The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Tuesday 9th December 2008 - Police cut ethnic question from Form 696

Questions about the ethnic and gender profile of audiences, and their age range, have been quietly cut from the controversial Metropolitan Police gig risk assessment Form 696.

The edits seem to have been made late last week, almost certainly in response to the increasingly negative press coverage, threats of judicial review, and the online petition (now over 3,800 signatures and 29 in the list of nearly 5000 petitions on the Number 10 website: ).

The original Form 696, available on the Met website as an 8-page PDF file, has been removed:

A revised 4-page version, incorporating the post-gig assessment 696A, is now available as an MS Word file:
For those interested in comparing the two documents, an HTML version of the original remains on the Scotland Yard website:

The changes are unlikely to stop the public outcry against Form 696, however.

The revised form now asks 'Who is the target audience', and still includes the question about styles of music, citing RnB, Bashment and Garage by way of examples. It also still requires the names, addresses, and dates of birth of performers at least two weeks in advance of gigs. Failure to comply when enforced as licence condition under the Licensing Act 2003 is a potential criminal offence. Maximum penalty: £20,000 fine and six months inside. Moreover, the Met's catch-all definition of events to which Form 696 applies remains part of many London councils' Statements of Licensing Policy. It makes no distinction between a pianist in bar or a large nightclub, nor between well run venues and the small minority with a history of problems:

'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.'

Croydon's Statement of Licensing Policy 07 January 2008. See (PDF file):

Search within the document for 'Significant Event'



Hamish Birchall