The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Thursday 4th February 2010 - Live music bill goes to 3rd reading

Lord Clement-Jones' live music bill will have its 3rd Reading in the House of Lords next Tuesday, 9th February:

If enacted the bill would exempt a range of venues up to 200 capacity from entertainment licensing for live music between 8am and midnight, and allow up to two musicians to perform anywhere unamplified or minimally amplified. The bill is supported by UK Music, the original Live Music Forum, the National Campaign for the Arts, Equity and the Musicians Union.

The Bill passed the Lords Committee stage on Monday 1st February without amendment or opposition:

If progress continues unobstructed, it will go to the Commons. Its success there is dependent on the government. In reality, it is unlikely that the Bill will receive Commons debate as the Government will be unwilling to find time before the general election for a Bill they do not support.

But as The Publican reported yesterday: 'Although the bill is a private members’ bill and is unlikely to become law, it could help to effect the government’s final plans over live music licensing':

Meanwhile the police have been making friendlier noises about live music. The original Live Music Forum, founded by campaigner Phil Little in the 1990s, has published a correspondence with the police in which they state:

'The vast majority of live music events serve to provide considerable pleasure and social benefit without implication for policing or public safety. In a very small number of cases there is clear evidence of association of criminality with events or acts and that obviously needs to be dealt with as the intelligence and circumstances indicate, however, this is clearly the exception and not the norm.'
[Letter to Phil Little from Commander Paul Minton, Chief of Staff, Association of Chief Police Officers, received 13/01/2010
See: and follow the link]

On 21 January Phil Little wrote back asking whether or not the police will support the exemptions in the live music bill and the government's own consultation. A reply is expected soon.


Hamish Birchall