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The Shambles UK Licensing Act - another petition. (132* d) RE: UK Licensing Act - another petition. 13 Feb 07

The following from Hamish Birchall

Please circulate

Over 11,400 people have signed the live music/licensing petition on the Number 10 website. At the time of writing it stands at number 8 in the list of nearly 3,000 petitions and is likely to climb higher today:

The petition was backed by Libby Purves in The Times on 6 February:

In the last few days the Number 10 petition website has attracted widespread media coverage due to the petition opposing the government's road pricing proposals . See today's online Guardian, for example:,,2011954,00.html

Ministers, and some in the press, have cast doubt on the value of such petitions. But one thing is clear: a successful petition does raise public and media awareness about an issue, making it more difficult for politicians to ignore.

In the next few weeks, the Live Music Forum will present its recommendations for improvement of the Licensing Act to ministers.

Please consider signing the petition if you haven't already done so. If you have signed, encourage friends to sign. Points to remember about the new law:

For the first time, private performances raising money for charity are illegal unless licensed.

School performances open to friends and family are licensable - they count as public performances.

The unlicensed provision of even one musician is a potential criminal offence - although some places are exempt, including places of public religious worship, royal palaces and moving vehicles. Max penalty: 20,000 fine and six months in prison.

The rationale is to prevent noise, crime and disorder, to ensure public safety, and the protection of children from harm.
But broadcast entertainment, including sport and music, is exempt no matter where, and no matter how powerfully amplified.

In the transition to the new regime in 2005, bars with jukeboxes, CD players etc were automatically granted a licence to play recorded music; but their automatic entitlement to one or two live musicians was abolished.

Under the old regime all premises licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises were automatically allowed up to two live musicians (the 'two in a bar rule').

Last December, DCMS published research confirming that about 40% of these have lost any automatic entitlement to live music as a result of the new Act:
'Very few establishments that wanted a new licence were denied it, and many who were previously limited to 2-in-a-bar now have the ability to stage music with 2 or more musicians... This contrasts, of course, with the fact that 40% of establishments now have no automatic means of putting on live music (i.e. they would have to give a TEN).'
['Licensing Act 2003, The experience of smaller establishments in applying for live music authorisation', December 2006', paragraphs 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 'Conclusions', p54; Caroline Callahan, Andy Martin, Anna Pierce, Ipsos-MORI]

'TEN' stands for Temporary Event Notice - in effect a temporary entertainment licence. Only 12 are allowed per premises per year. They cost 21 each. See the full MORI reports on this site:

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