The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Monday 11th December 2006 - Daily Telegraph: Why should we need a licence to sing?

'Why should we need a licence to sing?'

by Philip Johnston, Home Affairs editor, Daily Telegraph, Monday 11 December 2006

As a boy and a treble in a church choir, this was the best time of the year. The vicar used to take us carol singing and we would be invited in for mince pies and sausage rolls. So far as I am aware, we did not need a licence for this most innocent and traditional of pastimes. Why on earth do you need permission to sing carols?

'But you do now that the Licensing Act 2003 has come into force. Then again, you might not. The fact is that millions are going out carolling probably unaware of what they should be doing to make the practice lawful....

Read the full article at:

STOP PRESS : The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will today publish its 'Simplification Plan', part of the government's proposals to cut red tape. Reliable sources inform me that the DCMS simplification plan will include the Licensing Act, and some of the measures relate to the music provisions.

Hamish Birchall