The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Wednesday 14th February 2007 - The Stage reports success of live music petition


See 'Live music petition reaches list of top issues' in today's online Stage newspaper (Wed 14 Feb 2007):

Caveats re DCMS claim that their recent survey shows more than 60% of venues now have a licence for live music:

* DCMS has confirmed that 35% of those applying for authorisation to have live music had conditions on their licence.

* Unless those conditions are implemented, i.e. the fitting of noise limiters, hosting the music remains illegal.

* DCMS has confirmed that they did not ask venues whether they had implemented those conditions.

DCMS has already acknowledged that 40% of smaller venues have lost any automatic entitlement to live music (i.e. lost the old two performer exemption). But the unasked question about licence conditions means that for a significant additional percentage there is uncertainty about the legality of actually hosting live music. This tends to contradict Feargal Sharkey's claim in the DCMS press release of 7 December 2006: 'We know that the majority of venues large and small can now put on live music and that's fantastic news'.

Why didn't he say: 'This survey shows that the majority of smaller venues can either no longer automatically host any live music, or cannot host live music until they implement potentially costly conditions - and that's disappointing news'?

Hamish Birchall