Mudcat Café message #1257721 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70681   Message #1257721
Posted By: RichardP
26-Aug-04 - 07:37 PM
Thread Name: A little more news on Licensing
Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
Having just returned from festivals, I find that Hamish has misquoted me. Said that the misquotation was wrong and then produced a whole load of red herrings about musicians instruments being under the control of the act as "facilities" which equate to "premises".

He should have gone back to clause 1 of the Act, which makes it clear that licences are issued for premises and premises supervisors only.

You cannot walk into the local council with a comb and a sheet of tissue paper and take out a premises licence on it. You cannot get a premises supervisors plicence because you have expertise in controlling that comb and paper.

Simply an instrument is not a premise and cannot be licenced.

The only rational reason for the facilities clause is to prevent a loophole for the private functioin excemption where (more realistic than the examples in the guidance) a publican lets you have a room for free but insists that you use and pay through the nose for the in-built PA system.

Hamish is correct in noting that a musician can get into a position where he commits an offence under the act. (He might be a publican of an unlicenced pub). However, he does not commit an offence just by playing, or by writing a set list or by arranging the music. He does it by actions that could equally be performed by a non-musician.

Most importantly in the pub context, the permission for incidental music in unlicensed premises should be highly liberating. In Whitby week take a specific point of the fringe in the Tap and Spile. There is little doubt that the attraction to the Landlord of permitting the sessions on the fringe is the large quantity of liquor consumed by participants rather than any enjoyment he may get form hearing the music. That might not apply to the official singaround at the Plough down the street, where the festival may have paid for the upstairs room, but it must also apply to the informal sessions in the downstairs rooms at the same pub.