issue of it? Why wasn’t it enforced in the past? Just do your job, let the people in charge take care of the sign issue and put your energies toward the REAL ISSUES facing our city. You desperately want downtown Wilmington to be another Charleston but it never will be. The difference in the two cities is astounding. We have so many issues that need to be settled it almost makes you want to throw your hands up and say to he** with it.

2015 years 9 months ago

Isnt that what a sign ordinance does? Bet you vote next time hippie.

Cute title though

2015 years 9 months ago

Maybe they should enforce all the ordinances instead of selective enforcement.
Just driving into Wilmington as you go over the memorial bridge and continue straight would be a good place to start.
I see many run down properties not being maintained and this is the gateway to the area.

Wade Griffis
2015 years 9 months ago

Need to keep their noses out of signs. They know nothing. They also know nothing about street repairs. That is obvious in front of Java Dog on Front street. There has been a sinkhole there for a couple of years and it is getting worse.

Someday, a car will be swallowed up. A good lawyer and his client could end up owning the city.

Maybe not a bad idea.


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