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ET Obit:Live Music 28th Nov (12) RE: Obit:Live Music 28th Nov 05 Aug 05

At the last second of the last hour (ie effectively 24 hours to go) the Confederation of Small Businesses has woken up to the blindingly obvious - that the Licensing Act 2003 imposes a large bureacratic system of form filling and that fees for liquor licences have gone up from 30 for 3 years to several hundred per annum. And that 60,000 premises have yet to register!

Well done. Some folkies have been complaining about this since 2002 (the Bill) but to no avail. Suddendly the Jazz Scene has woken up, together with bits of the licensing trade. Maybe if the classical music world joins in, who knows.   Fergal Sharkey says the only issue is getting the laggards on board. I wonder if he would like to drive his way through 6 day Whitby Folk Festival in 2006 with its premise licences, maypole licences, temporary event notices and fees? Temporary events are limited to 499 people. Who counts? And how far from the event do you count? And is this static people or crowds drifting past an event. Answers on a 20 page form to DCMS please.

The words "blue clicky" will take on a new meaning - clicking the numbers of audience. And how do you get a 6 day festival out of a 3 day limit, then a break. Maybe the music police will raid Glybourne and upset the opera establishment.

Do you get the feeling I feel strongly about all this? I have been in endless, but one way, conversations with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. I fear they do not live on this planet.


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