The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Tuesday 18th December 2007 - Now the good news...

With the publication yesterday of the bad news that live gigs had decreased in the wake of the Licensing Act, the DCMS smoke machine is off again with 'New plans to help live music thrive':

The headline is £500k towards a few new rehearsal rooms around the country - the government's response to one of the Live Music Forum's 28 recommendations published on 04 July.  Further down, a little more flesh is put on the bones of their commitment to explore an additional exemption for small gigs. In their detailed response to the LMF report, which reads like a manifesto for the micro-management of live music, t he government graciously accepts 'the spirit' of this key recommendation. However, it warns that there cannot be a 'blanket exemption' and restates the plan to consult on possible solutions (para 19):

Back in the press release, culture secretary James Purnell adds: 'Clearly we'd only be looking at exemptions for events that don't cause public nuisance or compromise public safety.'


In the light of that observation, let's review what the Licensing Act 2003 meant for small gigs:

At the same time:

The government has never produced any research linking live music to widespread disorder, noise or crime. So much for evidence-based policy.


Hamish Birchall