The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Thursday 3rd September 2009 - St Albans live music conditions - full survey published

The full shocking survey of live music licence conditions in St Albans has now been published online:

MusicTank, the organisation providing this service, is 'a business development network for the UK music industry' owned and operated by the University of Westminster. It's purpose: '... to engage with industry, innovation and change across the music business':

The St Albans survey, carried out by the Welwyn and Hatfield Live Music Forum, includes a council-run bandstand that is subject to a dense list of conditions running to three A4 pages. Many of these conditions appear to duplicate provision under separate safety legislation - something DCMS licensing guidance explicitly warns against.

St Albans council continues to try to blame licensees or their representatives for the long list of performer and genre restrictions in local bars. But it is councils that create a climate whereby licensees feel they must put forward such measures if their application is to get through without difficulty. Only councils can turn a licensee's proposal into a licence condition enforceable on pain of criminal prosecution. And, in justifying such restrictions on the grounds of limiting potential noise nuisance, councils are going against the government position that there is no direct link between noise nuisance and performer numbers.

John King, one of the four co-authors of the St Albans survey, will be speaking on 22nd September at a licensing event in London organised by MusicTank. Entitled 'The Licensing Act and Form 696', the keynote speaker will be John Whittingdale MP, chair of the all-party Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Full details here:
Attendance costs between £25 and £35.


Hamish Birchall