Huge opposition to Scottish licensing reforms

March 2012

Live events industry


ALMOST 15,000 people have backed a petition against changes to Scottish licensing law, which it is claimed will threaten the work of Scotland’s artists, musicians and performers. Objectors have said that the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act, which comes into force on April 1 will give local councils a wide discretion and will leave performers, musicians artists facing a “patchwork quilt” of widely differing Public Entertainment Licence (PEL) rules and charges in each authority’s area (something the Scottish Government seems to agree with). Using the examples of Glasgow which has currently suspended implementing the law for six months to enable consultation, obcvetors point out that whilst both City of Edinburgh Council and Highland Council will introduce licence charges even for free artistic events or exhibitions, Dundee City Council is as yet undecided and Aberdeen City Council confirmed that art shows or exhibitions would not require a PEL. Cultural Olympiad commissioned artist Craig Coulthard described the forthcoming legislation as “potentially devastating to grass-roots art and culture in Edinburgh and the rest of the country.”

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