Lib Dems push licensing reform for UK election

May 2010

Live events industry

Music Week reports that the Liberal Democrats, whose peer Lord Clement-Jones recently attempted to push his Live Music Bill through Parliament, is the only major political party that makes a specific promise to allow a licence exemption for small gigs. Music week say that the Lib Dem manifesto mirrors the key points in the proposed Clement-Jones Bill by suggesting it will “cut red tape for putting on live music”, provide an exemption from the Licensing Act for gigs of 200 people or less and reintroduce the two-in-a-bar rule. The manifesto adds, “We will reintroduce the rule allowing two performers of unamplified music in any licensed premises without the need for an entertainment licence, allow licensed venues for up to 200 people to host live music without the need for an entertainment licence, and remove the requirement for schools and hospitals to apply for a licence.’
The Clement-Jones Bill fell by the wayside because it was not afforded enough debating time to give it a Second Reading in the House of Commons. Instead the Government preferred to continue with its own small venue consultation, which has received over 800 responses that will form the basis of a Legislative Reform Order if the party returns to power.

The Labour Party manifesto does make mention of music, but does not elaborate on the small venues exemption consultation. It says “flexibility for pubs to provide related services promoted, making it easier to have live entertainment without a licence.”  Hmmmmmm – since the implementation of the Act all they have done is consult! Music Week say that the Conservatives have not mentioned music in their manifesto.

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