3 Aug 2009
Here is the petition calling on the Prime Minister to stop using the Licensing Act to criminalise live music and to implement amendments that would exempt small gigs.
The Petition has gained well over 1000 signatures since it was launched last Monday, 27 July:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop criminalising live music with the Licensing Act, and to support amendments backed by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and the music industry, which would exempt most small-scale performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants and licensed premises.
If you support the petition and the ideas it represents, please sign and circulate the link above as widely as possible.
Many local authorities use the Act to bully small venues, including schools. You may even have had first hand experience of this already if you are involved with live music on a regular basis:
Providing musical instruments is of itself a potential offence:
Even musical instruments provided by schools are caught in this madness, as confirmed in this ‘Yes Minister’ government response of 15 July 2009 to questions raised by Lord Clement-Jones:
Lord Clement-Jones: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information or guidance has been provided to schools and local authorities concerning the requirement to license the provision of musical instruments as “entertainment facilities” under the Licensing Act 2003 where such instruments are used in public performances of live music or private performances that seek to raise money for good causes. [HL4839]
The Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): The department has provided general advice to applicants on its website and detailed guidance to licensing authorities on the 2003 Act as it affects the provision of regulated entertainment. However, the Act has devolved responsibility for the administration of the licensing regime to individual authorities and it is for them to consider each application on its own merits. The Act does not draw a distinction between events which are put on for charity purposes and those which are not.
Although the 2003 Act requires schools and colleges to obtain a licence for regulated entertainment to which the public are invited, or for a private entertainment where a fee is charged with a view to profit, they are exempt from paying the licence fee if the event is provided by, located at and for the purpose of the school or college.
Lord Clement-Jones: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of schools in England and Wales are licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 for performances of live music and the provision of musical instruments as “entertainment facilities”. [HL4840]
Lord Carter of Barnes: We do not hold this information. The statistical data collected by the department identify how many premises have permission, in the form of a premises licence or club premises certificate, to put on regulated entertainment, including live music. However, it is not known how many schools have obtained an appropriate permission to cover live performances of music and the provision of entertainment facilities, or indeed any other form of regulated entertainment such as a dance event or a play. In some cases, a school may decide to put on an event by giving a temporary event notice.
Although the Licensing Act 2003 requires schools and colleges to obtain a licence for regulated entertainment to which the public are invited, or for a private entertainment where a fee is charged with a view to profit, they are exempt from paying the licence fee if the event is provided by, located at and for the purpose of the school or college.
Please cut and paste, or share this post if you support the petition, please sign and circulate the links above as widely as possible http://www.birminghammusicnetwork.com
You are welcome to leave any comments you may have regarding this petition below.