Finally got back down to the Monroe Street subway station on my lunch hour to play some tunes and make a little cashâ€¦ and after three songs was brusquely forced to stop playing by a CTA employee. The only stations allowing performers â€” even those with their $10 performers’ permit â€” are Jackson and Washington.
I’ve heard this spiel before. The Washington stop is closed and has been for ages. Jackson is always taken, and even if it weren’t, I think there’s some kind of unspoken rule that only black rappers under the age of 18 are allowed to perform there anyway.
It’s a classically idiotic restriction. The rule was probably written years ago with sufficient reason, but now that one of the designated stations is closed and meanwhile the neighboring Lake station has been renovated, the rule clearly needs to be updated. And I can’t imagine these restrictions are security-based: for instance, Jackson has several huge stairways interrupting the platform, allowing no safe place for people to gather and no easy means for authorities to patrol.