Lib Dem peer introduces a private members bill to rectify licensing mess

August 2009

Live events industry

A new private members’ bill aiming to persuade the government to relax its laws on licensing for live music in small venues has been introduced by liberal democrat peer Tim Clement-Jones. The Live Music bill has already won support from music industry umbrella group UK Music, partly thanks to its proposal to allow small venues to put on live music without having to obtain a live entertainment license. “The essence of my bill is that if the public are unhappy about a venue putting on live music they can request a review of the license for that premises,” Clement-Jones told Music Week. His bill has already passed an initial reading in the House Of Lords, and a second reading is scheduled for “November or December,” according to Clement-Jones, who went on to criticise some members of Department For Culture Media And Sport (DCMS) for not supporting the live music sector. He said: “There are a number of¬†DCMS¬†people that show great antipathy toward live music, but they have to realise that historically the biggest British bands started out in their local pubs and if we take that away from young musicians, then the future of the UK music industry itself is jeopardised.” In response to Clement-Jones’ new bill, the DCMS told NME.COM: “You don’t have to look far to find live music in England and Wales. In fact this sector is booming right now with more venues licensed to put on live music than in previous years. It’s also very cheap and easy now to obtain a license to host live music events compared with under the previous licensing regime, so we are far from convinced there is a problem. There always has to be a balance between supporting live music and protecting residents from noise. We think the licensing laws have got that balance right, but we continue to keep the situation under review.”

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