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Affected by The Licensing Act 2003

The Shambles 25 Nov 05 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Pavane 25 Nov 05 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,pavane 25 Nov 05 - 12:16 PM
PennyBlack 25 Nov 05 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Peter 25 Nov 05 - 02:37 PM
The Shambles 25 Nov 05 - 06:10 PM
The Shambles 25 Nov 05 - 06:38 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Nov 05 - 07:09 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Nov 05 - 04:48 AM
The Shambles 26 Nov 05 - 06:23 AM
DMcG 26 Nov 05 - 06:44 AM
PennyBlack 26 Nov 05 - 08:59 AM
MC Fat 26 Nov 05 - 09:05 AM
PennyBlack 26 Nov 05 - 09:10 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Nov 05 - 09:21 AM
GUEST 26 Nov 05 - 06:37 PM
The Shambles 27 Nov 05 - 04:12 AM
Folkiedave 27 Nov 05 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Marie 28 Nov 05 - 10:15 AM
ET 28 Nov 05 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Pavane 29 Nov 05 - 04:50 AM
The Shambles 02 Dec 05 - 07:24 AM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 11:41 AM
BB 15 Dec 05 - 02:25 PM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 02:44 PM
ET 15 Dec 05 - 02:59 PM
GUEST 15 Dec 05 - 03:25 PM
The Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 02:05 AM
GUEST 17 Dec 05 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Peter Crabb-Wyke 17 Dec 05 - 10:44 AM
DMcG 17 Dec 05 - 02:07 PM
The Shambles 17 Dec 05 - 03:12 PM
The Shambles 18 Dec 05 - 05:19 AM
Folkiedave 18 Dec 05 - 01:25 PM
The Shambles 18 Dec 05 - 06:11 PM
Folkiedave 18 Dec 05 - 07:12 PM
The Shambles 19 Dec 05 - 04:27 PM
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Grab 20 Dec 05 - 07:12 AM
The Shambles 20 Dec 05 - 08:04 AM
folktheatre 20 Dec 05 - 10:04 AM
The Shambles 20 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM
IanC 21 Dec 05 - 04:58 AM
Grab 21 Dec 05 - 08:14 AM
The Shambles 21 Dec 05 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn 22 Dec 05 - 05:12 AM
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Subject: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 09:39 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

It is too early to assess the long-term effect of the 'none in a bar rule'. However, you can be sure that if there is little or no improvement, or even if things get worse, the government will do nothing unless there is significant opposition from the public, musicians' organisations and the music industry.

Remember this minister's quote: 'My view is that there will be an explosion in live music as a result of removing the discriminatory two-in-a-bar provision' (Lord McIntosh, House of Lords, 26 November 2002). This summer James Purnell repeatedly told us on the BBC how much better the new regime would be for live music.

If you know of gigs lost as a result of the new regime, or if, in a few months time, you feel that the new regime has not delivered the improvement you expected or is unsatisfactory for other reasons, use this website to tell your MP (it identifies them from your postcode): http://www.writetothem.com/

It is always best to use your own words, but it may be useful to remind MPs that the Licensing Act gives the Secretary of State at DCMS power by order to change the descriptions of entertainment.

As to the attitude of musicians' organisations and the music industry, it would seem that 'wait and see' is the general view.

Peering into the gloom of the Musicians' Union website today did not reveal much to me about their current thinking on 'none in a bar'. Given the political context of the live music debate, however, MU members may be interested to learn that in March their union made a £30,000 donation to the Labour Party's general election fighting fund. This was on top of their affiliation fees, which currently stand at £7,738 per quarter. According to the Electoral Commission the MU has paid Labour a total of £135,242 since 30 September 2001. See: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.cfm

It may also be of interest that, in an industry where most practitioners will earn nowhere near the national average wage (currently about £26k) from live performance, the MU General Secretary's annual salary and benefits package is at least £80k. This information is in the public domain in the MU's annual return to the trade union Certification Officer:
http://www.certoffice.org/links/index.cfm?action=display&strLetter=m&strType=t&showActive=1

The Certification Officer publishes the salary and benefits for all trade union general secretaries. Interestingly, John Smith's remuneration package in 2003 was only £6k less per annum than that of the GMB's general secretary. The GMB has over half a million members, compared with the MU's 31,000. However union membership is not necessarily a reliable guide to GS salaries and benefits. For example, very few come anywhere near the £746k pa earned in 2003 by the 'Chief Executive/Secretary' of the Professional Footballers Association, whose membership was 3,918 in that year.

See: http://www.certoffice.org/annualReport/index.cfm?pageID=annual

ENDS

See also http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page4259.asp for Number Ten Downing Street's
full response to the E Petition.

Which includes the following.

We believe that the Act will make it simpler and more affordable than now to stage live entertainment in the vast majority of cases and increase opportunities for musicians and other artists to perform

We have also given an undertaking that we will review the existing descriptions of entertainment in the Act six to twelve months after the end of the transition period. If the Act has had an unintended, disproportionate negative effect on the provision of live music -or other forms of regulated entertainment-, there are powers already in the Bill to modify the position through secondary legislation. However we believe that the provisions in the Licensing Act will allow live music and other regulated entertainment to thrive.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Pavane
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 12:08 PM


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 12:16 PM

I have asked before, and ask again, is there anyone who is prepared and able to maintain a full list of the effects of this on existing venues?

Should we set up a site or thread where each loss can be posted? This would be the proof for the proposed review.

Or does the Musicians Union have a plan for such a list? Do we perhaps need an Alternative Musicians Union?

I have never found that writing to my MP produced anything more than a standard reply (Still, Peter Hain is apparently rather busy, as he leads the field in expenses claimed)


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: PennyBlack
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 12:45 PM

More than happy to set up a section on the Fylde Folk Forum with a pinned link (to keep in view at all times)already we have information on the new licence and some problems it is or may cause with music and dance.

Rough Draft

maybe something like the above with sub-forums

let me know and I'll sort something

Pete

PB


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 02:37 PM

I heard that the licensing of Hitchin Town Hall was screwed up which is why tonight's Unicorn Ceilidh is dry.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 06:10 PM

If you know of gigs lost as a result of the new regime, or if, in a few months time, you feel that the new regime has not delivered the improvement you expected or is unsatisfactory for other reasons, use this website to tell your MP (it identifies them from your postcode): http://www.writetothem.com/

Rather that have the burden of proof being upon musicians - perhaps it may be as well to ask your MP to find out from the Government some actual examples of the explosion in live music as a result of removing the discriminatory two-in-a-bar provision'?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 06:38 PM

This from uk.music.folk

The new Landlord at the Red Bull in Stockport has told us as he now has no music licence he must now stop the folk club and session.

Mondays Club the 21st November is cancelled.

All sessions in the pub are cancelled and will move to the Arden

Next Monday we'll meet at the Arden arms in Stockport, an old friend
and restart the club in there with a new name etc. After a few weeks
we'll know where we stand....
It shouldn't affect any bookings and all guests will be notified in
full when I know the permanent location of the club.

Peter Hood


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 07:09 PM

A dry Ceilidh?

Urrgghhh!

Isn't that seditious or something?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 04:48 AM

Not seditious, as the organisers had no choice.

Just the inevitable, and predictable, result of expecting any local authority to administer laws with a "light touch".

We are now seeing exactly what I, and Shambles, along with many others (such as the Performers Lawyers Group) said would happen.

We have been predicting this for several years, and I am sure all the others would agree with me when I say that it gives me no pleasure to be proved right.

IMO, until political parties are compelled to publish in detail the sources of their campaign funds, this bias in favour of recorded music and wide screen satellite TV will continue to blight the future of live music.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 06:23 AM

This probably touches on most of the points.

House of Lords - Monday 14 November 2005
Lord Colwyn (Conservative):

My Lords, I hope that the House will allow me 60 seconds to say something on behalf of musicians in this country. Every time that I intervened during the passage of the then Bill, the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, chastised me for my continual interventions, and assured me that there was no problem at all and that it was all in my imagination.

However, although the Act includes the "playing of recorded music" in the description of regulated entertainment, that is disapplied in the transition to the new regime for existing bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels and any premises that are already licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises. Those places will be allowed automatically to keep jukeboxes or other systems for the playing of recorded sound, no matter how powerful the amplification.

However, the automatic permission to have one or two live musicians in such venues-amplified or not-will cease. That was the live performer element of the so-called "two in a bar" rule, which since 1961 has been available in those premises as an exception from the general requirement to hold a public entertainment licence for live music.


The DCMS hoped that existing pubs, bars and restaurants would seek authorisation during the transitional period by varying their licence application to include live music, which could be done for one fee. However, that variation is not straightforward. It entails public advertisement at the applicant's expense, and a period for: public consultation; vetting by police, the fire authority, and on grounds of environmental health; planning; and ultimately the approval of the licensing committee of the local authority. If objections are received, whether from local residents or other agencies, a public hearing may be required with the potential for knock-on costs. The Government were warned that the then Bill would do nothing to promote live music. Musicians need venues to play and perform. The Act does nothing to help.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: DMcG
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 06:44 AM

It is worth noting the Government response to Lord Colwyn later in that debate:

The noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, raised the issue of live music—an issue on which he was most eloquent during the Bill's passage. Of course I respect his opinion on that. In the transitional period there has not been a decrease in the number of venues providing live music. We do not think that the Act is bad for live music. We think that abolishing the "two in a bar" rule increases opportunities. As far as we can see in licence applications, there will be increased opportunities for live music in licensed premises. However, as I move from the Scylla of the criticism of the noble Lord I land on the Charybdis of the criticism of the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, on the question of noise. But of course we are concerned that the local community will be in a position to make its contribution to the issuing of licences to guarantee that local opinion is taken into account.

No change in viewpoint there, then. They seem to be claiming that there has been an increase in entertainment 'box-ticking' during the licencing applications. I wonder if we will ever get any hard facts on the extent of this.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: PennyBlack
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 08:59 AM

Now set up a section on the Fylde Folk Forum

Which can be accessed directly HERE

There is also a POLL where you can vote for or against the new license, further information on the new licence and other laws that have an effect on entertainers both amateur, Pro/semi-pro etc.

Have a look at the whole site (if you have time) there might be something else there of interest!

PB
pp The Fylde Folk Forum (UK)


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: MC Fat
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 09:05 AM

The Palm Tree Session was stopped by the PEL police about 18 months ago. We are now back up and running the landlord has filled in the right boxes and we are legal.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: PennyBlack
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 09:10 AM

I heard that the licensing of Hitchin Town Hall was screwed up which is why tonight's Unicorn Ceilidh is dry

How did the music manage to go on????


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 09:21 AM

They got the musos drunk BEFORE the session started for once...


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 06:37 PM

Bring your own?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Nov 05 - 04:12 AM

The Palm Tree Session was stopped by the PEL police about 18 months ago. We are now back up and running the landlord has filled in the right boxes and we are legal.

There must have been doubt that this session (or any session) was in fact illegal without a PEL but beacause no legal challenge was made to test it in the courts - we will never know. But its return now must be welcome news and if additional live music events now happen at this venue on other nights - it could well be evidence of an 'explosion in live music as a result of removing the discriminatory two-in-a-bar provision'.

Or you could say that it just balances the event lost at the Red Bull.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 Nov 05 - 03:23 PM

They seem to be claiming that there has been an increase in entertainment 'box-ticking' during the licencing applications. I wonder if we will ever get any hard facts on the extent of this.

They can only compare like with like. Since there was no "like" before the current law they cannot compare it. They can only point to legal licences. But since some places did not understand the law and others ignored it (depending upon the licencing officers of the locality) no-one will ever know.

Neither will we. But what we can do it record any sessions that stop.

You should also document any verified examples of problems using the form on
the Musicians' Union Folk, Roots & Traditional Music Section's website at
http://www.mu-frtm.org/pel-form.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Marie
Date: 28 Nov 05 - 10:15 AM

Folkie Dave et al.

The MUFRTA is a good idea but doesn't appear to list the Sessions etc that have been affected. A updatable list like Penny suggested on the fylde site looks a good idea or could a thread be locked here?

Marie


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: ET
Date: 28 Nov 05 - 10:41 AM

There is one issue that is beyond the wit of even this Government to control and that is Breweries attitudes to Music. Sam Smiths via MD Humphrey has banned all music. Nellies in Beverley used to heave with musicians. Last Saturday night the Sun was packed to a local Irish Band (Punch the Horse) and Nellies was like a morgue, at least from the outside.

The other probem chain is Wetherspoons, now seeking premises in Beverley. They have no music. I have no issue with no background, jukebox or other piped music (Which Kim Howells confused with Pipe Music during the Licensing Bill debate). But many Wethrspoons pubs are vast and can take over trade from smaller, folk friendly venues.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Pavane
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 04:50 AM

Yes, an updatable list is what I suggested above. Glad to see that there is some take-up of the idea.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Dec 05 - 07:24 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

See below for a transcript of the BBC2 Culture Show piece about licensing, broadcast last week, Thursday 24 November 2005.

The government declined to put anyone forward for interview, and only made a statement - sulking perhaps about the BBC's other entertainment licensing coverage (the Today programme) which has consistently provided evidence that ministers' 'easier and cheaper' licensing claims were misleading.

The bar which lost its live music as a result of the new regime featured in the Culture Show piece was also featured in the last BBC Radio 4 Today licensing piece, Friday 11 November 2005: La Brocca in West Hampstead.

In addition to live music, the Culture Show covered circuses, street performance and Punch & Judy. All face extra cost and red tape as a result of the new regime; some may go out of business altogether.

You could say that, as far as recreation is concerned, the new Licensing Act represents the triumph of the jobsworths.

~ ~ ~

NB: I haven't indicated every change of backdrop or soundtrack.

Transcript of BBC2 Culture Show - Thursday 24 November 2005, 7pm

'Why changing the drinking laws might call time on Mr Punch'

PRESENTER: Now, today the government's new and controversial licensing laws came into force in England and Wales. Most of the attention has been on late night drinking, but it's also going to affect many forms of entertainment like music, circuses and even Punch and Judy shows. And it's feared that some of the more fringe forms of performance may even go out of business. Zena Saro-Wiwa reports on a cultural tradition that may be the unintended victim in the battle against binge drinking.

ZENA SARO-WIWA [voiceover: shots of drinkers in bars]: For many, the controversial words licensing law brings up one image: drinking round the clock. But while this law hopes to tackle binge drinking it's also about to threaten the livelihood of some British entertainers.

CAROL GANDLEY 'circus proprietor': It's a disaster for circus and other touring arts.

Z S-W: Travelling circuses, large street art events, grassroots live music and even Punch and Judy are facing extra bureaucracy and confusion as a result of the new licensing regime.

JOHN STYLE 'Punch & Judy Professor': We're not superstars you know, we don't get footballers' wages. We've gotta go round with a hat after the show, and to have all this on top of it. He's a British tradition. He should be looked after and preserved.

Z S-W: Many feel that important traditions in our entertainment culture are under threat.

ARTHUR SMITH 'comedian': [shots from Punch & Judy pub, Covent Garden, and piazza performers] People are just so used to sort of the internet, or the mobile phone, or the video game. They forget that there are sort of human beings who are live and in your face, you can sort of smell and their hearts are beating. And, and in a way this legislation is a slap in the face for that kind of entertainment.

[cut to shots of circus performance]

Z S-W: So how is this live, 'in your face' performance being put at risk. Well, in each case new procedures are being introduced. Until today circuses never even needed a licence. But now all this is set to change. There's around 25 to 30 touring circuses in the UK and they'll have to apply for a licence for every site they visit. That could mean 40 to a 100 applications a year. [shots of horse riding display] This horse circus is the very first to have applied for the new licence. In total it cost them over £1,000 and it took them two days to make the application and it's hard to see how small circuses will manage.

CAROL GANDLEY 'circus proprietor': An owner of a small circus is very much involved in the running of the show. There's not going to be the time to spend two days week facilitating a licence application.

Z S-W: [cut to shots of clown form-filling and getting bound up in red tape by glamorous assistant] Circuses had been assured they would be excluded from the new licensing regime. But they weren't. The Arts Council believes the extra costs involved could drive all but a few touring circuses out of business.

CAROL GANDLEY: They're going to move out of tented environments. They're going to be pushed into commercial venues with negative impact on the experimental, artistic side.

Z S-W: The government declined our invitation to be interviewed on this matter of bureaucratic red tape, but they told us that the new licensing won't destroy Britain's circus tradition. They recommended that circuses use sites licensed by councils. But the circus owners we spoke to aren't convinced that all councils will want to licence their land. [cut to street performance] Large street art events which are enjoyed by millions of people each year can also expect problems. The cost of putting on a festival under the new licensing law has now shot up. Many of the free festivals will struggle to find the thousands of pounds now required.

JULIAN RUDD 'Independent street arts network': To give you an indication, the London Mela, which I produce, we'd be looking at something in the region of £24,000 to £36,000. That's the equivalent of half of our progamming budget for all the artistic activity that happens.

Z S-W [cut to shots of stilt-walkers on South Bank getting bound up in red tape]: Here, the government told us there's nothing to stop councils subsidising street artists' events. But there's no guarantee that all councils will want to do this. And if they don't some festivals won't survive.

ARTHUR SMITH: Something that's a bit small scale and quirky, this is the very stuff of life. They don't require that you've done a PhD on Goethe or watch the Culture Show every week. You know, they, they're sort of available you know just for the man, woman, girl, boy in the street.

[Cut to night time shot of bar - jazz piano plays]

Z S-W: Live grassroots music in small, informal venues like bars and restaurants could also be under threat. In fact tonight is the last time jazz duos will play at this bar which has been hosting live music for the past 10 years. Until today small venues across the country like this one used the so-called 'two in a bar rule' which meant two musicians could play without the bar needing a licence.

DAVID LOCKE 'bar owner': Under the new Licensing Act the 'two in a bar rule' disappears and you have to have a music licence. And when I applied to Camden for my new premises licence, they evaluated the place and decided that it was unsuitable for live music. And it would be too expensive to fight it so, you know, it just becomes prohibitive.

Z S-W: But it's these kinds of small-scale venues which offer new talent a place to play. One of them, Gwilym Simcock, winner of a BBC Jazz Award, started out here.

GWILYM SIMCOCK 'jazz musician': In London there are probably only sort of 5 or 6 dedicated jazz clubs, which when you think there's, there's probably up to a 100, maybe more, jazz musicians trying to earn a trade, we all need these kind of peripheral venues to play, whether meet other people and discuss ideas. And if that's to be taken away that's incredibly sad for us all really.

Z S-W: The government argues they are committed to supporting live music and they've created the Live Music Forum which, they say, will ensure this scene thrives. But for this bar, the music has died.

DAVID LOCKE: I shall miss it, and a lot of our regulars er will miss it, so it's just a real shame.

[cut to Punch & Judy on the South Bank]

MR PUNCH: You won't laugh when he kisses me will you everyone! Ready...

Z S-W: And even the good old British tradition of street and beach-front Punch and Judy has been dragged into new licensing regime. Instead of Punch and Judy having a bash at each other they're gonna have to start having a bash at these forms. Because in order for them to perform in public places they're going to need to apply and pay for a licence. In the past the authorities have been sympathetic to outdoor Punch and Judy, allowing it to be performed without a licence, but from today these booths will be treated the same as the National Theatre - except Punch and Judy will need to apply for a licence every time they move.

JOHN STYLES [with Mr Punch, Houses of Parliament in background across the river]: He would actually have to place a notice on the site where he was going to perform which means that on the beach he would probably have to stick a flag in the sand...

MR PUNCH: I don't understand it, do you? Oh no.

JOHN STYLES: He also had to pay £100 for the first licence...

MR PUNCH: Well then sign on the bottom... no not my bottom.

JOHN STYLES: £100 for the advertisement in the newspaper...

MR PUNCH: That's the way to do it... hee hee hee

JOHN STYLES: And that was before he'd even got his licence.

[shot of Punch and Judy booth being wrapped in red tape]

Z S-W: Extra expense, extra time, extra regulation. Is this what the government really wanted? Well they say not. They want to see all these cultural events flourish. But will today actually be the day we sacrifice the fragile world of live, spontaneous performance in favour of booze culture. We'll find out. Either way, these performers won't be going down quietly.

JOHN STYLES: Mr Punch has been in this country for over 300 years. He's a tradition and he's not gonna be regulated out of existence. Even Oliver Cromwell, he banned all theatre, but he did at least leave the puppet shows.

[closing shot: Punch and Judy booth bound in red tape, Houses of Parliament in background across river]

PRESENTER: Zena Saro-Wiwa, and our website has more information about that and all of tonight's reports.

END


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 11:41 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

In Chiswick, London, a well-known 'two in a bar' gig at the Bulls Head - not to be confused with the Bulls Head in Barnes - was recently stopped because of a noise complaint by one neighbour (using noise legislation, not licensing). However, the gig organiser, saxophonist Eric Gilchrist, managed to find a new venue nearby, the Grove Park Tavern.

Naturally he hoped that under the new regime the venue would be able to host bands. No such luck. It has been granted a licence for live music... by no more than two musicians.

My thanks to Eric for this update.

~ ~ ~

'It looks as though the Samba fraternity is finally waking up to the consequences of the bill,' writes licensing campaigner Phil Little.

The problem is the Act's definition of premises as 'any place', which of course includes streets and public parks, and is why the government has urged local authorities to licence some of these spaces for entertainment. A sambistas' discussion forum on the web includes this comment dated 13 December from Dorian Kelly, director of the Colchester Festival and Great Samba Ramble:

'... In Colchester we have managed to persuade the local council to licence the town centre areas as a whole as well as the park to prevent this problem in the future but many councils are not doing this. Start agitating now locally for them to do this, to prevent the possibility of a large fine and jail sentence.'

[see Forums on www.uksamba.org]
Thanks to Phil for this lead. (I had some problems with this website - if you can't get to the discussion thread let me know and I will send a text copy. HB).

~ ~ ~

Seasonal good news?

In Oughtibridge, near Sheffield, one pub, the Travellers Rest, has apparently been allowed by the local authority to host pre-planned carol singing, accompanied by a pianist using the pub piano, all without a licence for live music. The event went ahead after the new law came into force. Indeed, at this time of year there is a tradition in the area of annual pub carol singing in which all customers participate.

The performances attract visitors from across the UK and beyond. It would seem that the 'incidental music' exemption would not apply in these circumstances.

How did Sheffield City Council do it? So far they have not explained, but I have written to their licensing manager Steve Lonnia to find out. If the council has found a loophole which allows pre-planned music that is not incidental, all venues should benefit.


ENDS


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: BB
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:25 PM

I wonder if it is because there is no 'audience' as such, therefore they can treat it as if it isn't 'entertainment'. To be 'entertainment' there must be someone to entertain presumably. I don't know - I'm only guessing, as there's no provision for tradition of itself to provide a loophole.

I hope that Hamish will keep us in touch with any answer he may receive from the Council.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:44 PM

Barbara - The thing that you have overlooked and I must admit that I did also - is the piano. If it is playable - it remains an Entertainment Facility and licensable.

However, I tend to agree that in order to be considered as Regulated Entertainment it has to be - for the purpose or purposes which include the purpose of entertaining even one spectator. And that social musical gatherings like this (or perhaps without a piano) are not for that purpose and would take place in the complete absence of any spectators.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: ET
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:59 PM

I recently read that, following protests by a Town Council, the District Council dropped its demand for £21 and a Temporary Event Notice, for a charitable carol singing event in the town square lead by the Town Mayor. I don't know how this was dropped but could you imagine the outrage if the district council prosecuted the town council and its mayor (£20,000 and or 6 months imprisonment for his worship!) all for holding a carol singing event that has been going on for 50 years!


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 03:25 PM

I suppose that if somebody puts on a Father Christmas costume it can be classed as mumming and is therefore exempt!


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 02:05 AM

Mumming is the performace of a play - thus it needs entertainment permission.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 10:42 AM

Mumming and morris dancing are exempt.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Peter Crabb-Wyke
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 10:44 AM

Sorry, I was the anonymoyus guest. Unlike Mr Gall I don't hide behind a false name.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: DMcG
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 02:07 PM

Much as I hate to get involved in this again, the actual phrase of Schedule 1, Part 2, Clause 11 states:

The provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purpose of this Act to the extent that it consists of the provision of (a) a performance of Morris dancing or any dancing of a similar nature or the performance of unamplified, live music as an integral part of such a performance, or (b) facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment of a description falling within paragraph (a).

Mumming is not mentioned I'm afraid, Peter. It is certainly not dancing so it is not 'dancing similar to morris'.

(As for my name, I've been DMCG on the Internet since I first used it decades ago, but feel free to call me Dave McGlade!)


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 03:12 PM

Unlike Mr Gall I don't hide behind a false name.

If I was trying to hide behind anything - I am obviously not doing a very good job of it - am I? Perhaps we can leave personal judgements of each other out of this one thread and concentrate on the issue?

Schedule 1

Entertainment

2 (i) The descriptions of entertainment are-

(a) a performance of a play
(b) an exhibition of a film
(c) an indoor sporting event
(d) a boxing or wrestling entertainment
(e) a performance of live music
(f) any playing of recorded music
(g) a performance of dance
(h) entertainment of a similat description to that falling within paragraph (e), (f) or (g),

where the entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose. of entertaining that audience.

(2) Any reference in sub-paragraph (1) to an audience includes reference to spectators.

(3) This paragraph is subject to Part 3 of this Schedule (interpetation).


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 05:19 AM

Entertainment facilities

3 (1) In this Schedule, "entertainment facilities" means facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment of a description falling within sub-paragraph (2) for the purpose, or for the purposes which include the purpose, of being entertained.

(2) The descriptions of entertainment are-
(a) making music,
(b) dancing
(c) entertainment of a similar description to that falling within paragraph (a) or (b).

(3) This paragraph is subject to Part 3 of this Schedule (interpretaion).

Power to amend Schedule

4 The Secretary of State may by order amend this Schedule for the purpose of modifying-

(a) the descriptions of entertainment specified in paragraph 2, or
(b) the descriptions of entertainment specified in paragraph 3,

and for this purpose "modify" includes adding, varying or removing any description.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 01:25 PM

In fact last night the pianist failed to show.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 06:11 PM

The surreal thing is that in order for the venue to require entertainment permission - the piano player does not need to turn-up.

For the piano does not need to actually be played - it only neeeds to be present and in a playable condition to be considered as an entertainment facility.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 07:12 PM

I am sure that is right Roger.

Once again.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 04:27 PM

http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED18%20Dec%202005%2020:45:12:420

The following extract from the above.

Carol singing licensing confusion

19 December 2005 07:30


Church leaders were forced to pull the plug on a popular outdoor carol service in Norfolk over the weekend amid fears it would breach public performance legislation.

And now there are concerns that many other carol singing events in the run up to Christmas could be in breach of licensing regulations.

The confusion over licensing saw the inter-denominational Christmas carol service called off at the last minute..........................


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 04:35 PM

Obviously different laws apply in Norfolk than appear to apply in Yorkshire in this season of goodwill.......


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 04:51 PM

There is a lot of regional variation.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/4543480.stm

Police carol singers seize drugs Nine police officers disguised themselves as Victorian carol singers to carry out a drugs raid.
The Dorset Police officers were dressed in cloaks and top hats and were carrying lanterns when they arrived at their intended target in Weymouth.

With stab-proof vests and CS spray under their costumes, the officers sang carols until the door was answered.

They then searched the house and seized £400 worth of cocaine. Two people were arrested and later released on bail.

A police spokesman said: "It was a successful operation. The carol singing disguise was used as a way of getting near the property and surprising the people inside.

"We knew there would be a few people in the house so we had to be prepared and fortunately we got a result."


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 02:04 AM

I made an equiry yesterday and found that the licensing section could not tell me which of the the Premises Licensed venues had entertainment permission. And of course each licence will be different.

It may be possible for a licensee on the phone to tell you that their pub has obtained entertainment permission. But this may only enable them to provide a Regulated Entertainment like Indoor Sports - but not for live music.

Under the old legislation you could ask for and obtain from the local authority a list of the premises that had PELs.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Grab
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 07:12 AM

The regular Friday session at the Bees in the Wall (Whittlesford, Cambridge) was closed, after the decision of the landlord that he no longer wished to host the club. In light of this, he decided not to get a license for live music. We'd seen this coming some way off, so it was no surprise to us.

The group has therefore moved to the Carlton Arms (Kings Hedges, Cambridge) which *has* ticked the relevant box. And we've now got more regular participants than we had before!

Additionally, we (and all sessions in the country) can now have as many musicians playing as we like - we're no longer limited to individuals or pairs only. This has freed us to perform as groups.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:04 AM

Additionally, we (and all sessions in the country) can now have as many musicians playing as we like - we're no longer limited to individuals or pairs only. This has freed us to perform as groups.

It has not 'freed' all sessions - only those sessions fortunate enough to be in premises where the licensee has applied and obtained entertainment permisson from a third party.

It certainly does not appear to have freed them in my local where the application for entertainment permission was limited to two performers or less.

But the real question is - if the session could will and often does take place in the complete absence of any audience or spectators for the enjoyment of its participants - why should it be considered to be a licensable Regulated Entertainment in the first place?

Is your local licensing authority insisting on entertainment permission for social games of darts or pool? If not - why not? For these Indoor Sports are now equally considered as much Regulated Entertainment as live music is.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: folktheatre
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 10:04 AM

(c) an indoor sporting event
(d) a boxing or wrestling entertainment

I thought boxing and wrestling were sports?

And also I suppose you could switch a telly on and that'd be ok but you'd have to turn it off when a film came on?

I liked the mention of a piano being an item of entertainment even when no one's playing it! "Let's all stand around the piano and admire it!"

Let's all fight the powers that be! These 'laws', bills whatever they are, are ridiculous. Build a shed and play in that inviting locals for your 'folk event'!


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM

Punch Taverns in landmark licensing case
The Publican
Published 8th December 2005


Punch Taverns is taking Leeds City Council to a judicial review over its licensing policy.
On Wednesday, December 7, judicial proceedings were issued against the council.

The landmark move will see the council taken to the Royal Courts of Justice over its policy, which Punch claims has been placing onerous conditions on pub licences.

In September, Leeds Magistrates Court threw out an appeal by Punch against Leeds City Council. Punch claimed the conditions placed on four of its pubs, which included the fitting of a fire alarm in one premises and imposing a requirement to carry out safety checks at another, were unlawful under the principles of the Licensing Act and were a duplication of existing legislation.

It is thought the review could be held as early as next month.
ENDS


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Subject: White Horse Hertford STOPPED
From: IanC
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 04:58 AM

WHITE HORSE HERTFORD SESSION STOPPED

Last Sunday, quite a few people turned up at The White Horse, Castle Street, Hertford for the regular 3rd Sunday music session. They were told by Nigel, the landlord, that the session could not go ahead as his license didn't include entertainment.

The White Horse session has been going for over 20 years with hardly a break. It has now had to stop, due in large part to the Licensing Act 2003.

:-(
Ian


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Grab
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 08:14 AM

It has not 'freed' all sessions - only those sessions fortunate enough to be in premises where the licensee has applied and obtained entertainment permisson from a third party.

In other words, any pub in the country who intends to host live music...

It certainly does not appear to have freed them in my local where the application for entertainment permission was limited to two performers or less.

So if your landlord chooses that limit, that's up to him/her. The problem is the landlord, not the Act. Or the local council if they're the ones imposing that limit. If they're the sticking point, ask them why they imposed that limit - under the new Act, you have the right to know why the council made a particular decision over licensing (which you never had before).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 12:42 PM

So if your landlord chooses that limit, that's up to him/her. The problem is the landlord, not the Act. Or the local council if they're the ones imposing that limit. If they're the sticking point, ask them why they imposed that limit - under the new Act, you have the right to know why the council made a particular decision over licensing (which you never had before).

No the problem remains that even with the required permission - only a duo can legally play any live music and no session with more than two participants can take place. Who is to blame for this problem is less important that trying to sort it out.

The venue's legal team decided on these words in order to preserve the same rights to provide live music as they had before. And to ensure that no objections to any increase made to the live music provision slowed-up or prevented the claim for extended drinking hours. An understandable position under the circumstances - I think you would agree.

For had they not made this application - they would have lost these rights. Unlike the right to continue to provide recorded music.

The answer I received from my local council is the following:

I can confirm that neither our Statement of licensing Policy , nor any licenses that we have issued refer to 'performers'. And there are no conditions on any licenses restricting the number of musicians that can play.

I know the application was so worded because I saw it. So something does not add-up...........It will be interesting to see what the final licence states. And if it is different from the application - as the council imply that it is - establishing the process by which it was changed will be just as interesting. I will keep you informed.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 05:12 AM

Hi Shambles
Just picking up a point you made in an earler post:
Surely sessions should be exempt as they are not provided for the purpose of entertainment?
What do you think?

Dáithí


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Ian
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 05:42 AM

I would have thought Carol singing was exempt, as it is not entertainment but an expression of religious belief. Any bans on carol services should be directed to the Queen who is the head of the reconised religion of the UK (defender of the faith). Any lower authority instigating a ban ie local goverment, should be charged with religious discrimination.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 09:22 AM

Not always an expression of religious belief - the "Sheffield" traditional carols are an expression of singing and community. Indeed a number of the songs which are sung are not even carols. "Hail Smiling Morn", "Swaledale", "Misteltoe Bough" being prime examples.

And the places are full of non-believers!!

Hark Hark and Wassail,

Dave


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