The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Thursday 3rd March 2011 - Lord Grade to support live music bill

New Conservative Peer Michael Grade will use his maiden speech in the House of Lords tomorrow, Friday 4th March, to back Lord Clement-Jones' live music bill, reports Robert Ashton in Music Week:
Other notable speakers include broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell (Labour), and former Playschool presenter Floella Benjamin (Lib Dem).  Both were made Baronesses last year.
In the past week, public support for the bill has also been voiced by the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Music Industry Association, and the National Campaign for the Arts:
Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the ISM, said:
‘So many musicians rely on performing live during their career but the current licensing regime is causing opportunities to dry up. In these testing economic times, removing these unfair restrictions can only help musicians. Live music is a vital part of our culture and the House of Lords has a real opportunity to begin the process of reducing the bureaucracy which is crippling the small live music event industry and hampering fledgling careers.’
Paul McManus, chief executive of MIA, said:
'We offer our full support to Lord Clement-Jones on these vital amendments... live music is the lifeblood of the music industry and small venues are often the first chance a young or new musician gets to perform and we must do all we can to ensure government legislation does not frustrate this.'
NCA statement: 'The NCA has given its full support to the Bill, which is also backed by Equity, the Musicians Union, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Live Music Forum, UK Music, and the Publican. We hope to see the bill clear its Lords stages, as it has done previously, and the NCA will be pressing for the Government to allow the Commons time to debate the bill and support its passage into law.'
[Note that their reference to a reintroduction of the two performer exemption is a mistake.  It was included in the first live music bill last year, but is not included in the bill to be debated tomorrow, which imposes no limit on the number limit of performers].
The bill has also received consistent and high profile support from UK Music, the lobbying agency for the music industry, and its Chief Executive Feargal Sharkey:
See Sharkey also in The Independent, 'The Act killing live music', 20 September 2010:
The Publican, a leading licensing trade paper, has been campaigning in support of the bill for over a year:


Hamish Birchall