The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Friday 23rd November 2008 - Sharkey goes to court over Form 696

Feargal Sharkey is to challenge Form 696 in court. According to the Belfast Telegraph of 20 November he will apply next week for judicial review of the way in which local authorities are implementing the controversial risk assessment form:

'As the boss of UK Music, which campaigns for musicians, he [Sharkey] will be applying next week for a judicial review into whether a local authority has the right to make it a condition of a publican's licence that they have to fill in Form 696.'

Form 696, designed by the Metropolitan Police, demands the names, addresses and dates of birth of all performers two weeks in advance of gigs. According to Sharkey, 21 London councils have now adopted the 'risk assessment' form as a licensing condition, making it legally enforceable.

The police and London Councils claim the form applies only to large events, but this is contradicted by the Met's own definition of events to which the form applies:

'This definition relates to events that require a Promotion/Event Risk Assessment Form 696. A significant event will be deemed to be: any occasion in a premises licensed under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003, where there will be a live performer(s) ? meaning musicians, DJs, MCs or other artiste; that is promoted in some form by either the venue or an outside promoter; where entry is either free, by invitation, pay on the door or by ticket.'
See for example Bexley council's Statement of Licensing Policy (PDF file): and search for 'significant event'.

... which would apply to a lone pianist in a bar or guitarist in a restaurant, if this was in the gig listings of Time Out or other London event guide, and even if no-one attended.


Hamish Birchall