UK government now to back live music reforms

April 2011

Live events industry

The UK coalition government has now confirmed that it would support Lord Tim Clement-Jones’ Live Music Bill, which amends the 2003 Licensing Act, in particular tackling the extra bureaucracy it created for small venues who want to stage live music events. In the House of Lords, Patricia Rawlings, speaking for the government, said the Coalition would support the proposed legislation and help push it through, subject to a review of the technical aspects of the proposals. She added that the government would also likely insist that all unlicensed gigs should be finished by 11pm, rather than midnight as set out in Clement-Jones’s proposals. Clement Jones said that his Bill would benefit hundreds of small pubs, restaurants and church and community halls who want live music at their venue by generally removing the need to apply for a complicated licence and the Bill had the support of new Conservative peer and former ITV chairman Michael Grade who used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to back the Live Music Bill during its second reading, claiming the 2003 Licensing Act which it seeks to amend is a “bad law” that denies up and coming music talent the chance to develop their skills. Grade also said that in an “iPod and headphone world, more should be done to “encourage and promote live performance”. He also claimed the older Act “threatens musical life in our nations at its most fragile point – grassroots level”. Lord Grade also welcomed the fact MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, calling for small venues to be made exempt “without delay”.
CMU Daily 7th March 2011

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