Mudcat Café message #664502 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45030   Message #664502
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
07-Mar-02 - 04:17 PM
Thread Name: St Patrick's Day and Ken Livingstone
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
That email link was wrong - this is the email address: mayor@london.gov.uk.

And here is the email I have just sent:

Dear Ken Livingstone,
Thank you very much for what is proposed for this St Patrick's Day, and confirming what I always told people when the idea of you becoming Mayor came up - that whatever else happened, we could be sure of some good music when you were back.

Already I have flagged up the news on an international Folk Music internet forum, the Mudcat Cafe (http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=45030), and it is attracting interest from far flung places where this kind of music and this kind of event is valued.

But there is a problem - the existing law on Public Entertainment Licences means that the kind of informal music making, in pubs and in other public places, such as cafes or street corners, which are a key element in such events as the Fleadh Ceoil in Ireland, and in the musical; life of Ireland generally, is illegal in this country. The exception being in those few places where a Public Entertainment Licence has been obtained.

This means that if a few friends want to sit down and play a few tunes or sing a few songs for their own mutual enjoyment, and not as a matter of entertaining other people, they are putting the manager of the premises involved - a publican, or a bookshop manager, or someone running a cafe or a barbershop - at risk of a massive fine.

Is there any possibility of some easing of such restrictions to allow this St Patrick's event to develop in the way it could, and enrich the cultural life of London? (And on other occasions as well. It's not just the Irish who are hot by the present law.)

The present restrictions - which do not apply in Ireland or Scotland. for example - have now been made far more repressive by a recent High Court decision which has very much restricted the very limited leeway that the "two-in-a-bar" rule has permitted. It now appears that if more than two people sing or make any kind of music in a pub, a PEL is required, even if no more than two at any time are singing or playing.

Now some other people send him something similar maybe?