The Live Music Forum

Open Letter from Phil Little

Friday 4th September 2009 - Resist Form 696

A new group called Resist Form 696 has formed to co-ordinate efforts against the risk assessment form and they are organising a three day event in London featuring popular bands. Here is their press release and you can learn more at their website
or sign the petition online at,

Phil Little
Live Music Forum

Press Release: Resist Form 696 – Ongoing Campaign And Benefit Event

The mainstream music industry, including UK Music’s Feargal Sharkey and Reverend And The Makers’ Jon McClure, was quick to respond to the stealthily encroaching use of the hated Form 696. Now it’s the turn of the grassroots music scene – which arguably stands to lose the most if
the use of the Form continues to spread – and as such, the Resist Form 696 movement has been formed to ensure people are aware of the problems and potential problems the Form causes and to provide a central point to focus the battle against the Form.

But first, rewind… Form 696 is a risk assessment form which the police have been asking event organisers and licensees to complete on a voluntary basis in order to ensure their resources can be
appropriately directed and potentially troublesome or violent events can be properly policed. Nothing wrong there, you might say. But since the Form was conceived, 21 London councils have made its completion for all events a mandatory part of a license application – in order to
ensure they can’t be sued for not following police advice. Hence, it is increasingly difficult to avoid. Furthermore, the way the Form was originally worded seemed to strongly suggest that the police intended to use it to target events attended by particular ethnic minorities and playing particular types of music. All this without any kind of proper debate on its use and deployment.

Given that the responsibility to complete the Form (for each and every music event, whether live performance or DJ’s) lies with landlords, and that the Form is exhaustive, demanding for instance home addresses and contact details for all performers, our fear is that many licensees won’t want the hassle and will replace stages with plasma screens and Sky subscriptions. Meanwhile, it will become harder and harder for bands to find places to play – and develop their skills – and gig goers will be forced to choose between overpriced venues watching bland imported acts schill overpriced beer in plastic cups, and illegal ones without proper health and safety procedures where
incidents can’t be policed. The Form is the equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut – no-one wants to see violence at gigs, but the answer is not to threaten the whole live music scene, creating thousands of hours of police bureaucracy in the process and holding musicians accountable for the behaviour of every person who attends their shows – something they cannot be expected to control. The time to stand against the Form is now.

The Resist Form 696 campaign is holding a weekend-long event at The Grosvenor in Stockwell, South London on the 9th, 10th and 11th October to raise awareness of the campaign and to encourage as many people as possible to sign the online parliamentary petition. Among the
performers are Brit extreme metallers The Rotted, headlining the Friday night along with Teratoid, Void and Astrohenge, German bands Glasses and November 13th who will be co-headlining the Saturday show – a punk all-dayer also featuring London acts Armed Response Unit, Dissociates, Battle Of Wolf 359 and Flowers Of Flesh And Blood, among others - and ex-One Minute Silence rapper Yap (aka Pink Punk) who will be headlining the Sunday with up-and-coming hip-hop act Sound Of Rum.
Not to be missed! Please show your support and help us get as many people as possible down to these shows.

For more information, please see or sign the petition online at,