Live Concert Industry
Organisers of live music in small venues, currently exempt from needing a Public Entertainment Licence (PEL) and ‘pub’ venues where two or less performers are featured (known as the ‘two in a bar’ rule) are becoming increasingly alarmed at the hidden costs and bureaucracy emerging from the UK Government’s proposed Licensing Bill.
Audience magazine noted that ‘far from deregulation or a boost to the industry, the legislation is likely to devastate the sector of live music where many aspiring performers take their first steps and others enjoy a modest living’ (www.audience.com).
The initial plan of scrapping PELs and including a entertainment licence free with a venue’s liquor licence initially seemed positive – not now, as both the live music industry and the licensed pub trade are becoming increasingly concerned. The plan to move liquor licensing from Magistrates Courts to local authorities is now opposed by the licensed trade and the live music industry is also alarmed that the new levels of local authority bureaucracy and increased costs will spell the end of small pub and club venues.