The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Circular

Monday 16th January 2012 - Wanted! 100 MPs for Live Music Bill

By this Friday afternoon, 20th January, the Live Music Bill could be a historic success - or a historic failure.

It all turns on the number of supportive MPs that attend the debate. A minimum of 100 must be there to ensure that, if necessary, there is a successful 'vote of closure' on debate on the Daylight Saving Bill, which precedes the Live Music Bill.   The Daylight Saving Bill is controversial and there may be MPs intending to 'talk it out'. If that happened the Live Music Bill may not have enough time to be debated and would fail. It might be revived in the next Parliamentary session, but reform could be delayed for months or even years.

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy, who sat on the Live Music Bill during its Committee stage, has already warned of this possibility in her blog:

So if you have not already written to your MP, please do so now:

Ask them to attend the debate and if necessary vote in favour of a closure motion on the preceding business (to allow time for debate on the Live Music Bill) and, of course, to vote for the Live Music Bill itself.

It is important to write a personal letter, but general points to make include:

The entertainment licence exemptions for live music proposed by the Bill are essential if live music in grassroots venues is to flourish.
The exemptions apply only to performances between 8am and 11pm, and, for amplified live music, to audiences of no more than 200.
The Bill preserves licence review safeguards for residents near pubs and bars.
The Bill is supported not only by the Government and the Opposition, but also by the music industry, performers' unions, arts organisations, and now by the Local Government Association.

If you don't know who your MP is this website enables to identify them using your postcode and email them:

Once gain, many thanks.
Hamish Birchall