The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Thursday 15th July 2010 - Live music petition delivered to Number 10

On 8th July, the 17,000 signature live music licensing petition was delivered to the prime minister at 10 Downing Street by Phil Little, founder of the original Live Music Forum:

The petition called on the prime minister to implement the entertainment licence exemptions for live music recommended by the all party Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2009 following its public inquiry into the Licensing Act.

Mr Little was joined at the Downing Street presentation by Conservative MP John Whittingdale, Chair of the CMS Committee, Lib Dem peer Tim Clement-Jones - sponsor of the new Live Music Bill, Conservative peer Anthony Colwyn - a jazz trumpeter and long standing champion of live music in the Lords, and musician and entertainer John Otway among others. The group was filmed by John King and Charlotte Collingwood of the Welwyn Live Music Forum.

The video, now on YouTube, is accompanied by an LMF statement read by Ms Collingwood:

It includes well documented examples of council enforcement against harmless events - examples of the sort dismissed by DCMS statistician Vivienne Avery as 'scare stories'.

Lord Clement-Jones' new bill goes further than its predecessor in proposing an entertainment licence exemption for gigs with audiences of up to 200 in most places (rather than only in premises with a 200 capacity), including any place that qualifies as a 'workplace' for the purposes of health and safety legislation. Unamplified live music would be exempt without restricting the number of performers. But, as with amplified live music, this exemption would be subject to review in bars if there were problems.

The complete text of the new bill can be viewed here (HTML):

The petition presentation was also attended by licensing trade paper the Morning Advertiser. Its coverage is available online here:


Hamish Birchall