The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Thursday 8th March 2007 - Live music Early Day Motion


Please circulate

Hugo Swire, Conservative MP for East Devon, and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has tabled an Early Day Motion expressing concern about the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on small-scale live music:

The main purpose of EDMs is to draw attention to an issue, and to gain support by inviting other MPs to add their signatures. More on EDMs here:

If enough MPs sign EDMs can be effective in raising the Parliamentary and media profile of an issue. This EDM is well timed, as in the next few weeks the government will consider proposals from the Live Music Forum to improve the Licensing Act.

Please consider asking your MP to sign. You can send a message to your MP here (the site can identify your MP from your postcode):

It is important to use your own words, but some of these points may help:

* The most recent DCMS/MORI research found that 40% of smaller venues have lost any automatic entitlement to live music as a result of the new Licensing Act ('Licensing Act 2003 - The Experience of Smaller Establishments in applying for live music authorisation', December 2006').

* There is uncertainty about the status of the 60% of smaller venues said to have live music authorisation. DCMS do not know whether live music licence conditions, where they apply, have been implemented. Unless such conditions are implemented by the venue, having live music remains illegal.

*  Under the old regime 100% of bars and restaurants licensed to sell alcohol could automatically provide one or two musicians.

* In the changeover to the new regime, all such venues were automatically granted permission to play recorded music, which also allows the provision of DJs.

* The provision of big screen broadcast sport or music is exempt, anywhere, no matter how powerfully amplified.

* The government has never provided any evidence that live music causes significant social harm, nor any evidence that live music is a greater risk as an entertainment than big screen sport in bars.

Hamish Birchall