Does Top Of The Pops need a licence?

HEALTH & SAFETY Live event industry The iconic BBC chart show, Top of the Pops, may be breaking the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 law by hosting live music without a licence. Officials at Hammersmith & Fulham Council said it depended on whether the recordings at BBC Television Centre were interpreted as public or private events. The BBC maintained that the recording of live performances before a limited, invited studio audience has always been treated by the BBC and the council as constituting a live event not requiring a live performance licence. However the BBC accepted that if a different approach was now needed the BBC will apply for the appropriate licence.” It is understood that the council’s attention was reportedly drawn to the programme after it staged an open-air concert at TV Centre in London on Saturday featuring US rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The All Ages Dance Ordinance “Initially Hailed – The City Dance Law Doesn’t Mean Much These Days”

HEALTH AND SAFETY Live Event Industry ARTICLE LINK –  By Sharon Pian Chan in the Seattle Times An interesting tale of well meant but useless regulation, based on permits for venues meant to promote safer clubs. Seattle officials boasted four years ago they had found a way to protect their youth from sexual predators, alcohol and drugs at dance parties. The All-Ages Dance Ordinance would require anyone who holds a dance admitting kids younger than 18 to apply for a City permit, undergo a criminal background check and hire a certain number of security guards. It transpires that the permits are rarely applied for and breaches are even more rarely enforced: even a city funded teen venue doesn’t hold a permit!

Illegal doormen and late night takeaways targeted in UK

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry An operation inspecting nightclub and pub door bouncers across South Wale s found 31 working without a licence. More than 600 door supervisors were spoken to in a check of 223 licensed premises on Saturday 25th March according to a report from the BBC. Police and the Security Industry Authority (SIA) acted after concerns raised by the public. Pubs and clubs in Cardiff, Barry, Merthyr, Pontypridd, Bridgend, Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea were all visited at the same time. By law, door supervisors must obtain an SIA licence. Those without one are committing a criminal offence, which carries fines of up to £5,000 or six months prison sentence. And local authorities have begun to use provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 to close down fast food outlets which are magnets for late night trouble. The Warwick Pizza and Kebab shop in Carlisle, Cumbria, was refused a post 2am licence to serve hot food. Police said that the area around the takewaway were ‘without a doubt’ the city’s worst area for alcohol related violent crime. 48 incidents were reported last year to November 24th. And in Blackpool the Funny Boyz takeaway has been closed at a specially convened meeting…

Punch Taverns has drops plans for a judicial review against Leeds City Council

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry Punch has dropped claims that the conditions placed on four of its pubs in the city, which included the fitting of a fire alarm in one premises and a requirement to carry out safety checks at another, were unlawful under the Licensing Act have failed. The High Court upheld the magistrate’s appellate decision of September 7 2005 itself upholding the Local Authority’s position that the conditions on the licence were not “unnecessary or disproportionate” (The Publican, September 19). Punch had been pressing for a judicial review of the case in London’s High Court, but last week pulled out, saying it was “better to try and work with Leeds Licensing Authority outside of the courts”.

JD Wetherspoon loses appeal over Guildford pub

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry JD Wetherspoon loses appeal over Guildford pub: Regina (J D Wetherspoon Plc) v Guildford Bourough Council The Times 14 April 2006 Pub chain owner JD Wetherspoon has lost its High Court challenge against Guildford Borough Council. The company wanted the high court to overturn a decision by the local authority that effectively blocked its Lloyds No 1 pub gaining a three-hour extension. Guildford Council blocked the extension after claiming in contravened its cumulative impact policy. Wetherspoons had insisted the policy should apply only to new premises – the Rodboro Buildings venue was converted from an existing JDWetherspoon pub (and coincidently is next door to the Academy for Contemporary Music where the Editor of Music Law Updates has taught!). Lawyers for Wetherspoon argued that the Guildford licensing authority’s refusal to grant its application was undermining the new licensing regime. Sir Richard Beckett, QC, for the pub chain, claimed that the council was effectively enforcing the old 11pm closing time by the back door and said that the council’s policy was contrary to the 2003 Licensing Act. He argued that the authority had adopted a “cumulative impact policy” for Bridge Street because of the…

Select Committee and Better Regulation Commission both damn DCMS role in new licensing regime

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry A new Select Committee report damns the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s poor management of the introduction of the new Licensing Act 2003 and warns that this must not be repeated when the UK’s new gambling regime is introduced. The cross-party select committee said that pub landlords, councils and residents were put under “unnecessary stress because of late guidance, inconsistent advice and unclear information from the department”. Committee chair Phyllis Starkey said that the “dilatory” approach of Culture Secretary Teresa Jowell’s department was “completely unacceptable” and concluded it “failed to administer the transition period effectively”. The responsible minister is James Purnell MP. Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Hugo Swire MP, added this: “Clearly the Government’s handling of the new licensing laws has been a shambles, and it is local authorities, village halls and community centres who are left to deal with the mess and the bill. Ultimately, council taxpayers will be left paying for the Government’s mistakes. At times, the Department has seemed gripped by inertia and has refused to see the scale of the chaos before them. Most worrying is the admission that some licence applications…

Police bid to defy CPS advice over absent licence-holders

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry South Yorkshire Police are hoping to prosecute a Barnsley licensee for going on holiday and leaving a person in charge who did not hold a personal licence to sell alcohol – despite advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that “no offence had taken place”. The Publican reports that the police policy is against guidance from the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) and LACORS, the local authority co-ordinating body. The case revolves around Tracy Elrington, who was forced to return from a holiday in Spain after her pub, the Mount in Barnsley, was the subject of a closure order because there was no one with a personal licence was present to sell alcohol at the premises.There is some confusion over whether the holder of the premises licence, who must authorise the sale of alcohol, need be present. This is coupled with the fact that closure orders are available to the police where there is disorder, or an imminent risk of disorder, breaking out. So the problem with the Police’s view is that the move to prosecute is a difficult one to justify: Admittedly there seems to be a lack of clarity in the…

Edinburgh Fringe venues fear closure as cost of licences soar

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live Event Industry Fringe venues might be forced to shut down because of “crippling” increases in their licences introduced by Edinburgh City Council. Organisers at Fringe venues believe the move will jeopardise the very existence of the Festival, discouraging artists from performing in Edinburgh. The amended licensing law will affect not only performing and outdoor Fringe venues, but also a wide range of businesses across the city, as varied as riding schools, sex shops, zoos, indoor sports or late-hours catering. For small venues of fewer than 200 seats, the fee for a temporary performance licence has jumped to £440 from £127 in 2005. The fees will increase to £620 next year and will then jump to £800 in 2008. Larger venues of more than 1,000 seats will pay £1,320 this year, compared with £295 in 2005, while in 2008 they are expected to pay as much as £2,400. Edinburgh City Council said the authority had been operating at a deficit of £177,000 and had to recover the losses. The Council has pointed out that that following the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, which came into force in 1998, licensing schemes had to operate on a cost-recovery basis The 8…

Bombay court lifts ban on bar dancing

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry The High Court of Bombay has recently lifted a ban on dancing in bars which had put 75,000 bar dancers out of work, had hundreds more arrested and lost the bar owners substantial amounts of money after income dropped in the aftermath of the Maharashtra State Governement’s decision. Over 700 bars in Bombay and 600 in the state were forbidden to have women dancing to Bollywood hits as entertainment for mostly male customers. The Government can appeal the decision to the Supreme Court in India. The High Court ruled the band discriminated against the dancers. The Times 13 April 2006

Massive Police raid threatens the Fridge’s future

HEALTH & SAFETY / LICENSING Live event industry A massive raid by the Metropolitan Police has meant that the Fridge Nightclub may be forced to close its doors. The Met wants to make the owners of the Fridge club, in Brixton Hill, reapply for their licence. A police spokeswoman said officers intended to apply for the review of the club’s premises licence under section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003. The move follows a two-month undercover operation by the Met’s clubs and vice unit targeting dealers working in the club. Intelligence received led to 200 officers storming the club’s Polysexual night at 11pm on Saturday 22nd April. Eleven arrests were made and three men will appear at Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court charged with supplying class-A drugs. the Licensing Act 2003 introduced additional powers for local authorities and the police and gave local people a chance to have their say Anyone living or trading within the vicinity of a newly licensed premises can apply for a review of the licence if they can show that public safety is at risk or it is causing an increase in crime and disorder or public nuisance .,,1755314,00.html

Testing times for new clout on licensing

HEALTH & SAFETY Live event industry ARTICLE LINK By Cllr Jonathan Myerson A fascinating ‘insiders’ view by a Labour councillor of a licensing decision at Local Authority level (in the London Borough of Lambeth where the Fridge is located, see above) on whether or not to permanently close a venue with violence and drug problems.,,1761572,00.html#article_continue

Select Committee report damns DCMS role in new licensing regime
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2006

HEALTH AND SAFETY Live event industry A new Select Committee report damns the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s poor management of the introduction of the new Licensing Act 2003 and warns that this must not be repeated when the UK’s new gambling regime is introduced. The cross-party select committee said that pub landlords, councils and residents were put under “unnecessary stress because of late guidance, inconsistent advice and unclear information from the department”. Committee chair Phyllis Starkey said that the “dilatory” approach of Culture Secretary Teresa Jowell’s department was “completely unacceptable” and concluded it “failed to administer the transition period effectively”. The responsible minister is James Purnell MP. Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Hugo Swire MP, added this: “Clearly the Government’s handling of the new licensing laws has been a shambles, and it is local authorities, village halls and community centres who are left to deal with the mess and the bill. Ultimately, council taxpayers will be left paying for the Government’s mistakes. At times, the Department has seemed gripped by inertia and has refused to see the scale of the chaos before them. Most worrying is the admission that some licence applications were granted…

Avon and Somerset Police go on a ‘pub crawl’
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live concert Industry Police officers have been visiting pubs and clubs in the Bath area in the early part of February as part of a drive to ensure that venues were complying with the new regulations for licensing and accredited door staff. Officers spoke to door staff to check they were Security Industry Authority- approved and what policy the venue had on drugs and underage alcohol sales. A force spokesman said it was pleased with the results but some needed to review their drugs search policy. Staff were also reminded of their obligations under the Licensing Act. Bar staff could face a maximum fine of £20,000 if they breach licence conditions or be imprisoned for up six months under new regulations introduced as part of the Licensing Act 2003. And see this link for details of a recent study by Kate O’Brien, a Durham University sociology lecturer, who found that that the percentage of female door staff is rising sharply to deal with violence caused by female binge drinking at nightclubs. O’Brien says that fighting between drunk women can be particularly vicious because they attempt to inflict disfiguring injuries. The British Journal of Sociology is to publish…

Violent alcohol related crime rate allegedly drops by 20% as Licensing Act provisions come into force
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry Serious violent crime has dropped by more than a fifth since the new Licensing Act was introduced, according to official figures. The Home Office statistics challenge the popular press concerns that the new laws would mean drink-fuelled chaos on Britain’s streets. The figures show that serious violent crime was 21 per cent lower in the last three months of 2005, while total violent crime was down 11 per cent. The number of woundings fell by 14 per cent. This included a six-week period when the police were given £2.5m to target alcohol-related crime. However these are Home Office figures and it might be prudent to take these with a ‘pinch of salt’ as UK Government statistics are currently difficult to rely on, particularly when used to justify Government policy. And see MusicLaw Updates Archive January 2006

Court of Appeal decision clarifies occupier’s liability for unforeseeable accidents
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2006

 HEALTH & SAFETY Live concert industry Lewis v Six Continents Plc January 20 th 2006 In a decision reminiscent of the common sense approach taken by the House of Lords in Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council & Others . The UK’s Court of Appeal have held that a hotel operator had no duty of care to fit bars or blocks inhibiting the opening of bedroom windows in a hotel so as to prevent injury from a fall. The case may give some comfort to venue operators and promoters who face liability claims from visitors to their premises and events. The appellant, Christian Lewis, had fallen from a second floor window in 2000 and suffered serious injuries. Whilst he had been drinking it was accepted that he was not drunk at the time and the fall was unexplained. The aperture was 68cm. Lewis relied on S2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and that the hotel had failed in its duty to take reasonable care. The trial judge (Mr Roger Ter Harr QC) held that it was not reasonably foreseeable that an adult occupying the hotel room leaning forward would fall from the window and the court held that there was…

Diabetic pens cause angst for venue management
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry A diabetic clubber’s anger at being refused permission to keep her pre-loaded insulin pen on her at a nightclub has opened up a debate about whether or not door staff are right to take medication from customers before they enter a club. Lisa Morris, 27, first wrote about her November 2005 experiences at London’s The End nightclub in the Balancemagazine. She explained how she was told that she could not take her insulin pens into the club and had to give these to door staff for ‘safe keeping’. Lisa had previously taken the pens into the club. Lisa was unhappy about handing over her pens – in case they were tampered with and because of hygiene issues. Lisa was attending as a VIP to write a review on the Club but was asked to leave by door suprvisors. In Balance magazine Lisa admitted that she realised the issue of hightened security post 9/11 and the London bombings and that insulin pens have needles. The End banned all syringes and knives but Lisa countered by pointing out that they were allowed on aeroplanes and that in a club and at  events bottles and glasses posed far more of a risk….

Scottish woman jailed for noise breaches
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry A warning to promoters – Noise Annoys! Marion Beresford , a 48 woman has been sentenced to 40 days in prison by Glasgow Sheriff Court for flouting an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo). Beresford was first served with the order in June 2004 after complaints about loud music blaring from her flat. She was finally taken to court in October this year and has now been sentenced. She will spend Christmas and New Year behind bars. In court, the Sheriff said that she had rendered the Asbo meaningless and the court was left with little alternative but to imprison. In a statement, the Glasgow Housing Association said it would use any legal means to ensure tenants could enjoy a peaceful life in their homes. See the Article Noise Annoys by Ben Challis on this site (click on articles)

Local Authorities gain new weapon in fight against fly posting
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry In July 2004 London’s Camden Council targeted  two of the majors, Sony and BMG over illegal street flyposting. Sony Music chiefs escaped after promising not to commission any more illegal postering. The executives faced summons on the basis that flyposting has been defined as causing “harassment, alarm or distress” and so could be actioned under the Public Order Act 1986 . Now the Magistrate magazine (January 2006 Vol 62 No 1) reveals that Wolverhampton City Council have been using fixed penalty notices under the 2005 Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act and have issued over 220 to flyposters. One festival alone received 139 fixed penalties for a single event resulting in the promoter paying fines of £6,950.00. The Council reports significantly lower levels of flyposting

Whilst the popular press rings alarm bells about ‘binge drinking’ the UK leisure and entertainment industries have to face up to the practical ramifications of the Licensing Act
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live concert industry The UK’s new Licensing Act 2003 came into force on the 24th November 2005 sweeping away ninety years of drinking restrictions and setting up a new regulatory framework for the leisure and entertainment industries.Whilst the popular press have focused their attention on the possibilities of all night binge drinking and a serious breakdown in law and order in English and Welsh town centres, the leisure and entertainment industries are facing up to the rather more mundane ramifications of the Licensing Act – increased bureaucracy and increased licensing costs. Alongside the somewhat exaggerated stories of all night chaos were reports that Local Authorities, now charged with almost all licensing functions, are failing deal with the mountains of paperwork generated by the Act let alone being able to enforce licensing decisions, requirements and conditions. The London Evening Standard (22/11/05 on page 6) headlined with ‘Licensing law Chaos Looms’ reporting on a ‘free for all as councils are unable to monitor all premises’, noting that many clubs, restaurants and pubs will be unlicensed as of the changeover and that local authorities didn’t have the resources to monitor the situation (and neither did the police). One of the saddest results of the Act…

SIA announces that 50,000 licences have been issued
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events industry The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is celebrating issuing over 50,000 security licences to the Private Security Industry. The 50,000th licence, a front-line Door Supervisor licence, was granted on Wednesday 9 November 2005. The SIA was launched on 2 April 2003 and now licences 6 sectors of the Private Security Industry with 2,000 training providers offer SIA approved security qualifications. Over 135,000 people hold security qualifications according to SIA figures and 70,000 individuals are part of the SIA licensing system. And Robin Dahlberg, Security Industry Authority (SIA) Deputy Chairman, has accepted the appointment of SIA Acting Chairman when current Chairman Peter Hermitage steps down at the end of January 2006. Home Office Minister Paul Goggins invited Robin to take over from Peter Hermitage on 1 February for around a six-month period. An open competition will be held early next year to appoint a permanent Chairman. Robin joined the SIA Board at the launch of the SIA in April 2003 and in January 2005 he became Deputy Chairman.

Danish court rejects claim of liability against the Roskilde Festival
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live event industry A claim to apportion blame after the tragedy at the Roskilde Fetsival in 2000 has been rejected by the High Court for Eastern Denmark. The court rejected the request from Finn and Eunice Tonnenson, parents of 17 year old Allan Tonnesen, one of the nine young people who were killed during a Pearl Jam performance. Tonnesen’s parents had claimed that the organisers of the Roskilde Festival had accepted responsibility for the tragedy by making an $11,000 payment to families. However the court ruled that effectively no one person or organisation was to blame. Two previous investigations by the local police and later the Public Prosecutor (District Attorney) for Zealand had concluded that the accident was the result of several unfortunate circumstances and no one was to be held responsible. The initial police investigation, based on 977 interviews with band members, organisers and rescue workers said that the deaths occurred because of “a chain of unfortunate circumstances”, but placed most of the blame on the 50,000 crowd. It found that poor sound in the back caused fans to surge toward the stage and the tragedy was compounded by confusion over who should stop the music….

Canadian nightclub’s scanning of ID found to violate Alberta’s privacy legislation
Health & Safety , Live Events , Privacy / December 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY, PRIVACY Live Music The Alberta Privacy Commissioner has found that the scanning of patrons’ identification at the door of a nightclub violates the province’s Personal InformationProtection Act (PIPA). The report concluded that purposes for which the personal information was collected were not reasonable, contrary to section 11 of PIPA. The widespread practice of photo-scanning ID in nightclubs was apparently intended to deter violent or criminal behaviour.  However, the Commissioner found that Penny Lane Entertainment, the owner of the nightclub, failed to demonstrate that the collection of this type of personal information would in fact address this issue. The complaint was filed by the author of this summary, Deeth Williams Wall summer student Nyall Engfield. The decision calls for Penny Lane Entertainment to purge the data that has been collected and cease the practice.  Such a decision is not binding, but if Penny Lane Entertainment does not comply with the finding, then an inquiry that could result in a binding order will be launched. Also see: From a Summary by Nyall Engfield in E-TIPS, a publication of Deeth Williams Wall LLC. E-Tips is edited by Richard Potter QC . To review past issues of the E-TIPS ® newsletter, visit:

Leeds Coroner records a verdict of accidental death in stage dive tragedy
Artists , Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2005

HEALTH AND SAFETY Artists, Live Concert industry The Leeds Coroner, David Hinchcliffe, has recorded a verdict of accidental death after the inquest into the death of Patrick Sherry, 29, frontman of Bad Beat Revue and a married father-of-two. Sherry jumped up to grab a lighting rig during a gig at the Warehouse in Leeds but fell head-first on to the venue’s solid wood floor on the 20th July 2005. His older brother Brendan, 33, who is also in the band, saw the accident. A witness said: “He put the microphone down and crouched before leaping off the stage, which was about a metre high, and trying to grab the rig. I don’t know whether he caught it or not, but his momentum carried him forward. He went upside down and hit the floor head-first. The whole thing lasted about five seconds. It was horrendous.” Patrick, of Silsden, West Yorks, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he died the following morning of head injuries–name_page.html

Centre for Crowd Safety Management is launched
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry The Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies has been formally opened by the Rt Hon Bruce George MP on the 6th September. The Centre, part of Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College is headed up by live music industry veteran Mick Upton who received an honorary doctorate from the University College the same day. Keynote speakers at the launch were Iain Hill and Professor Chris Kemp. The legal consultant for the Centre is the Law Updates editor, Ben Challis. The Centre was set up to help promote the creation of a safer concert and security environment. The Centre is also endorsed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to offer licensed qualifications in the security industry. The Centre has already worked with the ILMC Safety Focus Group to produce the website and has conducted research at the VE Day event in London’s Trafalgar Square, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert in London’s Hyde Park, the Robbie Williams concert at Knebworth, the Eminen concerts at Milton Keynes Bowl, and at the Roskilde Festival. The Centre is now looking at safety barriers in conjunction with Mojo Barriers and Professor Kemp added that the Centre is now looking at scientific…

UK judicial review finds local authority policy illegal
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry The pub sector has won a landmark legal case against Canterbury City Council in the UK finding that Canterbury’s Licensing Policy is unlawful. Central to the case was that Canterbury’s Licensing Policy was far too prescriptive, set broad blanket conditions on licensed businesses and misled those applying for licences about what they had to do to be granted a licence – in effect the case was that the Council’s Licensing Policy was in breach of the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003. Mr. Justice Richards stated in his ruling, ‘It is sufficient that my judgment speaks for itself, not just to the council [Canterbury] but also to the other licensing authorities whose policies are under examination’. The case highlighted the problem in the licensed trade where a number of local authorities attempted to use their Licensing Policies to impose what are said to be unnecessary and unlawful conditions and regulatory burdens on pubs. The Judicial Review was a joint action taken on behalf of the pub industry by the British Beer & Pub Association, The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and the British Institute of Innkeeping. Government figures now show that 86% of premises…

The UK’s Security Industry Authority warns of low levels of applications by door supervisors but also admits to its own delays
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Industry The Security Industry Authority has warned that inaction by door supervisors in the South East and London may force pubs and clubs to close if licensees cannot employ enough licensed door staff. Insufficient numbers of the South East’s door staff have applied for their new door supervisor licence. However pubs, clubs and venues have countered the SIA’s press announcement saying that numerous staff have applied for badges but the SIA’s own examiners are far too slow in coming back with results for applicants, slowing the whole process down. From 28 February in the South East region and from 11 April in Greater London it will be a legal requirement for all door staff to hold a new Security Industry Authority (SIA) door supervisor licence. All local authority registration schemes will cease. There has been widespread publicity of the new licensing scheme, and door staff in the South East of England have been able to apply for their new licences since 25 October 2004. The SIA commented that “The South East and London benefit from a vibrant night-time economy and the public deserve a high level of service from door staff when they go out to…

Noise fines in New Jersey and Toronto
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry A New Jersey state appeals court has rejected a bid by the former owner of the Clarksburg Inn to overturn two convictions of violating the township’s anti-noise ordinance, ruling that such terms for noise as “loud,” “unnecessary,” and “unusual” don’t have to be defined by decibel levels. A 2003 trial before Municipal Court Judge Debra Gelson resulted in $1,250 in fines and $60 in court costs for summonses issued to the restaurant by the State Police, which provides police coverage to the township. The decision was upheld on an initial appeal to the Law Division of Monmouth County Superior Court. Roger Weltner, one of three witnesses at the municipal trial, testified that he lives 81 feet from the Clarksburg Inn and endured ongoing disturbances because of loud music. Weltner said he called police three times to complain on the night of Feb. 1, 2003. A three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of Superior Court wrote in its decision last week that attorney Richard J. Simon’s main argument for vacating the convictions that the township ordinance is unconstitutional because its definition of noise is vague was “unpersuasive.” Though 46 New Jersey municipalities regulate noise based…

UK pub’s breach of noise order results in 00 fine
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry Noise from a UK public house which was so loud that a shelf in a nearby home was “clearly vibrating” has resulted in a 00 fine for the licensee. Mid Suffolk District Council area environmental health officers visited a home in Debenham at around 9pm on August 10, 2003, after receiving a complaint about the level of noise from the Cherry Tree pub, where music was being played. There had been previous complaints about noise from the pub and a noise abatement order had been issued in October 2003. The Environmental Health Officer, Eric Foxton, told the court that in his opinion “the level of noise was a nuisance and it was taking away from that family the ability to enjoy their property.” Magistrates decided there had been a breach of a noise abatement notice, and fined licensee Zoe Hearn 00 and ordered her to pay prosecution costs of 48 in her absence after hearing evidence from Mr Foxton and householder John Bridges. Mr Foxton told the court that he set up noise monitoring equipment in Mr Bridges’ garden during an event at the pub in August 2002. Over two five-minute periods he found…

ILMC calls for European legislation to govern ticket re-sales
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry European promoters and venues aired their worries about the secondary market in concert tickets at the seventeenth annual International Live Music Conference. Conference speakers highlighted events such as 3A’s Kylie Minogue and Cream concerts and Glastonbury where prices quoted by ticket touts and on auction website Ebay have risen to many multiples of original face values. Most European speakers at the ILMC said that there was nothing to prevent concert ticket re-selling in their territories. In the UK it is only a criminal offence to resell football tickets and the rise of Ebay had led to a rise in re-selling – not just by touts but by members of the public. Most delegates felt that legislative action was the only way forward. The position is different In the USA on a state by state basis where ticket reselling or ‘scalping’ can be prohibited. Ticket broker Chris Lipton has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the state who alleged that that he scalped tickets to a benefit concert featuring Bruce Springsteen. Under a deal announced Monday by the state Division of Consumer Affairs, $7,500 of the settlement money would go to…

Court of Appeal rule on unlawful discrimination: Ross v Ryan Air & Stanstead Airport (2004)
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY/DISCRIMINATION Live Events Industry The Court of Appeal held that the policy of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was to provide disabled persons with access to services as close as it was reasonably possible to get to the standard normally offered to the able bodied. Here the Court ruled that Ryanair had discriminated against the appellant, Mr Ross, who suffers from cerebral palsy and arthritis, contrary to part III of the Act. Ryanair insisted on charging for the use of a wheelchair to get from check in to the aircraft each time the service was used. Ryanair accepted that Mr Ross had been the victim of unlawful discrimination but contended that Stanstead Airport should also be liable. Mr Ross appealed on those grounds and the Court found that the Airport could not escape liability and was guilty of unlawful discrimination contrary to section 19(1)(b) of the 1995 Act. Source: Times Law Reports 11 January 2005

German court find promoter liable for damaged hearing
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2005

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Events Industry Leading German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) has been ordered to pay four thousand Euros (E4,000, approx 00) to a woman who claimed her hearing was damaged at a Bon Jovi concert four years ago. The company must also pay medical expenses and loss of income. The Court said that MLK had failed to take sufficient precautions to limit the volume of the outdoor concert in 2000. The injured woman said she was standing 2.5 metres from a speaker and now suffered from tinnitus. This case contrasts to an earlier US ruling which held that a promoter could not be liable for the alleged damaged hearing of a plaintiff lawyer who should have realised that loud music was played at rock concerts. In a separate report, the UK’s Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) and Trades Union Council, have said that over 500,000 bar and club workers in the UK are at risk from loud music played at their places of work. The report, ‘Noise Overload’, states that the noise in some nightclubs is comparable to being next to an aircraft taking off and that not enough is being done to protect…

Reggae Star refused entry to UK
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Jamaican reggae star Sizzla Kalomji has been refused entry to the UK. Sizzla’s lyrics which are allegedly homophobic are under investigation by the police. The singer has also allegedly supported the burning of homosexuals and murder of all white people. He was banned form the UK by Home Secretary David Blunkett. Source : The Times, 5 November 2004

House of Lords restricts occupiers liability for accidents: Tomlinson v. Congleton Borough Council and others(2004)
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry The House of Lords has made an important decision limiting the liability of occupiers: This case arose out of a tragic accident at Brereton Heath Country Park, between Holmes Chapel and Congleton. The Park covers about 80 acres and owned by Congleton Borough Council since 1980 when the council acquired the land surrounding what was then a derelict sand quarry and laid it out as a country park. The Park is managed by Cheshire County Council. On a very hot 6th May 1995 18 year old John Tomlison and some friends went to the Park and to cool of Tomlinson dived into the lake and his head hit the bottom, broke his fifth vertebrae and is now a tetraplegic. The majority of the Court of Appeal (Longmore LJ dissenting) had allowed an appeal from the decision of Mr Justice Jacks and held that the defendants were liable for a claim in occupier’s liability. However the House of Lord robustly criticised the majority decision in Court of Appeal and all five Law Lords found that no liability was owed to the claimant, upholding the original judgement of Jacks J and supporting the position of Longmore…

Club Doorman Charged With Murder
Health & Safety , Live Events / November 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry A doorman at London’s Stringfellows nightclub has been charged with murder after an incident at the West End venue on Friday 8th October. George McDonald from Warwickshire died of a head injury after the incident. Doorman Marcus Marriott, aged 32 and from London, will appear before Magistrates at Bow Street today (11th October). New licensing procedures for door supervisors in the UK are currently being rolled out by the new Security Industry Authority and will be implemented in London by April 2005.

The Live Music Forum says “Save UK Live Music”
Health & Safety , Licensing , Live Events / November 2004

LICENSING, HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry, Venues ARTICLE: by Tom Frederiske The Live Music Forum, created by the Licensing Act 2003 and chaired by Feargal Sharkey, has issued a call to arms to the music industry and fans alike: act now to help exploit a rare opportunity to expand live music in the UK. On 7 February 2005, an unprecedented six-month period begins, in which licences for putting on live music will, at least theoretically, be easier to obtain provided action is taken now to ensure that proper guidelines are put in place locally. According to the Culture Minister, this amounts to the “biggest social change and reform of our leisure industry … in 40 years”. We are now half way through a pre-transitional period (ending in February) during which licensing authorities must prepare, consult on and publish local licensing policy statements. With these statements, local authorities effectively create their own guidelines for granting licences (in conjunction with the “Guidance Issued Under Section 182 of the Act” which aims to provide best practice and greater consistency of approach and which seeks to promote a “thriving and safe night-time economy” and “enhance people’s lives by providing important opportunities for the…

Club Doorman Cleared of Manslaughter
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry A club doorman has been cleared of killing a sports teacher at the Central Criminal Court in London. The doorman, 29 year-old former reserve soldier Robert Demitrou, was charged with killing Philip Mesner who hit his head after being knocked down by Demitrou outside the Roadhouse venue in London’s Covent Garden. But Old Baily Judge Peter Fingret held that the defendant had no case to answer after determining that the blow was a shove (a push) rather than a punch. Mr Mesner, 31, had been out celebrating with teaching colleagues in July 2003 when he was asked to leave the venue but continued to remonstrate outside. The defendant had denied manslaughter which has two forms in English law. Voluntary manslaughter is where the defendant has caused the death of the victim and has the necessary intent for murder BUT can establish a defence in law; these defences include provocation and diminished responsibility. Involuntary manslaughter involves the defendant causing the death of the victim but the defendant does not have the necessary intent for murder; the death must result from either an unlawful criminal act (constructive manslaughter), from the recklessness of the defendant or from…

New Door Supervisor Licences Come Into Effect
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2004

ARTICLE : HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry The PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY ACT 2001. THE PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY (LICENCES) REGULATIONS 2004. by Ben Challis Variation in the quality of regulation and licensing of the private security industry in the United Kingdom and a small but noticeable criminal element within the industry led to the passing of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (the Act), the Private Security Industry (Licences) Regulations 2004 and the creation of the SIA, the Security Industry Authority. The SIA has the remit to regulate and licence the private security industry in England and Wales and aims to ensure that there are professional, trained and qualified door staff working at all licensed pubs and clubs. An estimated 85,000 door supervisors and staff now have to or will have to have a SIA licence to work in licensed premises (as defined under the Licensing Act 1964). The Act defines a door supervisor as those whose work is limited to licensed premises and includes guarding against unauthorised access or occupation or against outbreaks of disorder or screening the suitability of people entering premises when they are open to the public. The door supervisor licences are being introduced on a regional basis with over half of…

Scottish Promoters Use a ‘Wedding’ to Try to Foil Licensing Laws
Health & Safety , Licensing , Live Events / September 2004

LICENSING, HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry A local authority has banned a music festival in the Scottish Lothians after organisers tried to bill it as a wedding to help escape the need for licensing. Twisted Events, the company behind Green’s Music Festival, had hoped to overcome problems licensing the event with West Lothian Council by rebranding it as a private wedding party. A couple had offered to take the plunge on stage to help push the event forward as licensing negotiations between organisers and council chiefs rumbled on. As a private party, entertainment and alcohol licensing was not required and twenty four local young rock acts were due to perform for 1000 revellers on farmland near Broxburn. The bands had taken part in a competition. But the local authority took the organisers to court, threatening to ban the event entirely. At Linlithgow Sheriff Court the parties reached an out-of-court settlement but an array of restrictions were slapped on the “wedding”. All bands enlisted to perform were cancelled while restraints were placed upon music played and numbers of guests permitted. In addition, council and police officials had to be informed fully about all plans. The couple who had planned to…

Beenie Man Show Cancelled Over Homophobic Lyrics
Health & Safety , Live Events / August 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry A London concert by Jamaican dancehall star Beenie Man was cancelled after complaints it might provoke violence towards gay men. Police spoke to Beenie Man after a complaint that some of his songs contain “lyrics that are an incitement to homophobic murder and violence”. The performer, real name Anthony Davis, was due to appear at the Ocean club in Hackney in East London which cancelled the show on the grounds of concerns for public safety after talks with police officers. The performer was not arrested or spoken to under caution and it is reported that the police did not ask for the concert to be cancelled. Beenie Man was among Mobo-nominated performers included in a dossier presented to Scotland Yard’s Race and Violent Crime Taskforce by gay rights campaigners last September. Refunds have been offered to those with tickets for the show. See :

UK Court of Appeal Limits Liability for Independent Contractors

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Payling v Naylor t/a Mainstream In a welcome judgement, the Court of Appeal have limited the liability of venue owners, promoters and nightclub’s to ensure that their contractors have public liability insurance. In Payling v Naylor (Times Law Reports, 2 June 2004) the Court held that whilst there was a duty on a club owner to take reasonable steps to ensure that any contractor engaged security services was competent, there was no free-standing duty, except in exceptional circumstances th ensure that the contractor had public liability insurance. In the earlier decision of Bottomley v Secretary & Members of Todmorden Cricket Club (Law Updates November 2003) the court had held that there was a duty on a venue owner who allowed dangerous practices on his land (pyrotechnics) to ensure that a subcontractor was had public liability insurance. The Court of Appeal in this case could understand that the lack of public liability insurance might be a relevant factor in assessing the competence of a contractor; However and overturning a judgement by Judge Murphy QC, the Court felt that as the security firm were licensed, accredited and approved under a scheme operated by the local authority and the police. The…

Sony Staff Spared Anti Social Behaviour Orders

HEALTH & SAFETY Record Labels, Live Music Industry Camden Council in London is taking on music industry bosses over flyposting and the Council are aiming to bring Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) against music industry bosses, claiming they have received more than a thousand complaints about the posters which are placed across the borough. Camden is one of the main focus points for alternative music in London, and is famous for its live music venues like The Barfly, Electric Ballroom and Underworld. The Council has targeted two of the majors, Sony and BMG. Sony Music chiefs have escaped Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) after promising not to commission any more illegal fly posting and the actions against Catherine Davies and Jo Headland have been withdrawn at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court. However, BMG executives have not responded and now face the likelihood of court action and penalties if found guilty. The executives will be facing summons on the basis that flyposting has been defined as causing “harassment, alarm or distress” and so can be actioned under the Public Order Act 1986. Both Sony and BMG denied being involved in illegal flyposting. The sanctions ultimately extend to the possibility of a five-year prison sentences. Camden…

Disability Discrimination Act to Extend to Venues and Club Premises

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry The UK’s Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires service providers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that disabled patrons can use their premises. From 1 October 2004 this provision will be extended to the physical structure of buildings. Operators now must consider how physical barriers to disabled patrons can be removed or how alternative arrangements can be made. The Disability Rights Commission has said that it will back access cases after October although with 8 million disabled people in the UK with a huge spending power one would hope that venues would be proactive in making improvements. There are no tax breaks for structural improvements although there are for moveable items such as ramps and providing toilets for disabled persons is zero-rated for VAT. See : and

New Regulations for Door Supervisors and Security Staff Introduced in the UK
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry The Private Security Industry (Licences) Regulations 2004 In a move to take the image of door staff away from ‘bouncers’ and into the new millennium the UK Government have introduced The Private Security Industry (Licences) Regulations 2004 which are effective from the 01 March 2004. These Regulations make provision in relation to applications to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) for the grant of licences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to engage in the activity of door supervision for public houses, clubs and comparable venues. The new Regulations prescribe the application form to be used for such applications and prescribe the forms of licence to be issued for that activity. A distinction is made between licences for people who carry out that activity themselves and licences for those who act as manager, supervisor, employer or director etc of people who carry out that activity. An obligation is placed on door staff to wear the appropriate identifying licence at all times when working, to notify the SIA of any conviction or caution and to produce the licence on demand to the SIA or the police. Appeals from SIA decisions, alongside appeals from Local Authority…

Indictments Issued in Great White Tragedy
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2004

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry After a ten month investigation into the Rhode Island tragedy on 20 February 2003 at the Station Nightclub when pyrotechnics ignited during a performance by Great White caused an inferno, the Grand Jury has now issued criminal indictments. The fire killed 100 people, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley, and injured about 200 others. In the first indictments, former Great White tour manager Dan Biechele, and club owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian were each charged with 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter with criminal negligence and 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter in violation of a misdemeanor. They were arraigned in Kent County Superior Court; all three pleaded not guilty. Bail for the Derderians was set at $50,000, and $100,000 for Biechele, who lives in Florida; all were expected to make bail by the end of the day. At the same time it is estimated that over US$1 billion of civil lawsuits have been filed. See: and Law Updates February 2003 and March 2003.

Responsibility For Security
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2003

HEALTH & SAFETY LAW Live Concert Industry There would be a presumption that the employer of a security guard who deliberately assaulted a member of the public attending a event would be responsible for the security guard’s actions unless it was clear that the guard’s actions were wholly unrelated to his activities as a security guard – for example, if the guard knew the person assaulted and the act was a personal vendetta against that person. In Mattis -v- Pollock (t/a) Flamingos Nightclub (The Times Law Report 16 July 2003) the Court of Appeal held that a club doorman who stabbed a person in the vicinity of the club in revenge for an earlier violent attack on him in the club was acting in the course of his employment and so the club owner was vicariously liable for the doorman’s actions. The doorman was involved in a fight inside the club. The knifing happened after the doorman had gone home to get a knife and then attacked the victim some 100 metres away from the club. The victim was seriously injured. The doorman was convicted in a criminal court for grievous bodily harm (GBH) and sentenced to 8 years in prison. This civil action…


HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Manhatten Supreme Court Judge Matrin Schoenfeld threw out a lawsuit from 56 year old lawyer Jeffrey Powell who claimed that John Fogerty’s music damaged his hearing. Judge Schoenfeld rejected the claim saying “if you don’t like loud music don’t go to rock concerts” and added that “Nobody is forced to attend rock ‘n’ roll concerts”. Powell saw the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman in concert six years ago. In the eight-page decision released yesterday, the judge referred to Powell as an “eggshell ear” – and rejected his $5 million lawsuit. “That ‘loud music’ can cause hearing impairment is “perfectly obvious” and “commonly appreciated” Schoenfeld said. The judge said Powell admitted he suffered ringing in his ears for years after attending rock concerts but went to see Fogerty anyway with three friends. Powell said that after one or two songs, he left and listened from outside the ballroom, returning once to find his friends with their fingers in their ears. Judge Schoenfeld said Fogerty’s “bluesy, good-time, roots-rock” sound has never been thought of as particularly loud, compared with bands such as the The Who and Led Zeppelin. See

Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2003

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry The Grand Jury began its investigation on February 26th behind closed doors at a National Guard training center in East Greenwich to decide whether anyone should be held responsible for the fire and the deaths of 97 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Most of the first Grand Jury session was devoted to preliminary talks between prosecutors and lawyers for the rock band Great White whose guitarist, Ty Longley, died in the blaze. The investigation will centre on the causes of the fire, Great White’s pyrotechnic display, the layout and construction of the nightclub and the use of inflammable soundproofing materials. There is also a dispute over whether Great White had permission to use pyrotechnics. The band has said it received approval to use special effects, but the two brothers who own the club have denied that they gave permission. Club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, along with band members, could be indicted on state charges of involuntary manslaughter or second-degree murder. It appears that the brothers who own the club were about to sell the business and the Derderians were scheduled to begin transferring the liquor license the day after the disaster. See…

Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2003

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Following on from the death of 21 clubbers in Chicago on the 17th February, America was reeling after the deaths of at least 95 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island when the band Great White’s pyrotechnic display set fire to the venue where they were playing. The 17th February tragedy was caused by security staff letting off pepper spray in a nightclub to break up a fight; this caused members of the audience to panic in trying to escape. The Rhode Island tragedy was described by state Governor Don Carcieri as ‘a real disaster. The building went up so fast no one had a chance’. It was estimated that over 300 people were inside the one-story wooden building. 187 people were taken to hospital and over 30 remain critical. The low ceiling ‘Station’ club had no water sprinkler system as it was too small to require one by law. It also had no pyrotechnics licence although the band claim that they had checked in advance with the venue and permission for their display was given. Reports say that that after the pyrotechnics ignited the roof of the venue soundproofing material also ignited and the…