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Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

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Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby Forum Admin » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:50 am

The Music Industries Association recently wrote to its members urging us to bring the following absurdity to a wider audience, to see if people power can help get things changed.

A web site has been set up to petition the Government to allow licensing concessions for small venues to put on live music. SOS and PM magazines ask all forum members to go sign up to
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/livemusicevents/


The petition already has over 10,000 signatories, and includes the signatures of Lord Clement-Jones, Fabian Hamilton MP, Chris Huhne MP, Jenny Willott MP, Don Foster MP and Feargal Sharkey. We do however need many more to make the Government aware of the strength of feeling among musicians and music lovers that the Licensing Act 2003 is damaging small scale music events.

The petition reads:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop criminalising live music with the Licensing Act, and to support amendments backed by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and the music industry, which would exempt most small-scale performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants and licensed premises."

Under the Licensing Act, a performance by one musician in a bar, restaurant, school or hospital not licensed for live music could lead to a criminal prosecution of those organising the event. Even a piano may count as a licensible 'entertainment facility'. By contrast, amplified big screen broadcast entertainment is exempt.

The government says the Act is necessary to control noise nuisance, crime, disorder and public safety, even though other laws already deal with those risks. Musicians warned the Act would harm small events. About 50% of bars and 75% of restaurants have no live music permission. Obtaining permission for the mildest live music remains costly and time-consuming. In May, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended exemptions for venues up to 200 capacity and for unamplified performance by one or two musicians.

The government said no. :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

But those exemptions would restore some fairness in the regulation of live music and encourage grassroots venues, which would benefit current and future musicians.

This is a worthy cause, so please register your voice on the Government site. The UK Election is still months away, and there is no guarantee that any incoming new administration will prioritise this important legislation without your protest vote indicating to the mandarins and policy-makers that sense needs to prevail.

cheers,
Ian Gilby

The MIA can be contacted via its web site: www.mia.org.uk
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby Sheriton » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:56 am

I'm slightly confused by this - the premises licence that all bars, restaurants etc. have can cover the provision of regulated entertainment (live music amongst other things). It used to be the case that a separate public entertainments licence was required on top of the liquor licence but that's no longer the case as it's all bundled in to the one premises licence.

Schools, hospital and similar premises however, I agree we have a problem there. They can submit up to 12 Temporary event notices per year which will cover entertainment and supply of alcohol for specific events but it's still not an ideal situation.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby grab » Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:31 am

Obtaining permission for the mildest live music remains costly and time-consuming.


Not for bars and restaurants - it's literally a case of filling in the relevant boxes on your license to sell alcohol, and if you've already got a license, paying the admin fee to get music added. Any bar/restaurant owner who filled in these boxes when the Licensing Act first came around got this for free, and anyone applying for a new license for premises could also roll this into their admin for no extra charge. You may then have problems if your neighbours object, or if your venue isn't up to fire regs. But if your venue isn't adequately sound-insulated, or if your punters are thugs, or if your venue is a fire-trap, this isn't exactly unreasonable, is it?

It's also the landlord's choice not to license their pub or restaurant for music. Most restaurants will *never* put on live music because live music and a quiet dining experience are not compatible. Nor will a significant number of pubs due to lack of space in the pub or simply because it's not what the landlord wants. Ian Gilby's claim that all these pubs and restaurants aren't licensed for music because of cost and red tape is, to be polite, economical with the truth.

The biggest problem remains for places which aren't licensed premises but still want to put on music. This is definitely a balls-up, and something which needs sorting. The Licensing Act was designed for the kind of places where the licensing fee is a reasonable cost of doing business, and where places were already paying a licensing fee. Your average youth club or whatever could certainly get themselves a license to put on music, in the same way as any other place, but that fee is a significant chunk of money for most volunteer-run clubs. A significantly-reduced fee (or maybe no fee) for voluntary organisations and schools, possibly with a maximum limit on venue size to remove a potential loophole for volunteer-run festivals, would be a good way forward. If Fergal Sharkey wants to put up a petition for that, I'm in.

That exemption in their petition is totally mad though. In the days of the old Two-In-A-Bar legislation, folk clubs were shut down for having too many people playing at once, and musicians rightly complained bitterly about it. And now they're presenting a Two-In-A-Bar exemption as the best thing since sliced bread? They must be bl**dy stupid.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby Matt Houghton » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:08 am

A Downing St petition will probably get nowhere. They rarely do... and they certainly don't go anywhere in a hurry. If the present administration is to do anything, it needs raising in PMQs or Culture, Media & Sport questions, where the PM or Secretary Of State can be embarrassed into making a promise.

But even if that were done, I suspect there's little chance that the Government will add such a measure to a packed legislative programme: the election is *likely* to be 4 June; Election purder period of 6 weeks shrinks the available window to half way through April... 6 months from now. I don't rate the chances :frown:

I wonder if they're also petitioning the [I assume Tory] incoming administration. I'm sure this is exactly the red-tape-cutting, encourage-small-businesses-in-the-recession sort of issue that the Tories will be looking to highlight, apply pressure on and make political promises about. Particularly if they can quote a recommendation of a House Of Commons Select Committee... Even if they don't get in, the profile raising would be worth it.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby James Perrett » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:40 pm

This sounds like a bunch of moaning old karaoke singers or dodgy duos who have lost their livelihood because all the bars that put on live music want real bands. I would hate to go back to the old days. I can understand the problem with non licensed premises but is this really significant?

I've seen the licensing form and, as has already been said, there is absolutely no reason for a landlord not to fill in the live music section - it is really only another 5 minutes work.

Cheers

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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby grab » Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:49 pm

I think it's significant if event organisers want to follow the rules to the letter. Most non-licensed events simply don't bother trying to follow the rules, and never have done. Your average panto will have plastic glasses of cheap wine available in the interval, but I've never heard of a panto organiser getting an alcohol license for that. A bit "don't ask, don't tell" really. Still and all, it'd be good to get this sorted out, instead of small events operating in some kind of illicit-but-tolerated twilight zone.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby Dave Gate » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:56 pm

Looks like you might get your wish

But I don't see where the £1600 per annum figure comes from, given that the Entertainments License is free; unless they're planning on scrapping the PRS/PPL licensing for smaller venues.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby OneWorld » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:33 pm

Forum Admin wrote:The Music Industries Association recently wrote to its members urging us to bring the following absurdity to a wider audience, to see if people power can help get things changed.

A web site has been set up to petition the Government to allow licensing concessions for small venues to put on live music. SOS and PM magazines ask all forum members to go sign up to
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/livemusicevents/


The petition already has over 10,000 signatories, and includes the signatures of Lord Clement-Jones, Fabian Hamilton MP, Chris Huhne MP, Jenny Willott MP, Don Foster MP and Feargal Sharkey. We do however need many more to make the Government aware of the strength of feeling among musicians and music lovers that the Licensing Act 2003 is damaging small scale music events.

The petition reads:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop criminalising live music with the Licensing Act, and to support amendments backed by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and the music industry, which would exempt most small-scale performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants and licensed premises."

Under the Licensing Act, a performance by one musician in a bar, restaurant, school or hospital not licensed for live music could lead to a criminal prosecution of those organising the event. Even a piano may count as a licensible 'entertainment facility'. By contrast, amplified big screen broadcast entertainment is exempt.

The government says the Act is necessary to control noise nuisance, crime, disorder and public safety, even though other laws already deal with those risks. Musicians warned the Act would harm small events. About 50% of bars and 75% of restaurants have no live music permission. Obtaining permission for the mildest live music remains costly and time-consuming. In May, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended exemptions for venues up to 200 capacity and for unamplified performance by one or two musicians.

The government said no. :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

But those exemptions would restore some fairness in the regulation of live music and encourage grassroots venues, which would benefit current and future musicians.

This is a worthy cause, so please register your voice on the Government site. The UK Election is still months away, and there is no guarantee that any incoming new administration will prioritise this important legislation without your protest vote indicating to the mandarins and policy-makers that sense needs to prevail.

cheers,
Ian Gilby

The MIA can be contacted via its web site: www.mia.org.uk

Can't find it!
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby Dave Gate » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:12 am

However, the ministerial proposals are understood to go further than that. Large venues with a capacity of more than 5,000 would continue to be subject to premises licensing as before, but small venues would save on average £1,600 a year and be freed of the requirement to register with the council.

Second paragraph from the end of the article that I linked to.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby petev3.1 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:52 pm

Link not working for me.
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Re: Petitioning No.10 for Live Music concessions

Postby MarkPAman » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:15 pm

petev3.1 wrote:Link not working for me.

Did you notice that it's over 5 years old?
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