Mudcat Café message #1207828 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70681   Message #1207828
Posted By: The Shambles
15-Jun-04 - 12:10 PM
Thread Name: A little more news on Licensing
Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
The UK Government have a Live Music Forum, that we can write to.

The follwing exchange was posted on the Action for Music list.

From: Sue Cavendish
To: Live Music Forum
Subject: Live Music in UK in Peril

Live Music in UK in Peril:

Please Consider This.
As I'm sure you are aware, it is the small clubs & pubs backrooms where artists hone their performance skills. Practise makes perfect and schools and rehearsal rooms are necessary but it doesn't make performers - that comes from regularly facing the public in less than commercial settings.

It's the lack of opportunity to play in front of small audiences in those clubs & pubs - squeezed by the new licencing laws which is causing very grave concern to so many of us. There is also the worrying threat of increased legislation restraining
something which is life-enhancing within us all - that something that wants and needs to make music - even if it's just to hum a tune, join in singing a chorus or clap hands to the rhythm.

I can't believe that any country that believes in freedom of speech could be against freedom to make music, but that's what seems to be happening - and I hope something can be done before it's too late.
Sue Cavendish

Dear Ms Cavendish,
Thank you for your e mail of 22 May outlining your concerns for Live Music in the UK. As a bit of background, the Live Music Forum met for the first time on 3 February and met again on 4 May. For more information about the work of the Forum please visit our website at the following address

As the Forum's work develops it is consulting widely and ontributions from right across the sector are being welcomed. The comments and feedback from individuals like yourself will help inform any final recommendations. If you have any feedback on the work of the forum as it progresses please contact the Forum at

You also mentioned the new Licensing Act. We believe that the Licensing Act 2003 will make it easier for premises to put on live music events. There is no cost disincentive to premises in providing live entertainment under the Act - the licence fee will be the same whether or not entertainment is provided. In addition, there are special provisions contained in section 177 of the Act in relation to small scale music events.

To qualify as a small scale musical event, the premises licence must contain provision for "music entertainment" (dance or live amplified or unamplified music) and have a capacity limit not exceeding 200 persons. If the event meets these criteria then any licensing authority imposed conditions relating to the provision of music entertainment will be suspended, subject to the exception of conditions related to public safety or the prevention of
crime and disorder. These suspensions can be removed following any review of the licence and extra conditions imposed. The exemption is restricted to the hours of 8am to midnight in certain circumstances, the full details of which are contained in the Act.

For further information on the Licensing Act 2003 please contact Ronnie Bridgett in DCMS Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Team on 020 7211 6374.

Thank you again for your interest and please feel free to contact me if you have any queries or require any further information.
Yours sincerely,
Hannah Davis
Creative Industries Division