The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Wednesday 23rd February 2011 - New Early Day Motion for small gigs exemption

An Early Day Motion calling on the government to introduce an entertainment licence exemption for small gigs 'without delay' was tabled last week by John Whittingdale:
'EDM 1465: That this House notes that it is now more than 12 months since the Department for Culture, Media and Sport launched a consultation to exempt small live music events from the bureaucracy of the Licensing Act 2007; further notes that an exemption has not yet been granted despite the commitment to cut red tape to encourage the performance of more live music in the Coalition Agreement; and calls on the Government to introduce an exemption without delay.'
2007 is a misprint and should read 2003.
Mr Whittingdale is the Conservative chair of the all party Culture, Media and Sport select committee.  In 2008/9 the committee held a public inquiry into the Licensing Act.  After taking evidence from all stakeholders, including local government representatives and the police, it recommended, among other things, an exemption for gigs in venues up to 200 capacity:
To date the new EDM has 15 MPs' signatures in support. But it needs to do much better if it is to have any significant influence on the government.
Please ask your MP to sign. You can send them a message using this website:
Support for this EDM is particularly important in view of the 2nd reading of Lord Clement-Jones' live music bill on Friday 4th March, and the announcement on entertainment licensing deregulation promised 'shortly' by DCMS minister John Penrose on 31st January.
The bill, and Penrose's imminent announcement, represent the best opportunity in many years for real improvement and modernisation of the way performances of live music are regulated.

Hamish Birchall