The Live Music Forum
Hamish Birchall Bulletin
Wednesday 29th September 2010 - Dark summer harvest
of licensing oppression
Five years since the Licensing Act came into force, and no sign of a let
up for live music.
Earlier this year the government revealed in answers to questions from
Lord Colwyn that only about 25% of bars and restaurants could lawfully
host live music (because they don't have authorisation for 'entertainment
But many councils still treat the minority of venues where live music
is legal as potential sources of mayhem, crime and disorder. Consider
this premises licence condition for a venue in Brent:
'... Live bands and solo musicians may not perform on the premises unless
14 days written notice is provided to the police licensing officer and
the police licensing officer have given his/her prior written approval
for the performance to take place...'
Or this criminal prosecution of a pub by Dacorum Borough Council for not
having their windows closed while jazz was being played:
These are just two of many examples reported by campaigner John King on
The Publican's 'Listen Up!' Facebook page - where the pub trade campaigns
for more live music:
The impression is that councils and nimby local residents would rather
promote the sale of alcohol than the playing of innocuous live music.
And that is indeed what happened to a Dorset Tea house earlier this month:
The irony is that the social and economic cost of alcohol abuse to local
authorities and the police must exceed by several orders of magnitude
the cost of occasional noise nuisance enforcement against live music.
For a new and up-to-date investigation into the shrinking infrastructure
for live music as a consequence of entertainment licensing, see the 'Three
Rivers Case Study' link on the Live Music Forum website: www.livemusicforum.co.uk
It would seem that none of the area's 34 restaurants can legally host