Agent of change principle gathers momentum

October 2014

Live events sector


The now much debated ‘agent of change’ principle, designed to protect live music venues, bars and clubs in the face of the increasing numbers of residential properties being built close to venues has prompted the Musicians’ Union to call for new law to protect venues from noise complaints New regulations should be introduced to protect live music venues from possible closure following noise complaints, the Musicians’ Union has said. A similar law was recently introduced in the state of Victoria in Australia.  At the Trades Union Congress conference the MU proposed a motion, which was passed, demanding the introduction of new regulations that would help put a stop to the “worrying trend of long-established music venues being forced to close after only one or two complaints from neighbours”. John Smith, MU general secretary, said: “Venues must, of course, stick to the terms of their licence and residents must be able to complain if they do not comply or are causing a genuine nuisance. But equally, flats which are built above, adjacent or nearby to an existing music venue should not take precedent over an established institution. “The onus should be on the agent of change, and developers who build flats and houses next to venues must be required to let potential residents know so that they can make an informed decision about whether they would like to live there, as well as ensuring adequate soundproofing.”

And Frank Turner has warned Culture Secretary Sajid Javid that  the country is facing “a meltdown in the British live music circuit”. Turner is campaigning to change UK law and protect music venues. and has urged Javid to adopt the Agent of Change principle into UK law to halt the escalating threats to dedicated live music clubs and other community activities saying “12 venues are already under threat, an avalanche will follow if we don’t take action. These venues are where I grew up, where I learned about rock’n’roll music, where I saw all my favourite bands. The venues where I played my first shows and some of my most recent, the home of the music scene that has given me my career, my passion and my life.”

And see last month’s MLU

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