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Licensing consultation announced!

GUEST,The Shambles 31 Dec 09 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 31 Dec 09 - 08:25 AM
The Villan 31 Dec 09 - 08:37 AM
GUEST 31 Dec 09 - 08:51 AM
Carol 31 Dec 09 - 09:05 AM
GUEST 31 Dec 09 - 09:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Dec 09 - 10:17 AM
GUEST 31 Dec 09 - 01:04 PM
GUEST, Poxicat 31 Dec 09 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 01 Jan 10 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 02 Jan 10 - 08:39 AM
Darowyn 02 Jan 10 - 09:16 AM
stallion 02 Jan 10 - 02:27 PM
Howard Jones 02 Jan 10 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 02 Jan 10 - 06:39 PM
GUEST, Poxicat 02 Jan 10 - 07:38 PM
Howard Jones 03 Jan 10 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 03 Jan 10 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 04 Jan 10 - 11:44 AM
Folkiedave 04 Jan 10 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 04 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 05 Jan 10 - 08:09 AM
IanC 05 Jan 10 - 09:06 AM
GUEST 06 Jan 10 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 06 Jan 10 - 05:31 AM
GUEST, Poxicat 06 Jan 10 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 06 Jan 10 - 10:14 AM
GUEST, Poxicat 06 Jan 10 - 11:21 AM
Howard Jones 06 Jan 10 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 06 Jan 10 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Mikey 06 Jan 10 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 06 Jan 10 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 06 Jan 10 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 07 Jan 10 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 08 Jan 10 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 12 Jan 10 - 05:18 AM
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GUEST,The Shambles 13 Jan 10 - 05:52 PM
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GUEST,The Shambles 18 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM
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Subject: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 08:19 AM

The Department of Culture Media and Sport have just announced a proposal to exempt small live music events from the Licensing Act 2003. Your input to this consultation is vital, if it is to succeed in finally freeing grass roots live music in England and Wales from the red tape which continues to strangle it.   

http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6499.aspx

The Government have ignored previous reccomendations for the exemption to apply in premises with a safe capaicity of less than 200
and are proposing only a figure of 100. They have indicated that should the consultation show support for the higher figure, this may be considered.

There will be considerable opposition to even this modest proposal.

Please contribute to this process and inform others? Many Thanks


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 08:25 AM

http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1039509&c=1


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: The Villan
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 08:37 AM

100 fine by me, as thats what our safe figure is


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 08:51 AM

The reason why there is so much opposition to even this modest proposal and why it is only announced on the last day of 2009, is that in order for even one person to be exempted, this means that the Government accepts that other existing legislation is adequate to ensure the public's safety etc. without the need for any expensive and cumbersome additional entertainment permission.

The local government lobby still try to maintain (as their jobs rely on it) that this additional entertainment permission is the only way the public can be protected. This, even when so much live music took place perfectly safely under the old 'two-in-a-bar' rule, which this lobby advised the Government to scrap, on introduction of the Licensing Act 2003.

Remember also that all that is being proposed, is only yet further consultation.

http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1039509&c=1

Live music performances for 100 people or less will no longer need to be licensed, under proposals announced today by licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

An exemption from the Licensing Act for small live music events would make it easier for a wide range of venues to put on live music, and help musicians who want to play to a live audience.

Sutcliffe says, "Going to see a band, musician or singer is a very important part of many people's lives and we're keen to do what we can to support audiences and musicians."

He believes and exemption for venues with 100 people or less would benefit many small venues, particularly unlicensed premises such as village halls and cafes, which may currently be put off by licensing requirements."

However, he is also proposing that the exemption can be revoked at individual premises if there have been problems with noise, nuisance or disorder and to ensure concerns of people living close to venues are taken into account, the exemption would only apply to performances that take place between 8am and 11pm.

British Beer and Pub Association director of pub and leisure Martin Rawlings says, "The BBPA welcomes any measures that can help pubs overcome existing barriers to putting on live music, helping aspiring and established musicians to reach audiences while at the same time boosting business, particularly during these difficult economic times."


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Carol
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:05 AM

Great news


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:13 AM

http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/consultations/condoc_exemptsmall_livemusicevents.pdf

The following questions are from the above PDF. Can a potential bias be detected in a document where only those in disagreement have to provide their reasons?

Question 1: Do you agree that the exemption should be limited to performances held wholly inside a permanent building? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 2: Do you agree that the exemption should be limited to performances of live music for not more than 100 people? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 3: Do you agree that audiences for exempt performances should be accommodated entirely within the building where the performance is taking place? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 4: Do you agree that exempt performances should not take place between 11pm and 8am? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 5: Do you agree that there should be an exclusion process as set out above? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 6: Do you agree that the exclusion process should be similar to the current review process, with the modifications proposed? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 7: Do you agree that licensed premises that qualify for the proposed exemption should have to apply through the Minor Variations process to remove licence conditions that apply to the exempt live music performance? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 8: Do you agree that this proposal cannot be achieved by non-legislative means? Yes/No. If No, please explain why

Question 9: Do you agree that the effect of the proposal is proportionate to the policy objective? Yes/No? If No, please explain why.

Question 10: Do you agree that the proposal, taken as a whole, strikes a fair balance between the public interest and the interests of any person adversely affected by it? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 11: Do you agree that the proposal does not remove any necessary protection? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 12: Do you agree that the proposal does not prevent any person from continuing to exercise any right or freedom which that person might reasonably expect to continue to exercise? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 13: Do you agree that the proposal has no constitutional significance? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Question 14: Do you broadly agree with the estimates, assumptions and conclusions of the Impact Assessment (published as a separate document, and available alongside this consultation on the DCMS website at http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6499.aspx.)? Yes/ No. If not, please say which estimate you disagree with, and provide any evidence that supports an alternate estimate.

Question 15: Do you think that this draft Order accurately reflects the proposed change?
    Please remember that we no longer allow anonymous posting at Mudcat. Please use the same name every time you post here. Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 10:17 AM

Hey, Roger! Good to see you back and in fine campaigning form.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 01:04 PM

http://londonjazz.blogspot.com/2009/12/government-announces-small-venue.html


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST, Poxicat
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 01:41 PM

Well there is a government trying to hide behind manipulated and one-sided "consultation" to get its own way – again.

But the two elephants in the room are ignored.

Noise. In truly urban areas noise pollution hides it. In suburban and rural areas, you can go from pub to pub. The jukeboxes and TVs will be loud enough to identify the songs 400 yards away. Karaoke and live music will be loud enough to identify the songs half a mile away and more. It is no use pretending that noise complaints about amplified music achieve anything. At first the LA's "licensing officer" ignores you. If you are persistent, then a visit to the pub may ensue. Somehow everyone gets to know who complained, and then those who like the noise (and live over a mile away) will "visit" the complainer. All amplification in pubs should be regulated. The exemptions that there are should be removed.

Culture. Oh, yes, the department of culture media and sport. The culture that is in danger and should be the subject of support is not opera, nor ballet, nor proms for snobs, but English (or, in Wales, Welsh, or in Scotland, Scottish) folk music and song. It is so unsupported that its only supporter (so long as they can sing "Little Sir Hugh") is the BNP.

What is needed is that music that is not electrically amplified should be free from music licensing. That can be done by expanding the "morris dancing" exemption. Which can be done by statutory instrument.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 06:57 AM

Question 4: Do you agree that exempt performances should not take place between 11pm and 8am? Yes/No. If No, please explain why.

Not too sure why the concept of a 11pm curfew is introduced here?

There is no such curfew on other exemptions. For example, whether it takes place inside premises or outside, Morris dancing after 11pm or before 8am (or indeed at dawn) is not considered to need additional entertainment permission.

The recently issued LACORS guidance on the incidental exemption does not require this. Would the unlicensed live music performance safely taking place and benefitting from this exemption in larger premises become licensable at 11pm in premises qualifying for the proposed small premises exemption?

I can't really see much on how exactly it is peoposed that the size of a premises is to be determined. If it is to be as convoluted as the existing S177, then this exemption will be as useless as S177.

Perhaps that is the intention of these proposals?


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 08:39 AM

>All amplification in pubs should be regulated. The exemptions that there are should be removed.<

Of course, all excessive noise is already regulated. Any live or recorded music that may be exempt from additional entertainment licensing is still subject to regulation under envirionmental legislation.

Whether we have had additional entertainment licensing or not, has and can have no effect on noise concerns. As this can only be brought into effect for noise coming from entertainment (and not loud music blasting from the house next door) it can be at best, only a partial solution to noise concerns.

The problems described above have not been created or made any worse by any measures introduced by the Licensing Act 2003. Promoting this legislation by continuing the myth, that additional entertainment licensing can have some effect, may have covered-up any short-comings in the envirionmental legislation that is supposed to protect the public from all noise concerns. The answer to this is to address these short-comings and not to perpetuate the myth that expensive additional entertainment licensing benefits anyone but those who are employed to enforce it.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Darowyn
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 09:16 AM

I have downloaded the PDFs and will be composing a full response- including comments on the seriously biased form of the consultation.
I shall then be returning it through the more direct access to politicians that my family connections allow me- hopefully adding a few influential signatures on the way.
To sum up my views in one simple paragraph, I shall be arguing that noise and anti-social behaviour issues are fully covered by existing legislation, and that the whole licensing regime under the 2003 Act is a waste of public money and should be scrapped completely in an era of budgetary constraint.
I am entirely in agreement with Guest The Shambles in this.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: stallion
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:27 PM

There was one good result from the licencing changes.......it was to do with safety........... will not bore you with it now ...... but it was a huge improvement, otherwise I agree the live music thing, oh and lets include PRS in this while we are at it, is this a conspiracy to drive out people gathering and enjoying themselves making music?


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:19 PM

It is "biased", but only in the sense that having already considered evidence and representations the government is now putting forward a proposal. If you agree with it, you don't need to give your reasons, but why should they need them? They will presumably be similar to the government's reasons for putting forward the proposals in the first place. It is only if you disagree that you are asked to put forward reasons.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:39 PM

Point taken but.....

If this Government have already considered any evidence and representations on which the proposals are based, these are very selective. They are not mine and they are not any that I have contributed to. They don't even seem to be based on the evidence and representations from the bodies that they themselves have set up to advise them and which I am aware of, like those made by the Live Music Forum.

The call for the level to be set at 100 is directly at odds with the figure of 200, which Parliament's select Committee has called for.

Where for example, is there any mention of the following which Mr Suttcliffe mentioned in Parliament on 22 Oct 2009?

"As part of the clarification, the consultation will propose a change to the definition of "entertainment facilities" so that the mere provision of musical instruments, such as a pub piano, is not licensable."


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST, Poxicat
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:38 PM

Roger, the existing noise controls do not work to control noise nuisance from amplified music. The Licensing Act could (but also often does not, because of the incompetence of local council officers). Unless any new exemption is framed so that it does not apply to music in licensed premises (or their curtilage) is inaudible from other nearby premises you are simply proposing that your preferred entertainment should be permitted to be a nuisance to others.

Incidentally, I believe that "inaudibility" ( after 10 pm) inside other dwellings may be the standard applied by Glasgow council.

A 100 limit exemption for unamplified music could work.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 10:14 AM

If you agree with the questions but for reasons which are additional to those given, there doesn't seem to be anything stopping you from giving your reasons for answering "yes". If you agree with the government's reasons, there's no need to repeat them. What they are asking is that if you disagree, you explain why. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Whilst the general thrust of the proposal is to be welcomed, I disagree with several of the detailed proposals. For example, they propose to exclude only music performed indoors, yet a few musicians playing unamplified in a rural pub garden will probably cause less disturbance than an amplified rock band playing indoors in an urban environment.

I also don't understand why they have not accepted the 200 cut-off recommended by the select committee.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 06:46 PM

>Roger, the existing noise controls do not work to control noise nuisance from amplified music. The Licensing Act could (but also often does not, because of the incompetence of local council officers).<

I am confused. If the problem is with the incompetence of those who are employed to enforce the Licensing Act (which I tend to agree), then surely it matters little what is written in the legislation?


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 11:44 AM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/04/small-venues-live-music-licence

The following, from the above Guardian article, ends on rather a cynical note......

Furthermore, while the new proposal may sound generous, a parliamentary select committee recommended in May 2009 that an exemption be created for any venue with 200 people or less. They also called for a resurrection of the older "two-in-a-bar" law, which allowed any size of venue to host unamplified music by one or two people. Perhaps these ideas will be included in the inevitable tenth, eleventh or thirteenth consultations.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 01:03 PM

Nice of the Guardian to show the session in Sandy Bell's, where the law doesn't apply!!


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM

Not this law perhaps but the one that does now apply in Scotland has also had its casualties. See the following thread.

thread.cfm?threadid=125939&messages=23

We assume that Sandy Bell's has done what is now required to make it legal?


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:09 AM

See also:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=141223114767&ref=mf


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: IanC
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:06 AM

I'd hope we might be able to use this consultation to widen the discussion beyond music.

For example Folk Drama is getting an even worse deal at the moment. Because mummers plays don't have a regular venue the pubs aren't licensed for them (except when they were specifically informed as in Ashwell). Mummers are, like morris, "drop-in" entertainment but they're not covered by the "morris exemption" (despite the claims originally made by the morris organisations). That means that mummers plays are almost always illegal, though we still seem to be doing them.

Can we raise this while we're talking about the rest? At least pubs that have regular sessions, folk clubs etc. usually have a license for it.

Thanks
Ian


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:20 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall http://www.livemusicforum.co.uk/

On 31st December 2009, the public consultation on an entertainment licensing exemption for small gigs was announced by DCMS - more than two years since it was first promised by ministers: http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/media_releases/6553.aspx

The key proposal is to exempt gigs with an audience of up to 100, provided performances are within buildings and do not take place between 11pm and 8am. The exemption may be revoked, however, if there are complaints.
But the DCMS amendment intended to implement this proposal is flawed. The draft reform order, set out on p26 of the 33-page DCMS consultation document (see link below) could not work because it fails to address the licensing of 'entertainment facilities'.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 the provision of entertainment facilities is separately licensable irrespective of any actual performance of live music. This covers, for example, the provision of musical instruments, amplification, or even a stage. Any new exemption has to ensure that such provision is also exempt.
The failure to deal with this will be particularly embarrassing to licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe. On 22nd October 2009, during Parliamentary licensing debate, he said:

'For facilities to be separately licensable in such situations would be absurd and was not intended under the 2003 Act. As part of the clarification, the consultation will propose a change to the definition of "entertainment facilities" so that the mere provision of musical instruments, such as a pub piano, is not licensable.'
See: http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm091022/halltext/91022h0005.htm

It seems hardly credible that the omission of this vital clarification within the published consultation was merely an oversight by DCMS lawyers and the licensing team, particularly given the long time they have had to come up with a solution.
This is of course not the only problem with the consultation. Its timing is almost guaranteed to ensure that reform cannot happen before the general election which must take place by May.
While press coverage of the consultation missed the entertainment facilities problem, scepticism about the government's handling of this issue was unusually pronounced in Guardian coverage on 4th January:
'... while the new proposal may sound generous, a parliamentary select committee recommended in May 2009 that an exemption be created for any venue with 200 people or less. They also called for a resurrection of the older "two-in-a-bar" law, which allowed any size of venue to host unamplified music by one or two people. Perhaps these ideas will be included in the inevitable tenth, eleventh or thirteenth consultations.'
['Government proposes exemption of small venues from live music licence', Sean Michaels]
See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/04/small-venues-live-music-licence


Equity, the Musicians Union, and UK Music support an exemption for audiences or venues up to 200 capacity, but have yet to make any public comment about this DCMS consultation. Sutcliffe has suggested that the government would consider expanding the exemption if this was the response of an 'overwhelming majority'.

Links to other press reports:
The Publican http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=66055&c=1

NME: http://www.nme.com/news/various-artists/49044

Music Week http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1039509&c=1

Link to the DCMS consultation webpage and consultation document downloads:
http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6499.aspx


The closing date for responses is 26 March 2010.
ENDS


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:31 AM

[The last post was from me. When I put my name in the box - it did not work. It only seemed to work with the box empty.]

Ian - I take your point about the non musical folk arts. It is totally wrong that these should be threatened by licensing legislation. However, no matter how little affected they may currently be in practice, the fact remains that they are licensable and illegal without additional licensing permission.

Equity may be the best body for you to approach, for although few participants may be members, they are performances of plays.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST, Poxicat
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:39 AM

1. Even if the Licensing Act is not effectively used to control noise nuisance, that is not a reason to remove its ability to do so. I know a pub that has just blown up a pair of Peavey Black Widows on its jukebox! All amplified music in pubs should be subject to noise limitation.

2. The reform of the "two-in-a-bar" rule (if ever) will also need to make it clear that it permits

(a) - two at a time, not merely the same two all night; and
(b) - the assembled audience to join in on chorusses etc


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 10:14 AM

All amplified music in pubs should be subject to noise limitation.

Nothing is being proposed to change this. But your chosen method also adversly affects non amplified music.

Even where additional entertainment is in place, any resulting noise is still subject to the envirionmental legislation. So what use does this expensive red tape serve, except to provide employment to those who enforce it?

The problem with dealing with any noise concern with additional licensing permission is that it attempts to deal with it in advance. That is before there is any determination of whether there is a real noise concern being presented or not.

And in cases where it is determined in advance that amplified music should be prevented or limited, this also applies to non amplified music.

Surely it is better to apply measures to reduce noise concerns when and where they are being presented than to risk losing any music which is not causing a noise concern, which is the case with additional licensing permission?


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST, Poxicat
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 11:21 AM

No, that is not correct.

If all performances are under 100 capacity are exempt from regulation under the Licensing Act then the Licensing Act cannot be used to control noise, and its power pre-emptively to prevent noise is precisely what is needed.

The only relaxation needed (and it is needed) is for all unamplified performances to be exempt from the Licensing Act. They and they alone are sufficiently dealt with by other applicable laws. Exempting unamplified 2-in-a-bar does not really go far enough.

It would also be sensible to exempt the provision of entertainment facilities that do not include amplification.

There could be a de minimis derogation to permit electric instruments to be used only if they are no louder than acoustic instruments.

There urgently needs to be a tightening of the Licensing Act to de-exempt jukeboxes and big screen TVs.



You obviously have no idea what sort of SPL you can create before melting a pair of Peavey Black Widows. They are used by many metal bass guitarists, and are the woofer in the big HiSys Peavey tops and the big Peavey subs. The Walls of Jericho would not have stood a chance.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 11:41 AM

The current legislation is based on the belief that live music WILL cause disturbance, WILL lead to crime and disorder and WILL give rise to particular safety issues. The proposed amendment will reverse these presumptions for small events by removing them from the licensing provisions.

If in individual cases any of these issues do arise, they can be dealt with using a raft of legislation, including the option to revoke the exemption. So in that sense the Licensing Act can still be used to control noise, by revoking the exemption and bringing the venue back into the Act. There are also other statutory and common law remedies to control excessive noise levels.

I think on the whole the proposal is to be welcomed, although it does have its shortcomings. The provision about "entertainment facilities" is particularly ridiculous - but then this Act has been a textbook example of cocked-up legislation from the outset.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 12:35 PM

>If all performances are under 100 capacity are exempt from regulation under the Licensing Act then the Licensing Act cannot be used to control noise, and its power pre-emptively to prevent noise is precisely what is needed.<

But you are also maintaining that this and the other current noise legislation does not work. So why are you concerned of the effect of the addition of yet one more exemption to add to the many existing ones?

Noise from stand-up comedy using PA and live music is not controlled by the Licensing Act.

All of the amplified music that is exempt as being incidental cannot be controlled by the Licensing Act.

Amplified music from the back of a moving vehicle is not controlled by the Licensing Act and so on. It has more exemptions than I have holes in my socks.

Rather than objecting to this particular and perfectly sensible exemption being introduced as damage limitation, would it not be better to simply accept that the Licensing Act 2003 and the whole concept of additional entertainment permission (taking place in permanent venues) is a mess which needs a total reform?

If the additional entertainment permission measures contained in Licensing Act 2003 (and the previous legislation it replaced) were in any way able to deal with noise concerns, why are licensing authorities when issuing this permission, currently obliged to advise operators that the activities for which they have obtained permission are still subject to the noise controls contained in the environmental legislation?


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,Mikey
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 01:40 PM

This is all very well, at least it appears to have been recognised that the law needs reforming.

The question we should be asking now is 'what should we be doing now?'

Mikey


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 02:41 PM

This is all very well, at least it appears to have been recognised that the law needs reforming.

I can't really see that there has been any recognition that the law needs reforming nor see any firm proposals to do this. All the political parties (and with them the media) have their eyes on things that matter far more to them - the coming election.

All that has been forced out of this Government, and its national and local civil servants, is yet another consultation......

The only thing we can do is to keep up the pressure and ensure that as many peoples as possible contribute to this consultation, as that is all that is on offer.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 03:39 PM

The only thing we can do is to keep up the pressure and ensure that as many peoples as possible contribute to this consultation, as that is all that is on offer.

Peoples? I have been watching too many of those meercat adverts....

Showing the views of the 'overwhelming majority' is what we should be doing. 200 was after all the figure requested by the Commons Select Committee.

Equity, the Musicians Union, and UK Music support an exemption for audiences or venues up to 200 capacity, but have yet to make any public comment about this DCMS consultation. Sutcliffe has suggested that the government would consider expanding the exemption if this was the response of an 'overwhelming majority'.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 12:49 PM

A legal view of the proposed consultation.

http://www.popall.co.uk/LicensingApplications/governmentsproposedexemptionforlivemusicinsmallvenues.asp


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 02:22 PM

The Stage.

http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/26853/government-opens-consultation-on-licence


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 05:18 AM

Campaigners, MPs and Lords will focus on the issue at Westminster meeting.

The future of live music in pubs is to be discussed by politicians and campaigners at parliament tomorrow.

The meeting has been arranged by the All Party Save the Pub Group and will include talks by campaigner Hamish Birchall and Lord Clement-Jones.

http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=66130&c=1


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 10 - 05:50 PM

The hidden cost of the Licensing Act 2003 in schools.

http://www.musictank.co.uk/newsletters/jan-10#viewpoint-the-hidden-cost-of-licensing-music-in-schools


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 10 - 05:52 PM

The following from the link in the previous post.

On 31st December 2009, the DCMS finally published details of the consultation to amend the Licensing Act 2003 and exempt some small-scale live music events from licensing. Strangely, the government's proposals make no mention of exempting music performances in schools, and missing from the DCMS's list of consultees are the NUT, the NAHT, the Independent Schools Association and the National Confederation of PTA's.

Under the Licensing Act, schools staging musical events in front of an audience are exempt from paying the premises licence fee, but they are not exempt from paying for Temporary Event Notices (and this will cost £252 p.a. if the school takes up its annual entitlement of 12), nor are schools exempt from the requirement and cost of advertising the licence application in the press for a period of 28 days.

But that is only the beginning of what the CEO of the Independent Schools Association described as 'a burdensome bureaucratic nightmare'. When attending licensing hearings, schools expecting that educational needs will allow an application to proceed unopposed might be in for a nasty surprise. LACORS guidelines for Licensing Committee Hearings advise that cultural considerations 'will always be subservient to the Licensing Objectives'. Accordingly some Licensing Authorities have implemented wholly unnecessary and prohibitive restrictions. Conditions placed on the premises licence of Verulum School in St Albans run to over 1,400 words – and include conditions such as 'neighbours are made aware by letters of the type of event and the time the music will stop' 'There are to be no more than thirty events per year at the school. There are to be no more than five events in any one month'.

Even a conservative estimate of the amount schools have spent on music licensing is likely to be embarrassing for the government, and all of the live music statistical reports issued by the DCMS have carefully avoided any reference to how the Act has affected schools and colleges.

Since Nov 2005, if the 24,000+ schools in England and Wales have each spent £1,000 on music licensing and advertising this would have amounted to over £24m. According to the DCMS, the National Confederation of PTA's could account for up to half of the 360,000+ Temporary Event Notices issued in the three years to March 2009. DCMS statisticians have not asked Licensing Authorities how many of these TENs included permission for live music, but the total cost of these licences is over £7.5m.

The DCMS recently attempted a rather feeble justification for this fiasco: 'If there was no restriction on entertainment events at schools, independent schools could simply operate as venues.' Ronnie Bridgett DCMS Spokesman, 8 Sep 2009.

This begs the question: should the Licensing Act be amended to cover pet animals just in case schools simply operate as zoos?

Lord Clement-Jones's Live Music bill, which contains a proposal to exempt school music from licensing is due to receive it's 2nd reading in the House of Lords on 15th January 2010.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:15 PM

The Publican - Peer praises Listen Up! campaign

http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=66176&c=1


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:19 PM

Lib Dems press release.

http://www.libdems.org.uk/press_releases_detail.aspx?title=Small_venues_should_not_pay_for_live_music_licences_says_Lord_Clement


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM

2nd Reading of the Live Music bill. Scroll to 3hrs, 33 minutes.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5501


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall http://www.livemusicforum.co.uk/

The Local Government Association has been handing out a misleading and
offensive briefing against Lord Clement-Jones' live music bill.

Entitled 'Live Music Bill - LGA Group Second Reading Briefing' and dated
15th January 2010, the A4 page has been distributed to Peers over the past
two days in advance of the bill's 2nd reading today in the House of Lords.

The introduction makes these key claims: 'The Live Music Bill proposes
exempting performances of live music that attract an audience of fewer than
200 people from the need for a premises licence. It also proposes
reintroducing the "two in a bar" rule which would allow up to two performers
to play live music anywhere without the need for a licence.'

On the basis of those claims, it then states in bold type:

'LGA View - The LGA does not support this Bill. If introduced it would
restrict the rights of local people and their directly-elected councils, and
deny them a voice in the licensing process for live music. Licensing
authorities are trusted to ensure that their residents' wishes are heard and
that the licences of local premises take into account the wellbeing of the
neighbourhood as a whole. We believe that families should be able to put
their children to bed in peace and be able to relax in their homes without
being disturbed by noise from local premises.'

But this is misleading claptrap. Under the bill, the exemption for live
music that might apply in pubs and bars could be revoked if residents'
complaints were upheld following a licence review. Councils' and local
people's rights of redress under the Licensing Act remain at such venues, if
there are problems. The exemption proposed for hospitals, schools and
colleges is conditional upon no alcohol being sold during its provision. If
alcohol were to be sold, the event would be licensable.

In any event, local people, their councils and the police, already have
statutory redress against noise nuisance under various Acts, irrespective of
licensing, including noise abatement notices issued under the Environmental
Protection Act 1990 (which can be pre-emptive or reactive), on-the-spot
fines for licensees under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
(for noisy premises between 11pm and 7am), and fines under the Anti-Social
Behaviour Act 2003 (noise nuisance coming from a dwelling or garden between
11pm and 7am).

The LGA briefing is offensive where it insinuates that live music generally
must be regarded a threat to families and 'the wellbeing of the
neighbourhood', and that this threat is such that it must be pre-emptively
regulated by licensing. There is absolutely no evidence of any significant
nuisance or public order problem caused by live music, certainly nothing
that justifies making it a potential criminal offence merely to host a
performance by one musician.

The briefing goes on to quote recent licensing statistics in support of the
LGA view. But these statistics have already been exposed as meaningless,
specifically the claimed rise in live music permissions of about 11% since
2007. Since this data was published last year by DCMS, the government has
had to concede that they don't know what proportion of the apparent increase
is accounted for by venues that would not have needed a licence under the
old regime, including two-in-a-bar venues, and schools and hospitals hosting
public events. Nor do they know what live music licence conditions apply,
and whether these have been implemented by the venue - as they must be if
gigs are to be legal.

The LGA's concluding arguments suggest that in their view the new 'minor
variation' process and new guidance on the 'incidental music' exemption
obviate the need for any new exemption. But clearly even the government
accepts that neither is likely to be of significant benefit because they
would not have proposed their own 100-capacity exemption otherwise.

A call to the LGA established that this rather dodgy briefing originated
with their Culture, Media and Sport Committee, chaired by St Albans
councillor Chris White.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 10:53 AM

Comments in support of the Lib Dems Live Music Bill:

"The Musicians' Union is very pleased with this bill, as it supports the recommendations that were made by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee last year which were in support of live music".

John Smith, Musicians' Union


"There is no doubt that the Licensing Act 2003 continues to stifle small-scale live music throughout the UK. This leaves our society and culture significantly poorer – not to mention our economy – and is potentially disastrous for the UK's next generation of musical talent, most of whom will hone their craft in pubs, clubs and bars, and is denying jobbing musicians the opportunity to earn a living. The common sense proposals of Lord Clement-Jones' Live Music Bill would address these issues in one stroke and have the full support of UK Music."

Feargal Sharkey, UK Music


"The Government's Licensing Act has really been seen as a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It has had a detrimental effect on musicians performing in small venues and the National Campaign for the Arts is pleased to support Lord Clement-Jones' Live Music Bill, which we believe will go a long way towards addressing the issue."

Louise de Winter, National Campaign for the Arts


"Equity supports the Live Music Bill and calls on all members of all parties to do the same."

Stephen Spence, Equity


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 01:25 PM

This is a rather important part of the consultation. Entertainment Facilities were introduced for the first time in the Licensing Act 2003.

As it is only facilities for music and dancing that are made licensable, this introduction is clearly descriminatory. Why should the provision of a piano, PA or a stage be a licensable entertainment facility, when the provision of a pool table or a boxing ring is not?

On a practical level, how can any performance of music or dancing be exempt as incidental or under any of the other exemptions, where the facilities required for them require the premises to be licensed?


http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/consultations/091020PN_FACILITIES_clarification_condoc.pdf


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 01:50 PM

The following is the current position - from the consultation document linked to above. It appears that the intention was to make the public singing and dancing for their own enjoyment, into a licensable activity by making licensable any premises in which they were singing and dancing.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Proposal to clarify the definition of "entertainment facilities"

1.5 The definition of regulated entertainment contains two elements: the provision of 'entertainment' and the provision of 'entertainment facilities'.

The separate 'entertainment facilities' element is intended to address situations where people take part in entertainment that may not be provided solely for the purpose of entertaining an audience, but which may nevertheless present risks to the promotion of the licensing objectives.

Examples may include the use of a dance floor, or some karaoke performances. As part of this, the provision of musical instruments (such as 'pub pianos') can be licensable (separate from a performance of live music) if they are to be used by customers to entertain themselves.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM

The true horror of the introduction of Entertainment Facilities does not generally seem to have been recognised.

Entertainment Licensing legislation has concentrated on the performance of entertainment. It concerned itself with that which is provided for an audience and that which was not provided for an audience was thought to be safe - up until this reform.

Almost unoticed, the act of entertaining yourself in music or dancing has become a licensable activity. This by virtue of anything provided to enable music or dancing being classed as a licensable entertainment facility. So much for the public's right of freedom of expression.

So any building used or made available for the public to entertain themselves in music and dancing, like a rehearsal room or a dance studio is a licensable Entertainment Facility. This is the case whether other members of the public are present or not.

A case that does not apply to any facilities which may be required for other activities, like a pool table or a boxing ring. This is strange, as these activities are also Regulated Entertainment.

Not only is a provided pool table not licensable as an Entertainment Facility, there is no question that customers entertaining themselves in participatory games of pool will be judged to be licensable Regulated Entertainment, when customers entertaining themselves by making non-amplified music will be.

This consultaion does give us a voive on this. Please use it.


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 07:39 PM

Hansard - the Live Music Bill debate. 15 January 2010

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100115-0006.htm#10011519000411


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 05:17 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall http://www.livemusicforum.co.uk/

On Friday 15th January DCMS published a new public consultation, this time on proposals to 'clarify' the definition of entertainment facilities within the Licensing Act 2003:
http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6574.aspx


Unsurprisingly, there was no press announcement. This would have drawn unwanted media attention to one of the Act's more absurd effects: the separate requirement to licence the provision of pub pianos, and other instruments or facilities enabling people to make music, if the facilities are for public use, or indeed for private use if such provision is for a charge with a view to profit. Unlicensed provision, where a licence is required, is a criminal offence punishable by fines up to £20,000 and six months in prison.

Even the Act's exemption for 'incidental music' is disapplied if entertainment facilities are provided.
The DCMS consultation explicitly acknowledges this problem: 'The Government considers that this was not the intention of Parliament when it introduced the exemption for incidental performances of live music.' [p5, para 1.6]

But once again, the proposed remedy is flawed and could not work.
The draft DCMS amendment, set out on page 9 of the 19 page document, would exempt unamplified musical instruments, but not amplification, or indeed any facility enabling amplified performances (which could be a stage, or even the performance space itself).

And while it also proposes to exempt facilities provided solely for incidental music, it fails to strike out the source of the problem: the vexed entertainment facilities sub-paragraph within the incidental music exemption itself (Schedule 1, para 7(b)). The amendment and the incidental music exemption would contradict one another.

Friday 15th January was also the date of the 2nd reading of Lord Clement-Jones' live music bill in the House of Lords. If enacted, this would exempt performances of live music and the provision of entertainment facilities in a range of venues up to 200 capacity. It would effectively implement most of the Culture Committee recommendations following their inquiry into the Licensing Act last year.

The debate saw strong speeches in support, not only from Lord Clement-Jones, but Lords Colwyn and Redesdale. Government spokesperson Lord Faulkner said that the government had reservations about the bill, but these were dismissed by Lord Clement-Jones. The bill now goes to the Committee stage on Monday 1st February.

Much of the debate covered old ground, but significantly the Conservatives announced their backing for the Bbll. Lord Howard of Rising said:
'This is a Bill which we on these Benches support. We give that support in the hope that this Bill may go some way towards achieving the original objective of the 2003 Act, which was, broadly speaking, to promote the development of live music, dancing, and theatre. That never happened-rather the reverse; there has been a decline. Her Majesty's Government recognised this and introduced the minor variations procedure in June 2009; but I am afraid that that has had no discernable beneficial effect.'

Significantly, Lord Howard is also a borough councillor. The support of the Conservatives tends to undermine the objections of the Local Government Association.

Read the full debate: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100115-0006.htm#10011519000411

Read the live music bill: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/007/10007.1-i.html

Yahoo news coverage: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/11/20100118/tpl-live-music-faces-bureaucratic-minefi-0a1c1a1.html

Lord Clement-Jones in Music Week, 19 Jan: http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=2&storycode=1039688&c=2


Numbers are rising again on the Number 10 petition calling on the government to stop criminalising live music and to implement the Culture Committee's recommendations. It now has over 14,000 signatures: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/livemusicevents/

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 10:06 AM

http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=66211&c=1

Government U-turn over licensing of pub pianos

20 January, 2010

By James Wilmore

DCMS to "clarify" rules meaning licensees can let customers play instruments to "entertain themselves"

Licensees will be allowed to let customers play a musical instrument to "entertain themselves" without the risk of prosecution, after a government U-turn on the issue.

The Licensing Act currently states it is illegal to let a customer play an instrument, such as a piano, if the pub does not have an entertainment licence.

The issue has previously drawn criticism from live music campaigners who branded the situation "absurd".

But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a consultation last week, without alerting the press, to alter the Licensing Act and "clarify" what is regarded as licensable.

The move will be seen as a U-turn by the goverment after licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe previously said having a pub in a piano was only "theoretically innocuous" as "even such supposedly harmless activities can cause noise nuisance".

The DCMS hopes the plans will also encourage pubs to take advantage of the "incidental" music exemption in the Act. This exemption means pubs do not need a licence where the music is not the main reason for people attending the venue.

Under the new plans, the Act will be changed to say that offering musical instruments, to be used for "incidental" music will not need a licence.

Helpfully, the DCMS consultation document says that "items provided to enable a musical instrument to be played without amplification" such as a "music stand" will also be exempt.

The DCMS document says: "There will be a small economic benefit in terms of reduced burdens, but we have not attempted to quantify this".

To respond to the consultation, which closes on February 26, write to Shelley Mickleburgh, Licensing Team, Sport and Leisure Directorate. 2-4, Cockspur Street. London SW1Y 5DH or email: licensingconsultation@culture.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: Licensing consultation announced!
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 10:10 AM

If only......

Perhaps the Publican could be asked to explain how this works with the Cove/New Star situation? These customers playing instruments to 'entertain themselves' are not currently prevented because of Entertainment Facilities but because they are judged to be performances (to an audience) of Regulated Entertainment.

This is ironic as when it is participatory sport which the public are entertaining themselves with, this is not judged to be Regulated Entertainment. But the very activity that Entertainment Facilities was introduced to catch (because the act of the public entertaining themselves in music and dance is NOT Regulated Entertainment) is being caught here as Regulated Entertainment. [ I hope that makes sense]

The proposed changes still mean that any facility (except instruments but including the premises themselves) which are provided for the public to entertain themselves in music or dance is a licensable entertainment facility.

So even if I could persuade my council that the sessions were not Regulated Entertainment, as the premises have been provided for the public to entertain themselves in music (or dance), the premises would still be licensable as an entertainment facility. Even if we entertained ourselves around a provided non-amplified piano.


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