Were Ultra’s counter drone activities in violation of federal law?
Licensing / May 2020

LICENSING: Were the counter-drone company who had been brought in by Miami Police for the Ultra Music Festival actually operating in contravention of federal law? The FAA has now said that by jamming drone signals in the Festival’s Virginia Key’s home may indeed be a problem The FAA said in a statement that the agency had “looked into a report that the Miami Police Department (MPD) hired a company to provide counter-drone services during a recent music festival in Key Biscayne. MPD stopped the operations after the FAA advised the department that the use of counter-drone technologies may create possible conflicts with federal law.” The jamming of drone signals can only be legally performed by government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Miami Police did not want to respond on camera to questions from the news organization but stated that: “After extensive research, we have learned that Vigilant Drone Defense, Inc. was at the 2019 Ultra Music Festival for a demonstration of drone technologies.”  The Police said that they were unaware that such counter-drone jamming activities would be against federal law. Reports said that the FAA is looking into the matter and the FCC is likely to get…

Sir Paul backs the ‘agent of change’ law
Licensing , Live Events / February 2018

PLANNING / LICENSING Live events sector   Artists and music industry leaders joined politicians in Westminster to support the ‘agent of change’ principle as John Spellar MP presented his bill to Parliament in a legislative move which if successful would change UK planning law so that property developers putting new residential buildings close to existing music venues would be responsible for identifying and resolving any future sound issues. This agent of change proposals, which attracted a message of support from Sir Paul McCartney, aims to ensure that music venues are protected from new arrivals who move into an area. The former Beatle was joined by Brian Eno, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, The Kinks’ Ray Davies in backing a plan to stop the closure of grassroots venues after more than a third were said to have closed in the past decade, according to research by UK Music. In his speech to Parliament Spellar said: “I accept that there is a variety of reasons for the decline in venues, but many relate to changes in the neighbourhood, increasingly when redundant commercial or industrial premises are converted to residential, or are knocked down and rebuilt, or as empty sites are developed” adding “Of course, much of that…

Birmingham’s Rainbow to fight licence revocation
Licensing , Live Events / January 2018

LICENSING Live events sector   In the United Kingdom, Birmingham City Council has revoked the licence of  The Rainbow Venues nightclub complex, following the drug-related death of a teenager last month. The decision was made after nineteen year old Michael Trueman died at a Halloween event after taking MDMA in the venue’s toilets. He died in hospital the next day. Resident Advisor reports that PC Abdul Rohomon from the West Midlands told a licensing hearing that the Police had “no option but to call for Rainbow’s licence to be revoked” as this was the second drug-related death in the eleven room complex in two years, the first being eighteen year old Dylan Booth in 2015. He added that there was also “evidence that a fifteen year-old boy has been admitted to the venue”,  based on video footage collected from Snapchat. Rohoman added: “There are around 3000 licensed premises in Birmingham and this is the only venue which has suffered drug related deaths. The most stringent measures are in place yet drugs are still being consumed inside the venue”. The Guardian reports that The Rainbow Venues already took robust action to restrict drug use. In a case that will remind many of…

New regulatory powers for live music for Balearic Island councils
Licensing , Live Events / August 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   The Council of Ibiza will have the power to ban new open-air music venues under new provisions in the Balearic Islands’ tourism law which was passed in July 18th. When in effect, the new law will apply to Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera and Ibiza. An amendment has been made by the socialist PSOE party that grants the four local councils the power to “regulate, determine or prohibit, in a reasonable manner, tourist activities” related to entertainment, and that would include any venue hosting musical events, including clubs, café conciertos, beach clubs and ballrooms.  Vicent Torres, director of tourism for Ibiza council said “It was very clear that the tourism law needed to be modified … such a previously liberal law offered the opportunity for activities that are incompatible with the day-to-day life of an island that wants a sustainable kind of tourism.”  The amendment also states that the islands’ municipalities may apply more restrictive measures without the agreement of the  relevant council.    http://mixmag.net/read/a-new-law-will-give-the-ibiza-council-the-power-to-ban-open-air-venues-news

Winsconsin to let minors attend festivals
Licensing , Live Events / June 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   Wisconsin Governor. Scott Walker has signed a new bill which will allow minors to attend music festivals where alcohol is being served.  Under current law, minors may not be on the premises of a site that has been issued an alcohol license unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, a number of venues are exempt from the law, including bowling alleys, movie theatres and sports stadiums. In a statement, Governor Walker said adding music festivals to the list “just made sense.”  Under the new law, minors will be allowed to attend a music festival where alcohol is served on private property as long as attendance is expected to exceed more than 2,500 people which will mirror state laws already in place for festivals on public property, such as Summerfest in Milwaukee. Assembly Bill 194 adds music festivals to the list of exceptions, and was authored by Representative Rob Summerfield (R – Bloomer) and Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls). The Bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote, and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote. It is Act 7. http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/governor-walker-signs-music-festival-bill-into-law/ http://www.fox9.com/news/256718883-story

Lords push on with establishing the ‘agent of change’ principle into UK law
Licensing , Live Events / May 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   Cross-sector trade group UK Music has welcomed new recommendations made by a House Of Lords Select Committee a call to extend the the ‘agent of change’ principle to revisions of the Licensing Law. The Committee that has been reviewing the licensing rules that impact on concerts and venues and said that the 2012 Live Music Act, which aimed to simplify the licensing process for smaller gigs, was working well. They also said that the appointment of ‘night czars’ in cities to focus on the local night-time economy were a positive move.   Extending the agent of change principle was a key recommendation. The UK government already has proposals to boost ‘agent of change’ protections to safeguard music venues from new property developments under the National Planning Policy Framework.   The Lords’ Committee has also proposed that the ‘late night levy’  which can be imposed by local authorities on late night licensed premises  should be abolished on the basis that it is a burden on pubs and clubs, and was not  contributing to local policing costs as had been originally intended.   For UK Music Jo Dipple said: “UK Music asks government to take forward the Lords suggestion that a…

DCMS Minister highlights potential s696 abuses to the London Mayor
Licensing , Live Events / April 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   In a slightly unusual move, Conservative DCMS minister Matt Hancock has written to London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan raising his concerns over the Metropolitan Police’s somewhat controversial ‘risk assessment’ form 696, claiming it can be used to “single out” certain music genres. The form, which is only used in London, requests that names, stage names, private addresses, and phone numbers of all promoters, DJs and artists be listed for an event that “predominantly features DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track” – so hiphop, rap and grime then! In June 2009 the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that the Promotion and Event Assessment Form (form 696) went “beyond the Act and its guidance to impose unreasonable conditions on events and recommends that it should be scrapped.” At the time Feargal Sharkey, then head of UK Music, was a vocal critic. The original form asked for details of ethnic groups likely to attend the performance, but that section was removed in 2008. Now Hancock has now said: “It is clear that the way in which the form is being used can single out certain genres of music and may be deterring the staging of…

Clement Jones withdraws Licensing Act amendments – for now
Licensing , Live Events / January 2017

LICENSING Live events sector   A recent House of Lords investigation in the United Kingdom’s Parliament has seen leading figures from across the live music industry calling for a change in live event licensing to make it easier to stage events and help the live sector thrive. At the heart of the debate was a proposed amendment to licensing law which would ensure cultural benefits to the community are considered by local authorities when they make decisions about the award of music licences. Paul Latham, chair of the UK Live Music Group, Alex Mann, live music official of the Musicians’ Union, and Mark Davyd, chief executive of the Music Venue Trust, gave evidence to a select committee proposing the introduction of a new “objective” in the decision-making process which would take account of the positive cultural impact of staging an event. At present authorities are not obliged to consider the wider benefits of music and entertainment in the community and instead focus on the negative impact of applications. These are the four licensing objectives under the 2003 Licensing Act: The prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm. Mr Latham, who is also…

Fabric gets a second chance with new licence conditions
Licensing , Live Events / December 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   Following extensive talks with Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police, and the public outcry at the threatened permanent closure, London’s Fabric nightclub will reopen after Highbury Magistrates Court approved a new set of licensing conditions. The exact reopening date has not been decided as yet. Fabric raised a six figure sum in excess of £325,000 from donations to fund legal fees to fight the closure. Philip Kolvin QC for Fabric told the court that fabric “has always set about trying to lead the industry,” and has engaged in a “root and branch reappraisal” of its operating procedures. Fabric and the Authority have issued a joint statement detailing new conditions and these include the use of a new ID scanning system, enhanced searching procedures, physical changes to the club, and lifetime bans for anyone found in possession of drugs or attempting to buy drugs in the club.  Sniffer dogs, which police had tried to enforce at the end of 2014 need not be used by the Club.  An appeal had been planned against the August decision by Islington council’s licensing sub-committee to revoke fabric’s license following the deaths of two 18-year-old clubbers. That appeal, which was scheduled to…

Chicago says DJs and rap are art forms
Licensing , Live Events / November 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   Chicago’s small venues are breathing a sigh of relief following the decision by Cook County to officially recognise popular music and DJ performances as legitimate forms of art. Several Chicago music venues have been locked in a dispute with the county over US$200,000 worth of “crippling” back taxes after one official, Anita Richardson, said DJs, “rap music, country music and rock and roll do not fall under the definition of ‘fine art’”, which would otherwise make the exempt from Cook County’s 3% amusement tax. The Cook County Board of Commissioners has now agreed wording that would accept “the validity of live music and DJ performances as recognised artforms”  and rthis has the support of the administration, the commissioners and the local music industry and that the local athoritry won’t be acting as ‘culture police’ in the near future Last month the city of Berlin afforded a similar tax break to the Berghain nightclub, ruling the techno haven should pay the same lower 7% tax rate as a site of high culture alongside museums, theatres and classical music venues. http://www.iq-mag.net/2016/10/live-music-fine-art-cook-county/#.WAZGdeArKM9

London nightclub Fabric to close permanently after licence revoked
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   One of Britain’s best known nightclubs, Fabric, has been forced to close permanently after its licence was revoked following the drug-related deaths of two people. After deliberation that lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning, the local council decided that searches by security staff at the London venue had been “inadequate and in breach of the licence”. “People entering the club were inadequately searched,” Islington Borough Council’s decision read adding that covert police operations suggested people were openly buying and taking illegal drugs on the premises and that staff should have been aware of this: “Staff intervention and security was grossly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence that it was abundantly obvious that patrons in the club were on drugs and manifesting symptoms showing that they were” …. This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space, and people asking for help.” The Metropolitan Police had asked the council to shut down the 2,500-capacity nightclub after the deaths of two teenagers in the space of nine weeks. One died after collapsing outside the club in August, while another died in late June. In documents provided to the council, superintendent Stuart Ryan wrote: “If the…

Is Hackney using underhand methods to close down the night-time industries?
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016

LICENSING / PRIVACY Live events sector     Thousands of clubbers have had their names shared secretly with the Metropolitan Police. The 200-capacity Studio Spaces was granted an alcohol licence by Hackney Council in January 2014, on the condition that director Yuval Hen supply the Metropolitan police and the council with a list of everyone attending events of 40 people or more 48 hours in advance. The Hackney Gazette reports that Hen initially complied, but later became aware that he was the only licensee in the area having to hand over names. He has since relaunched the venue as a ‘co-working space’. Hen told IQ magazine “The conditions killed us. We got lots of cancellations from people saying, ‘We don’t want to give you the guest list.’ It’s a nightmare – we can’t run a business like that with only 40 people allowed inside.” Hackney Council tells the Islington Gazette that the ruling was made to ensure the venue didn’t exceed its 24 permitted events of over 40 people. Nappter Tandy, who runs promoter Turf Series, has put on shows at Studio Spaces and says he was unaware guestlists were being sent to police saying “It’s extremely disappointing councils like Hackney…

Sydney’s ‘lock out’ laws take a knock
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that Sydney venues are exempt from New South Wales’s controversial ‘lock-out laws’ which were introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) government in 2014 and require that music venues, nightclubs, bars and hotels lock their doors at 1.30am and not serve drinks past 3.00 in a bid to curb alcohol-related violence. The legislation has been attacked by a number of prominent Australians as illogical and damaging to the music industry. This case was brought by the owners of the Smoking Panda bar who persuaded the Court that  the New South Wales Justice Department lacked the authority to subject to the city to the 1.30 curfew. The bar now joins tourist areas and hotels which are already exempt from the lock-outs, The Smoking Panda’s exemption was cancelled after an investigation found some bar patrons were not hotel guests.   In addition to live music venues, Supreme Court judge Natalie Adams also ruled that strip clubs should be exempt, stating the laws are “not a proper exercise of the regulation-making power conferred upon the governor [of New South Wales]”. Lock-out laws continue to apply to other establishments. The…

Sydney’s late night industry not impressed by independent review
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     The independent report into Sydney’s controversial ‘Lock Out’ laws by former High Court judge Ian Callinan has recommended a two-year trial in which the 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks measures are relaxed for live entertainment venues. Easing those restrictions by half-an-hour could help restore the vibrancy and lost employment opportunities in the precincts affected by the laws Callinan said in his report. The previous O’Farrell government introduced the laws in 2014, following a series of fatal one-punch attacks and other violence.   NSW state premier Mike Baird said he was pleased the review had confirmed the laws had reduced alcohol-related violence in the CBD and Kings Cross area. He said the government would consult with Mr Callinan and the industry to clarify a clear definition of live entertainment venues, including whether it should include recorded music or DJs. Opponents of the lockout laws had hoped the Report would prove their claim that the measures passed by the New South Wales government in 2014 had pretty much killed Sydney’s nightlife. The laws were originally passed in an effort to end alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney’s key nightlife areas, such as Kings Cross. Callinan acknowledged the adverse effect the…

Australian Greens prompt review of drug laws
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   The Green Party in Australia has prompted a rewiew of  drug laws after successfully passing a motion through the Senate calling for the introduction of pill testing and an end to the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals.  The motion passed without objection from either major party, and calls for an number of harm reduction measures, including “needle and syringe programs”, “supervised injecting rooms” and “pill testing”. “We know that [dogs] frighten people into taking their drugs in one hit and are contributing to overdoses rather than preventing them,” Greens leader Richard Di Natalie wrote in The Guardian earlier this year, adding that “a government’s responsibility is to keep our young people safe.” Comment in Austrlia says that any meaningful change will require the cooperation of the state governments – but that this remains unlikely. NSW Premier Mike Baird has previously dismissed the concept of pill testing as “ridiculous”, while Tasmanian Police Minister Rene Hidding called it “quality assurance for drug pushers” – despite the fact that Tasmania’s police association came out in support of just such a proposal.   http://junkee.com/senate-passed-motion-calling-pill-testing-removal-festival-sniffer-dogs/84381   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/02/richard-di-natale-we-need-to-reclaim-our-courage-and-vision-on-drugs-policy

Solfest survives police licence challenge
Licensing , Live Events / September 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     Solfest which takes place near Silloth in Cumbria (August 26-28) will go ahead despite a request from the Police to revoke the event’s licence, saying organisers had failed to provide a detailed event management plan in enough time. In a report to Allerdale Council’s licensing panel members, Superintendent Gary Slater said “It is the submission of Cumbria Constabulary that the event organisers are unable to satisfy the event safety group or the constabulary that they have the plans, capacity and capability to maintain public safety, protect children from harm, prevent crime and disorder and prevent public nuisance.” The Panel has the power to revoke the festival’s licence and stop it going ahead. It can also modify the licence’s conditions, remove the premises’ supervisor, suspend the licence for three months or exclude a licensable activity from the licence. Allerdale Council have allowed the event to continue but have sent the Festival’s organising committee a written warning.   However, one of London’s biggest nightclubs has closed its doors for the foreseeable future. It comes after two teenagers died of suspected drug overdoses in the last nine weeks. Fabric in Farringdon initially announced it was closing for the weekend…

Sydney’s ‘lock out’ laws take a knock
Licensing , Live Events / September 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that Sydney venues are exempt from New South Wales’s controversial ‘lock-out laws’ which were introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) government in 2014 and require that music venues, nightclubs, bars and hotels lock their doors at 1.30am and not serve drinks past 3.00 in a bid to curb alcohol-related violence. The legislation has been attacked by a number of prominent Australians as illogical and damaging to the music industry. This case was brought by the owners of the Smoking Panda bar who persuaded the Court that  the New South Wales Justice Department lacked the authority to subject to the city to the 1.30 curfew. The bar now joins tourist areas and hotels which are already exempt from the lock-outs, The Smoking Panda’s exemption was cancelled after an investigation found some bar patrons were not hotel guests.   In addition to live music venues, Supreme Court judge Natalie Adams also ruled strip clubs should be exempt, stating the laws are “not a proper exercise of the regulation-making power conferred upon the governor [of New South Wales]”. Lock-out laws continue to apply to other establishments. The…

Is Hackney using underhand methods to close down the night-time industries?
Licensing , Live Events / September 2016

LICENSING / PRIVACY Live events sector     Thousands of clubbers have had their names shared secretly with the Metropolitan Police. The 200-capacity Studio Spaces was granted an alcohol licence by Hackney Council in January 2014, on the condition that director Yuval Hen supply the Metropolitan police and the council with a list of everyone attending events of 40 people or more 48 hours in advance. The Hackney Gazette reports that Hen initially complied, but later became aware that he was the only licensee in the area having to hand over names. He has since relaunched the venue as a ‘co-working space’. Hen told IQ magazine “The conditions killed us. We got lots of cancellations from people saying, ‘We don’t want to give you the guest list.’ It’s a nightmare – we can’t run a business like that with only 40 people allowed inside.” Hackney Council tells the Islington Gazette that the ruling was made to ensure the venue didn’t exceed its 24 permitted events of over 40 people. Nappter Tandy, who runs promoter Turf Series, has put on shows at Studio Spaces and says he was unaware guestlists were being sent to police saying “It’s extremely disappointing councils like Hackney…

London local authorities battle over plans for more common concerts
Licensing , Live Events / August 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     IQ reports that two London councils are at loggerheads over plans hold more concerts and large-scale live events on Clapham Common. The the 220-acre park is managed and maintained by Lambeth Council, but the South half of the Park lies in neighbouring Wandsworth, and the latter council has voiced “serious concerns” over a new events strategy proposed by Lambeth that paves the way for the borough to hold up to eight shows a year on Clapham Common, as well as eight each in four other ‘event zones’ (Streatham, North Lambeth, Brixton and Norwood). Lambeth has also approved the increase in maximum sound levels on the common and three other parks. The new music noise level (MNL) will be 75dB L(A), with a maximum low-frequency music noise level (LFMNL) of 90 dB L(C). Wandsworth Council’s environment spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook, criticised Lambeth for “burying” the recommendations “some 300 pages into a 520-page” report and says more “noisy music festivals and other loud events” will negatively affect those living near the Common. Mr Cook said: “Instead of trying to conceal the level of opposition that exists to these proposals and trying to sneak them through without the public’s…

Ban on audience pyrotechnics moves closer in the UK
Licensing , Live Events / August 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   MPs have supported a law banning flares and fireworks from UK music concerts and festivals. Conservative MP Nigel Adams put forward the amendment to the Police and Crime Bill, which would make it illegal for concert-goers to carry pyrotechnics including flares, fireworks and smoke bombs into a venue. Flares have been banned at sporting events since 1985. It is a criminal offence to enter or attempt to enter a football ground while in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or firework, punishable by up to three months in prison. The same penalties would now apply to concerts. Football fans in breach of the law have also found themselves banned from football grounds for up to six years. Currently, it is not illegal for fans to bring smoke bombs, flares and fireworks into a concert venue unless it can be proved they intend to cause harm to other people. UK Music, Live Nation and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) have all supported the move, with Bestival co-founder Rob da Bank saying “there are increasingly more incidents and the time is right for the Government to act and support organisers in minimising risk” and  UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said “Safety…

Appeal of Mason’s outdoor entertainment law is on the way
Licensing , Live Events / August 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   Residents opposed to music concerts at Marty’s Driving Range in Mason plan to appeal the Board of Selectmen’s denial of a new special town meeting to reconsider a recently approved zoning amendment that will allow the driving range to bring back outdoor entertainment. The move has split the town, which voted 240 to 165 in favour of the move at a special town meeting to amend the town’s zoning regulations to allow by special exception seasonal outdoor entertainment use up to three times a week from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend, ending no later than 11 p.m. on holidays and weekends and 10 p.m. on weekdays. 39 percent of the town’s 1,028 registered voters cast a vote.   Initially there were no provisions in town ordinances regarding outdoor entertainment, so the Range’s owners consulted with police about appropriate times. When some residents expressed concerns about the noise and parking, town officials told the venue to stopm and apply for a variance.   At an initial re-hearing of the already approved zoning amendment, attorney Peter J. Nicosia who represents opponents of the re-zoning reportedly said the zoning amendment was too vague, with no limits on sound or light….

Irish Judge says pop concerts are not ‘teetotaller conventions’
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   An judge has rejected calls for alcohol to banned at a number of high-profile summer concerts in Ireland, saying that local residents must realise that concerts by the Stone Roses and Kodaline would not be a “teetotaller convention”, and that to consider a ban there would have to be specific incidents of alcohol-related criminal damage in the past or evidence of inadequate policing. Twenty-five residents from  the South Dublin suburb Rathfarnham had objected to the application for the alcohol licence by Events Bars and Catering for three MCD-promoted events in Marlay Park, saying there had been underage drinking, public urination and antisocial behaviour at previous concerts in the 300-acre park. But Judge Michael Coghlan in the Dublin District Court denied their objections, saying: “I was interested to hear if there was a prevalence of public-order breaches, antisocial behaviour or violent incidents and the sergeant [Michael Phelan, who is co-ordinating the policing of the events] suggests that on the Richter scale things it was well down [at previous concerts].” Five Rathfarnham residents gave evidence, highlighting problems with a Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2012, when nine people were stabbed in a series of…

Wireless wins High Court victory against local residents’ group
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   A High Court judge has dismissed a bid to have Wireless Festival removed from Finsbury Park. A local residents’ group, The Friends of Finsbury Park,  had requested a judicial review of the Local Authority’s decision to allow the festival to go ahead, arguing that that Haringey Council “does not have the power” to approve the Live Nation event for the grade II-listed public park, which is classified as Metropolitan Open Land. The group, which raised over £11,000 on crowdfunding website CrowdJustice towards its legal costs, contended the council’s decision was illegal under the Greater London (Parks and Open Spaces Act), which allows a maximum of the 10% of the park to be shut off for a private event (Wireless takes up 27%). Wireless Festival faced criticism in 2015 after serious security problems when the 45,000-capacity festival featured acts such as Drake, David Guetta, Avicii, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj in 2015. Video footage emerged showing chaotic scenes after a crowd forced open a security gate to gain access to the site during a performance by Lethal Bizzle. The Friends Of Finsbury Park group said a the time: “There were serious safety issues when hundreds of…

Japan’s late night dancing ban finally waltzes away
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   For the first time since 1948, Japanese club-goers can now legally dance after midnight. Whilst the ban on post midnight dancing was rarely enforced, a 2010 crackdown as well as the the looming 2020 Olympics prompted a change in the law and now clubs can apply for a license to operate as a Night time Entertainment Restaurant Operator, meaning that a club can offer entertainment (including a DJ and music), alcohol and food until 5am – with one condition: that the place be lit to a brightness greater than 10 lux. The old law was designed to deter prostitution in clubs. http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/japans-68-year-old-no-dancing-law-toast/ http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=5836

Aceh Province bands outdoor music concerts under an interpretation of Sharia law
General , Licensing , Live Events / May 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     Outdoor music concerts have been banned in a Regency in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province on the grounds they violate Sharia law. New regulations – including a ban on women straddling motorcycles (they must ride side-saddle), unaccompanied women working or visiting night spots after 23.00 – as well and a requirement that boys and girls are taught separately at school – have been introduced in different parts of Aceh in recent years. he province, the only part of Indonesia that enforces Sharia law, also outlaws gambling, drinking and even fraternising with the opposite sex outside marriage. Muslim women must wear a hijab in public and gay sex is punishable by 100 lashes of the cane. The outdoor music ban comes after local singing sensation Ady Bergek was told he could not proceed with a concert on April 3rd because it would violate Sharia law. Bergek (whose name means unruly in the Acehnese language) is famous for his take on Dangdut, a genre that borrows from traditional Indonesian music as well as from Indian and Malaysian films. West Aceh Regent (Bupati) Teuku Alaidinsyah was quoted in Kompas saying the ban was based on a recommendation by Ulema (a body of Muslim…

Buenos Aires bans EDM events
Licensing , Live Events / May 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   The Mayor of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires has stopped issuing permits for major electronic music festivals in response to the death of five people who died of drugs overdoses at an event. Horacio Rodriguez Larreta  said the measure would remain in effect until the city legislature approved a new law to prevent drug abuse during such events. Authorities have said five people had died  as a result of drug overdoses during the Time Warp festival on April 15. Another four were taken to hospital critically ill. Witnesses said that festival-goers were often offered a variety of drugs including ecstasy pills, LSD, marijuana, poppers and cocaine. Five people have been arrested. Time Warp began in Germany in 1994 and was being held in Buenos Aires for the third year. The organiser’s German website said We are dismayed and deeply saddened by the death of five young people at Time Warp Buenos Aires. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased and the five visitors who are still under medical treatment. We pray for their quick recovery. The German Time Warp companies, “Planwerk Events GmbH & Co KG“ and “cosmopop GmbH“, were not in any way…

Labour’s UK Licensing Act has ‘failed’
Licensing , Live Events / April 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     A new report has been published that says the Licensing Act 2003, implemented in 2005, has done little to push forwarded its much heralded aims of promoting a new ‘continental’ style drinking culture in England and Wales, and instead and the Guardian opines that New Labour’s ambition to create a “continental cafe style of drinking culture” through the introduction of 24-hour licensing has failed, and was unlikely to ever succeed. Indeed the Act has put significant strain on local authorities abd the police and the Police. Police Professional says that later opening hours for licensed premises have ‘handicapped’ police and local authorities, and had no impact on rates of crime, disorder and overall alcohol consumption and that the Act was “likely to undermine rather than protect the public welfare”.   The Report, published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies. examines the Act’s effects 10 years after it came into force on 24 November 2005. The study found that the legislation has failed to lead to a relaxed continental drinking culture or to a more diverse drinking culture. Instead, it says that it has meant people drink more at home before going out and stay out…

New code changes would ‘destroy the music scene in Philly’
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     A Philadelphia city council member’s bill that would require music venues to obtain contact information of performers, as well as create a registry of event promoters, has been met with opposition. Billboard reports that Democrat Councilman Mark Squilla is attempting to amend a section of the “Special Assembly Occupancies” code to further regulate the application process for various entertainment-minded events and increase certain fees. He says the primary goal of the bill is to close a loophole in current legislation that has allowed venues to operate without a special assembly license (SAOL). However, opponents believe there are elements of the proposal that amount to an unnecessary invasion of privacy. The bill would require venues to gather full names, addresses and phone numbers of “all performance acts” scheduled for a promoted or special event. A “performance act” is defined in the bill as “any person or group of persons engaged in the act of singing, disc jockeying, rapping, dancing, playing musical instruments, and/or acting for an audience or group of patrons.” The designation also applies to the presentation of streaming or recorded audio/video, whether or not it has been properly licensed. In addition to acquiring artist or performer…

Australia’s  ‘lock out’ laws start to hurt live music
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     There has been a 40 per cent drop in live music revenue in Sydney’s lockout zone since the laws were introduced, according to new figures from the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) with APRA’s figures also showing a 19 per cent drop in patrons at nightclubs in the areas of the city affected by the legislation. The lockout laws have been the subject of intense debate over the last fortnight, with Premier Mike Baird saying it would take a lot to change his mind about the rules. He cited a 40 per cent drop in the assault rate in Kings Cross as proof the legislation was fulfilling its purpose — to curb alcohol-fuelled violence. And the live music industry has lamented Queensland’s equally contentious lockout laws and their exemption for casinos, saying “what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander”. The measures include a statewide 2am last drinks call from July 1, with venues in nightclub precincts able to serve alcohol until 3am if they impose a 1am lockout. However, the rules don’t apply to casinos – which generate nearly $100 million in state revenue each year. Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath claims casinos are “in a different business”…

Police voice licensing worries over Brighton’s ‘Russian rock festival’
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     Brighton newspaper The Argus has published a warning over a Russian rock music festival that had been been advertised in the seaside City. The Argus reports that the police and council are investigating the purported event, which is being advertised to take place above the cliffs at Ovingdean. Sussex Police have said neither they nor Brighton and Hove City Council have been contacted regarding licensing or safety and have so far not been able to get in touch with the organisers.. The Eastwood Festival is being advertised as a two day Russian rock music festival with tickets being sold for £200 each. Sussex Police has urged festival goers hold off purchasing tickets “until the validity of the event can be confirmed and relevant licences have been granted.” Chief Inspector Chris Veale of Sussex Police is quoted as saying, “Until we are able to ascertain the validity of both this website and the event we would ask residents who are thinking of attending to exercise caution and take our advice into account before providing your bank details for payment. “We will continue to attempt to make contact with event organisers and land owners and will provide more information as and when…

Russian legislators shy away from live industry regulation – for now
Consumers , Licensing , Live Events / March 2016

CONSUMER / LICENSING Live events sector     Billboard reports that Russian legislators have backed down from new regulations proposed for the live industry following criticism from a number of high-profile artists. Two months ago, legislators embraced a proposal from several major promoters and producers for a self regulating organisation of promoters. However a number of music producers and promoters behind the initiative said there is still a need for reform in the segment. “Ideas are proposed to be discussed,” Iosif Prigozhin, a prominent producer who was among the original proponents of the new regulations, told Billboard. “And regulations should be adopted in such a form that they will satisfy everyone.” “But the industry still needs some reforms and adjustment,” he went on to say, adding that the proposed regulations were not aimed at hurting artists but were expected to clean the segment of unscrupulous and unprofessional players. In January 2016 in anticipation of the new regulations,  a new organisation Soyukontsert was formed. Founder members include SAV Entertainment, PMI and NCA. At the time Soyukonsert saidf iyt would   – Create  an emergency fund to cover expenses for cancelled shows – Form a disciplinary commission that will assess professional standards for the live sector…

T-in-the-Park facing licencing scrutiny after 2015 mistakes
Licensing , Live Events / February 2016

LICENSING Live events sector     The Scotsman says that senior officials at Perth & Kinross Council have warned they will not allow T in the Park to be staged again at the Strathallan Estate unless there is an overhaul of the event.   The Scotsman says that “a damning dossier” has revealed “the full scale of problems, including traffic congestion, concerns over crowd safety inside the arena and campsite security, and disruption to residents.” The council report said confidence in promoters DF Concerts had been “undermined”. Environment director Barbara Renton told the Scotsman that although the council had taken a “can do approach” to major events, it was appropriate for T in the Park to be treated differently “until DF can demonstrate their capability to effectively manage this event in future.” Festival director Geoff Ellis, initially declared the event had a “great first year at Strathallan,” but later apologised for “challenges that we know impacted upon the weekend.” The council has now reported a string of “organisational blunders” which are alleged to include last-minute changes to the event’s layout, infrastructure, transport plans and security arrangements, as well as repeated breaches of the event’s planning permission. Plans were said to have been…

Music promoters form new self regulating body in Russia
Licensing , Live Events / January 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   In response to new legislation in Russia, promoters have combined to form a self-monitoring organisation with the aim of improving the sector’s operations. The new organisation is named “Soyukontsert” and founder members include SAV Entertainment, PMI and NCA. The proposed new regulations outline greater responsibility for promoters around customer care and will make the industry more professional and efficient, reports Billboard.   Amongst it’s activities Soyukonsert will   – Create  an emergency fund to cover expenses for cancelled shows – Form a disciplinary commission that will assess professional standards for the live sector   – Liaise with local authorities to avoid cancellations of show   “The creation of a self-regulating organization is a natural step as the live entertainment industry moves towards greater professionalism,” said Dmitry Bogachev, head of Stage Entertainment. “Similar professional organisations exist in many countries. And, similarly to them, we shouldn’t restrict ourselves to formal regulation of relations with consumers.”   Legislators are expected to adopt the new regulations early in 2016.   http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/touring/6812741/russian-live-industry-looks-to-band-together-and-self-regulate

Fabric fights off strict licensing conditions
Licensing , Live Events / January 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   CMU Daily reports that London night club Fabric has successfully appealed a number of new licensing conditions placed on the venue by Islington Council late last year. Fabric had faced losing its licence after a review of its operations was launched by the local authority last year. The review followed complaints by police, mainly in relation to alleged drug incidents, and claims that there had been a “wholly unacceptable number of deaths and near death incidents at the venue”. although the club managed to keep its licence, it had to agree to a number of strict new security measures, including sniffer dogs and ID scans althogh the owners said they would appeal the Local Authority ruling, saying at the time: “We need to see their written reasons but we fundamentally disagree on a number of key points. We are on the same page in lots of ways, we just have fundamental differences on how to operate that”.   As the conditions were appealed, most of the new security measures were never implemented, although ID scanning was trialled for a short period.   http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/fabric-wins-appeal-over-proposed-new-security-measures/

New South Wales bans private sniffer dogs
Licensing , Live Events / January 2016

LICENSING Live events sector   Event organisers and club owners down under who are trying to keep illicit drugs out of their venues have been prevented from using hiring private sniffer dogs – to search for either narcotics or terrorist threats. A change to the law means that only official NSW Police sniffer dogs can be used for drug detection purposes.   Alpha K9 Security owner Madeleine Mortiss, said she understood the legislation had been amended to prevent guard dogs from being used in crowds, but had also put detection dogs into the same category.   http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/private-sniffer-dogs-banned-from-events-clubs-under-law-change/story-fni0cx12-1227642931362

South Australia removes ‘entertainment consent’ provisions from licensing requirements
Licensing , Live Events / December 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     One of the more ‘curious tenets’ of South Australia’s Liquor Licensing system was officially repealed this week with the passing of a welcome new amendment by South Australian Parliament. The new amendment, part of Attorney-General John Rau’s response to a review of the Late Night Code, will remove the need for licensed venues to apply for “entertainment consent” in order to host live music and other entertainment between 11am and midnight. “Entertainment consent” meant that venues had to specify not only the days and times live music would be played, but their genre as well. The law made South Australia the only state in the country where the Liquor Licensing Commissioner presides over the kind of music played in venues. Glenelg’s Dublin Hotel was taken to court after it was discovered hosting DJs mixing tunes on the premises. It was only being licensed to host traditional Irish music.   http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/464874/one-of-australias-stupidest-music-laws-just-got-repealed.htm

Booze ban at AC/DC concert in New Zealand
Licensing , Live Events / December 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     AC/DC fans will restricted from drinking alcohol before the legendary rock band’s concerts in Auckland, New Zealand, in December after Waitemata Local Board voted unanimously in support of a temporary liquor ban at their board meeting on November 10th.   Board chairman Shale Chambers said even though many of the concert-goers could well be in their 60s, the police are concerned about alcohol consumption before and after the ‘Rock or Bust’ concert. Senior Sergeant Antony Wilson wrote a letter to Stephen Town, chief executive of Auckland Council, requesting the dry zone around Western Springs Stadium.   He stated that temporary liquor bans have “significantly assisted in curbing alcohol-related harm and offending in public areas”.   Chambers said there was sufficient evidence of the potential alcohol-related harm to justify the dry street ban advanced by Inspector Gary Davey at the meeting with Chambers saying that Inspector Davey “went through the levels of intoxication and alcohol related harm that was likely at this type of event,”   The temporary alcohol ban will operate for 24 hours from 6am on December 15 in the surrounding area. Consumption or possession of alcohol is prohibited during the specified times…

Will boycotts of Israel mean a ban on Jewish festivals in Spain?
Censorship , Licensing , Live Events / December 2015

LICENSING / CENSORSHIP Live events sector   A left wing lawmaker from the Spanish city of Cordoba said that a local Jewish music festival would need to be rethought if a motion she had submitted in favour of boycotting the state of Israel passed.   Europa Press reported that Amparo Pernichi, Cordoba’s alderwoman for landscape and infrastructure, had linked Israel to the music festival during a news conference earlier this month and following controversy in local media over her statements, the draft motion was rejected by the Cordoba City Council on Nov. 10.   However, a similar motion passed the same day in the northern city of Santiago de Compostela. At the November 4th news conference Pernichi, who represents the United Left party, was asked whether her draft motion would spell the end of the International Sephardi Music Festival. The festival has been held since 2002 in Cordoba, a city in southern Spain that was a major cultural hub for Jews before their expulsion from Spain in the 15th century. Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in the world. This period ended definitively with the Alhambra decree of 1492, as a result of…

Fredericksburg to review outdoors noise limits
Licensing , Live Events / November 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     Fredericksburg, just west of Austin, is a weekend destination for many Texans with the country music hotspot of Luckenbach just a short drive away. But now it seems that one of the most inviting pieces of the Fredericksburg experience – live outdoor music – could be in danger. According to reports from a city council meeting, amplified outdoor music could soon be a thing of the past. It seems that complaints to city council members from residents and bed-and-breakfast owners near the town’s Main Street area have been mounting. City Manager Kent Myers said in a statement that no votes were taken at the meeting and no decisions were made, but the town’s police chief was expected to present some findings on sound complaints in the area by the end of the year. A sound ordinance is already in place in Fredericksburg. Currently outdoor amplified music is subject to nightly 11 p.m. curfew. It seems that everything is up for debate: Reports say that it’s possible that decibel level limits may be reduced or enforced, or that venues might need to change the arrangement of outdoor speakers. But outdoor events might be more seriously…

Tennessee tries to ban handguns are popular events
Licensing , Live Events / October 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     Americans shoot Americans and most Americans seem to accept this,  as the right to ‘bear arms’ (and thus allow these shootings of the innocent) trumps all. President Obama has expressed his frustration at this, and the appalling statistics on gun deaths in the USA need no more comment. There are the odd glimmers of hope and common sense. With some lack of clarity over whether those legally allowed to carry handguns can take them into sporting and entertainment events in public parks and other recreational facilities, a new bill in Tennessee aims to allow public concert venues and professional sports stadiums owned by local municipalities to be able to maintain a ban on guns at events. The measure would create an exemption to the “guns in parks” law for ticketed events at public parks and any site used by a professional sports team for training or games.  The Tennessean reports that State Senate Majority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, said: “Allowing guns in areas with large crowds where alcohol is consumed is a recipe for disaster, and creates a grave danger for law enforcement officers, who might not be able to distinguish friendlies with a gun…

New South Korean licensing law puts venues at risk, and Prohibition era state laws ban alcohol at US event
Licensing , Live Events / September 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety was warned that venues risk being shut of they don’t apply for the correct licence. One high profile example is the Night & Music club in Hongdae and many other venues in that neighbourhood have an uncertain future due to a revised law that takes effect on February 19th, 2016. The new regulations include a clause on establishments which are registered as “ordinary restaurants”and which will ban customers from singing and dancing as well as the venue using a sound system. Previously, the law stated that restaurants can cook and sell food along with alcohol, but did not specifically state that singing or dancing was prohibited. To host singing and dancing, such establishments will have to register as “bars” under the new law, which is a more lengthy process with more restrictions on location,  and attracts a 30% uplift in tax. “The existing law did not include details on how to penalize those who violate business license regulations,” a ministry official said. “With the revision, local authorities will be able to better carry out the law and crack down on violators.” Under the revised law, a first-time violator will…

Japan lifts dancing ban
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015

LICENSING Live events sector   Japan has amended a controversial law which has been in place for 67 years. The statute, officially termed “the Entertainment Business Control Law” or fueiho forbade dancing after midnight in clubs, bars and most venues unless they had an appropriate (and still ery limited) . The remarkably old fashioned and only sporadically enforced regulation had recently come under scrutiny, as the police had been more vigilant in applying the provisions – to great concern. The law was originally implemeted in 1948 during the US occupation to prevent clubs using music as a cover for prostitution. However the death of a student in an Osaka club in 2010 helped initiate a new wave of enforcement by police. By 2012, “no dancing” signs started appearing at many of the well-known clubs in Tokyo’s Roppongi and Shinjuku districts, as well as Shinsaibashi in Osaka, significantly impacting nightlife business throughout the country.  in 2013, Academy-award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto launched the Let’s Dance Petition Committee, which collected over 150,000 signatures in support of changing the law and many say the award of the 2022 Olympic Games to Jame prompted change. However the re-written statute states that dance clubs must maintain lighting above…

Travis County Judge looks at noise control in Austin
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     The Austin Monitor tells us that Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt has dismissed concerns that a plan to reform outdoor concert regulations in the county could potentially violate state law. The Travis County Commissioners Court is currently looking ar streamline the permitting process for mass gatherings which would implement a tougher stance against loud music after certain nightime hours on unincorporated lands. The Texas Mass Gatherings Act of 1989 gives county judges authority over the permitting process. Critics of the plan – including promoters of some of the festivals that would be affected – argue that Texas counties have no authority to regulate sound levels beyond what state law allows – although the Texas Penal Code defines “unreasonable noise” as anything over 85 decibels, or somewhere between a blender and a garbage disposal. However Judge Eckhardt told the Austin Monitor that the plan before the court simply sets a baseline expectation of when events must pull the plug on amplified music. The proposed change would set that baseline at 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. However, Eckhardt stressed that permit applicants who wish to extend this period won’t necessarily be denied: “If…

Evolve finds new insurer to meet drugs challenge
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     The Evolve Festival in Antigonish, Nova Scotia has been saved after its drug harm reduction policy involving free drug test kits led to the near cancellation of  the event. According to CBC News, Evolve recently became the first festival in the territory to announce the presence of drug-testing – organisers said they expected drugs to be present, and that they wanted to make users safer by making them aware of what they were taking. Anyone concerned about whatever they are taking could hand a small sample to festival officials, who would then use a two-part litmus test to test for MDMA, speed, and LSD. Unfortunately the drugs testing plan prompted the event’s underwriters who provided liability insurance to pull out, leaving festival producer Jonas Colter in a tough spot – no insurance – no event: The difficulty was put t rest when a new underwriter was found who would provide cover. Consequence of Sound make the point: “In other words, in order to ensure that ticket buyers actually had an event to attend, Evolve considered canceling plans to protect them from dangerous substances”. http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/07/evolve-festival-nearly-forced-to-cancel-for-offering-drug-testing-kits-to-attendees/

Britain’s planning rules are ruining its music industry. Here’s how
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015

LICENSING. PLANNING Live events sector   This update by Shain Shapiro. In early July, The Troubadour, an independent pub in London’s Earl’s Court district, was put up for sale. Its owners, Simon and Susie Thornhill, told the Evening Standard that the closure of their rear terrace, prompted by noise complaints and a subsequent enforcement action by Kensington & Chelsea council, had reduced their takings, making the business unviable. The Troubadour is one of the more storied venues in London. It has hosted live music since 1954; as recently as 2011, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards played there. But with Earl’s Court now being redeveloped into housing and a new town centre, it was the last such venue in the area. Its current challenges are disappointing. When discussing the problems faced by live music venues today, the debate tends to focus more on the micro side of things – individual cases, like that of the Troubadour – than the macro, in the form of a larger, more worrying problem threatening all our cultural spaces, including venues. This problem is the way our planning laws are often used to undermine and deprioritise the creative industries. The Troubadour’s fate notwithstanding, we need to understand…

Musicians Union take ‘agent of change’ principle to government
Licensing , Live Events / July 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     The Musicians’ Union has begun lobbying the UK Parliament and government over the so called ‘agent of change’ principle which is meant to ensure that property developers who wish to build or convert properties into residential addresses next to existing live music venues should have to take legal and financial responsibility to provide whatever sound proofing is necessary to ensure the venue and future residents can co-exist. Recent noise complaints have forced a number of UK venues to close, often brought by people who moved to the area knowing there was a music venue located there. London Mayor Boris Johnson brokered a deal to protect the Ministry of Sound in in South London from a proposed development, but many  grassroots music venues rarely have the time, resources or budget required to battle developers, residents or to pay for costly sound proofing to be put in. The ‘agent of change’ principle already exists in Australia and was recently introduced in San Francisco. In Australia, under the ‘agent of change’ doctrine, residential developers building city centre apartments are obliged by law to soundproof their developments themselves: The Musicians Union’s General Secretary John Smith said: “Music venues…

San Francisco passes ‘agent of change’ rules
Licensing , Live Events / June 2015

LICENSING Live events sector   San Francisco, which features some of the highest demand for living space of any city in the United States, has passed legislation to protect music venues against complaints from new neighbours who move into new residential spaces in mixed-use neighbourhoods. Music Times reports that many venues had spent money on insulation and other options to reduce the amount of noise escaping the building, often to little avail when their new neighbours complained or brought legal action. The new legislation passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors puts the onus on developers, and not the venues, to protect residents – the so called ‘agent of change‘ approach. As long as an existing venue operates under the normal noise regulations that it opened with, it can’t be held legally responsible by those living above and around for noise complaints. Instead, a resident would bring a complaint against the developer, at which point a court would decide whether they had done enough to inform the buyer of the potential for sound from the nearby concert hall.  Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission. “It’s different now from what we saw in the ’90s, with the amount of…

New licensing regime for Ireland?
Licensing , Live Events / May 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     New licensing laws could be introduced in Ireland the wake of the Garth Brooks cancellation fiasco at Dublin’s Croke Park in July, 2014. The measures follow the widely publicised collapse of Brooks’ five sell-out shows, which were cancelled just 17 days before show time after Dublin City Council (DCC) would only give permission for three nights. The Gaelic Athletic Association had previously agreed with residents that a maximum of three concerts would be held each year at the venue. Brooks himself took an ‘all or nothing’ approach – and refused to perform two shows as matinees, meaning no concerts took place. The Irish Examiner reports that the issues being considered by the review group, set up in the wake of the fiasco, include the minimum time frames before an event for the submission of a licence application and the making of a decision by a planning authority on such an application, and public consultation arrangements on licence applications. A Department of Environment spokesman told Audience Magazine “From the outset the review group has been mindful of the fact that any legislative changes need to be fair and balanced to all stakeholders including promoters, venue owners, local communities. Local…

A right to guns at Festivals? Only in the US of A

LICENSING, HUMAN RIGHTS Live events sector     Most festivals do their utmost to ensure their events are peaceful, trouble free and that festival goers respect each other, and don’t bring in weapons. Not so Norman, Okla, where a pro-gun group have brought a court claim in the Cleveland County Court, challenging the Norman Music Festival’s ‘no gun’ policy A lawsuit  has been filed against the City of Norman and Norman Music Alliance, who sponsors the Norman Music Festival. The injunction hearing, which could determine whether weapons are allowed at the festival, was originally set for April 28 – AFTER the festival was scheduled to take place on April 23-25. District Judge Thad Balkman, who the case was assigned to, said the hearing will be moved and the case will be heard prior to the event’s dates. Don Spencer, vice president of Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, said not allowing weapons at the music festival is in violation of state law, as it is a public event. The gun group claims the ban violates the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, which prohibits “subjective or arbitrary” rules beyond those specified in the Act. Spencer said “If the city of Norman decided that they didn’t want minorities to be at…

Osprey outcry put T’s Strathallan home at risk
Licensing , Live Events / May 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     Campaigners opposed to T In The Park taking place at the Strathallan Estate in Perthshire, which include the Woodland Trust and the RSPB, have secured what they say is a defining victory against promoters DF and the Estate owners, Jamie and Debs Roberts. Whilst the local authority is still considering arguments on both sides over whether the 80,000 capacity festival can take place from 10-12 July, the RSPB, who had already noted that ospreys traditionally nest near the Estate, have said the protected birds have returned. Under the Wildlife And Countryside Act it is a criminal offence to disturb ospreys during the breeding season. Although the ospreys’ long-term roosting spot is not on the Strathallan Estate itself, STV reports that a 2500 foot ‘buffer zone’ would be required around the nest if T went ahead there, and that would significantly cut into the planned festival site.  DF had reportedly hired experts to try to persuade the ospreys to nest in a alternative nesting space and DF contractors had been using kites, balloons and an extended cherry-picker crane near the old nest to try to divert the birds to the new site. The RSPB has dubbed…