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Karaoke contest moved due to request from city

Photo by Studio 7042 on

DownTime Taps was slated to host the first ‘Ferndale Idol’ karaoke contest with 24 contestants. But that all changed after the first competition was held on Monday, April 1st.

City of Ferndale spokesperson Riley Sweeney said city staff had contacted DownTime Taps after the April 1st event and informed them the large inside crowd combined with the music was a violation of the fire code since the building is not equipped with a fire suppression water sprinkler system. “If the music and crowd were outside, there likely would not be a problem,” Sweeney said.

No citation or written warning was issued to DownTime Taps, according to Sweeney.

A similar challenge had befallen Main Street Bar & Grill owners when they were also required by the city to stop offering live music performances due to a lack of a sprinkler system.

When asked how nearby Leader Block Wine Co. & Eatery is able to offer live music to their patrons, Sweeney responded, “It is a matter of square footage. They do not have enough space to hold a crowd large enough to trigger fire code requirements.”

Whiskey Production officials said they were hoping to secure a venue for their event in time for Monday’s 2nd round of the competition. They have held 2 similar competitions at Rumors Cabaret in Bellingham in the past.


  1. Fay Brockhoff April 6, 2019

    Have it outside..

  2. Aron Thompson April 6, 2019

    Sorry Ferndale, but if Leader Block squeezes in more bodies than can “safely” be held in the venue then that, too, would constitute your safety risk. I’m curious what is in reality driving the discriminatory application of code enforcement…

  3. Trina L Christie April 7, 2019

    Yes!! Have it outside!! Or is there a chance people will spontaneously combust into flames? Maybe a no corderoy pants law should be put into effect to meet fire safety regulations… Just in case!!

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