IF YOU ENJOY LIVE MUSIC IN BRITAIN ~ PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THROUGH THE FOLLOWING LETTERS

(Updated 13 Apr 2003)


For latest developments about the new 'Non in The Bar' law visit the MUSICIANS UNION website


Previous emails / info / concerns

PLEASE URGENTLY CONTACT YOUR (LABOUR) MP RE. BELOW and please pass this onto your mailing list.

Subject: Licensing: Labour backbenchers to meet Howells tomorrow (Thu 9 Jan)

With hundreds of letters now pouring into Parliament objecting to the live music provisions of the Licensing Bill, Labour backbenchers are becoming increasingly worried. At very short notice, they have arranged a meeting with licensing Minister Kim Howells. This meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday 8 January, at noon.

I only learned of this yesterday evening when Martin Linton (Lab, Battersea) contacted me to ask for the names of other Labour MPs who have shown an interest. He wants as many as possible to attend the meeting with Howells.

If your MP is Labour please contact them immediately (the House of Commons switchboard is 020 7219 3000) and urge them to attend this meeting and to register their intention to attend with Martin Linton on 020 7219 1181. If you don't know who your MP is, www.faxyourmp.com will them automatically from your postcode.

A footnote: government Ministers continue dismiss out of hand the legal advice that private events where performers are paid are caught by the Bill. In fact, on the day the Bill was published, the Arts Council received a legal opinion from one of the UK's leading licensing lawyers confirming that corporate hospitality events where performers are paid were licensable under the Bill as published. This contradicted the government's own statement published in the Explanatory Notes that accompany the Bill.


We have received the following information forwarded to us by email from a concerned live music promoter and feel that music fans should be aware of changes in current regulations which may have a huge impact on the local music scene.

Following the initial 2 emails we recently received the following email regarding the New Entertaiment Law from a music promoter in the East Midlands. It brings some more thoughts about the new regulations regarding proposed new Entertainment Licence.


Contact your MP to voice your concerns!

Contact information for British MP's


Here are some more views of the new 'entertainment' law currently threatening live music in England and Wales, as well as an epetition which is currently being organised. Don't forget a letter to your MP will help back this petition when it is delivered to Parliment. With nearly 900 entries when we looked on Sun 15th Dec, that would work out already at 2 letters concerning this issue to each English MP on average, so please write to them as well as taking the easy, yet worthwhile option of signing the epetition to help save a lot of grass roots 'live' music in England and Wales.


Dear friends in music

The UK Government is setting out to tax and criminalise grass roots music in this country out of existence. Wherever you are please sign the online petition and pass this email to your friends and contacts.

Love

Phil Underwood

ZigaZag! and The Zyderythmics


Subject: E Petition to 10 Downing St

Please feel free to circulate this a widely as possible.

If you are concerned that the new licensing proposals are a threat to Live Music in England and Wales then please read the statement below and sign the petition that you will find set up on the following site.

http://www.musiclovers.ukart.com/

This is an E petition set up by and to be submitted on the 15 March 2003 to

Number 10 Downing Street.

We, the undersigned, are concerned that the Licensing Bill proposals to make the performance of live music licensable in pubs and clubs, in places where alcohol is served, in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, in schools and colleges, in community centres and village and parish halls, and in private homes and gardens where private parties and weddings may be held will have an enormously detrimental effect on musicians and live music performances; fears that the raising of money for charities by musicians will be seriously compromised; consider it will seriously impinge on the folk community including folk music and traditional folk activities such as morris dancing, wassailing, etc; believe that the penalties for breaking the law of a six month jail sentence of a £20,000 fine are far too draconian; consider it grossly unfair and inconsistent that live music will not be licensable in Scotland but will be in England and Wales; regret that the Government has decided to replace the anomalous two in a bar rule with a none in a bar rule which will catch all live music performances; believes that the requirement for the provision of entertainment facilities to become licensable which will ensnare music shops, music and dance studios and teachers, represents a totally unacceptable regulatory intrusion into mainstream activities; and calls on the Government to amend the relevant parts of bill in order to remove the iniquities faced by musicians and the music industry as a whole.

The UK government do recognise E Petitions Read their policy. http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page598.asp It explains why you need to enter a valid postal address.

Please add your name to this and take the opportunity to possibly make a difference.

Phil Underwood

Zyderythmics Zydeco Band, ZigaZag Cajun Band

Email: phil@cajunmusic.co.uk

Web: www.cajunmusic.co.uk


Sorry if you've received this from another source - if you've already signed the petition and sent it on to all and sundry, then just delete it. If not, please read it and act upon it - it only takes a couple of minutes, and it is essential for live music and all sorts of other activities that the powers that be know how many people feel really strongly about this - including our friends in Scotland and Northern Ireland, who may not be affected directly, but they certainly will if they ever come to England or Wales! And their MPs are able to affect legislation in England and Wales.

Very best wishes,

Barbara Brown

Tom & Barbara Brown, Trafalgar House, Castle Street, Combe Martin, N. Devon

Tel: 01271 882366/07977 914736

E-mail: tomandbarbara@umbermusic.co.uk

Website: www.umbermusic.co.uk

Please circulate

The creators of the none in a bar Licensing Bill are stuck in the 18th-century. The Bill is constructed as if 21st century safety, noise and crime and disorder legislation had never happened. The maximum penalty of a £20,000 fine and six months in prison for an unlicensed performance of live music is greater than for a serious breach of health and safety, or noise, legislation (which does not carry a potential custodial sentence). This was one reason why existing PEL legislation was rubbished in Parliament earlier this year as 'archaic and just plain daft.' But, unbelievably, the government has just confirmed that the penalty would continue to apply to carol singers:

"People singing carols in a supermarket or a railway station and so on would need to be covered by a premises licence or a temporary event notice." [Lord McIntosh, government whip, 1st Committee stage debate of the Licensing Bill, House of Lords, 12 December 2002]

Criminalising live music without a licence was an 18th century innovation. It was a crime and disorder measure, applying only to pubs in Westminster, at a time when there was no unified police force for London. Public safety and noise legislation was rudimentary or non-existent.

The Bill is a gift to jobsworths. Rest assured local authorities will enforce 'none in a bar' if this Bill is passed without amendment. Licensees, and musicians, will be treated as criminals where there is no safety risk and no noise complaint.

EDM 331 has been adapted as an 'E-Petition'.

You can add your signature on the following site:http://www.musiclovers.ukart.com/

The UK government do recognise E Petitions. Read their policy. http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page598.asp It explains why you need to enter a valid postal address. Please add your name to this and take the opportunity to possibly make a difference.


Apologies if this seems inappropriate for the Artisan mailing list, however, unless you are involved in the folk world as a performer or an organiser, you may not be aware that the government's new bill to reform Public Entertainment Licensing in England and Wales endangers performances of folk music and dance in many venues. If the proposed bill goes through without amendments, even churches will need a potentially expensive public entertainment licence for functions which include music. Music at weddings not held in licensed premises will be outside the new law and carol singing in the street will become illegal as the street has no licence.

Needless to say many folksingers will be squeezed out of work if venues are lost - or may, of course, just be sent to jail.

Punishment for wrongdoers will be a fine of up to twenty thousand pounds or a six month jail sentence - that's both the organiser of the event and the performer.

This endangers small folk clubs, musicians sessions in pubs without a PEL, morris dancing and mummers plays - often performed wherever a crowd gathers. (A Public Entertainment Licence is separate to a Liquor License, so a pub may be licensed for alcohol sales without being licensed for entertainment.)

A petition is being organised to ask Parliament for amendments to the bill and you can read and sign the petition on the following web site.http://www.PetitionOnline.com/2inabar/

If you love folk music and don't wish to see it squeezed into silence by ridiculous and short-sighted legislation, sign up now.

Public entertainment licences are supposedly designed to ensure that the venue complies with all legislation to keep public order and safety and ensure that it doesn't inconvenience neighbours, however one activity totally exempt from this new legislation, (which will prevent three unaccompanied middle ages singers entertaining sixty people in a pub function room,) is televised football. Yes, that's right, apparently pubs need no entertainment license to televise the world cup in the public bar, where several hundred young people, passions to the fore, can drink their way through an England versus Scotland match, but they do need a licence to allow a small folk club or a singaround or a mummer's play on the premises. And this is to protect the public! (We're not sure what happens if the English fans start singing songs during the match and start clapping with their chants ~ do they then fall foul of the new entertainment law! ~ Fizgig-Tom)

For more information before signing the petition you can check some links to national sites on the Yorkshire Folk Arts website at: http://www.yorkshire-folk-arts.com

Cheers

Jacey

PS, Scotland has different and eminently sensible legislation.

--

Jacey Bedford - Artisan@artisan-harmony.com

ARTISAN - www.artisan-harmony.com

"Artisan - cheaper than therapy and better than beer." Rural Arts East


"These are just a few of the e-mail's I have received about the proposed new "Entertainment Licence" There are some important points, that could affect us all, please read carefully."

And so the debate gets under way. Here I present three different reactions/viewpoints which I have received. The first is from Jeff Merrifield at the Hermit Club here in Brentwood, a fully licensed venue run by Essex County Council.


Hello Ashwyn

Last week we had a meeting at the Hermit where Rick Christian, the area organiser for the MU, outlined the proposals for the new legislation. He contrasted the old two in a bar rule (no license needed if a duo plays, but one needed for a threesome or more) with that now proposed, that all music provision be licensed. There was healthy discussion from all the many bands represented, most seeing it as a way to drive many venues away from live performance.

There does seem to be an attempt to over-regulate, but there is little doubt that the regulation that is there needs some rationalisation and the argument is best made that it be fair and reasonable.

Having lived with the existing legislation for many years now at the Hermit, where we have always had to be fully licensed, it is not as bad as many people are making out. It is wise to have safety as a concern when many people are gathered together in one place. What it is wise to ensure is that such concerns are the responsibility of the venues and NOT the musicians, and that there are no hugely inflated fees for such licensing, which is the responsibility of the local authorities, the District and Borough Councils. Whilst it is important to make views known to government on the dangers of such legislation reducing the amount of live entertainment, there is little doubt that some form of safety checks and licensing WILL be forthcoming in such a risk conscious climate.

It is much more important to lobby local councillors to ensure that there is no exploitation of fees, that the over-riding concern is one of the safety of the public and not a view that fees are seen as a source of revenue. If national and local government are serious about public safety, they should subsidise the improvements required so that their constituents could enjoy themselves safely.

Cheers,

Jeff Merrifield


The second is from that very fine blues singer and songwriter Tim Royce who has been galvanised into action.

I heard about this a couple of years ago from a journo pal of mine, but hoped it had gone away. You're right, this is extremely serious s**t which could kill the music scene. And that's only for starters. Theatre groups, children's entertainers, street performers, not mention the loss of trade in the brewery trade, music retail - it just gets worse the more I think about it.

Julia's downloaded the bill and we're extrapolating the relevant bits to put into an e-mail to send out. We're going to write a form letter to attach for people to print off, sign and send to their MP's. I am immediately going to put together a petition form which I'm going to be asking all punters at my gigs to sign. We're going to build a website also.

Somewhere along the line we need to contact the entire music press, record labels, agents & promoters, radio stations, pub groups, breweries, and a few celebrities wouldn't go amiss - there'd have been no Beatles or Stones or even Oasis if this had been in force.

NO ENTERTAINMENT TAX!


The third is from Mark Ringwood of mARKO pOLO (uk)

Dear Ashwyn,

Thanks for circulating what I originally sent to Richard Pavitt.

What would really help is if we (collectively) could come up with a number of sensible alternative proposals which the Minister could consider. If we just carp on that it's a ridiculous proposal, without any suggestions as to what would be sensible, we'll not get anywhere.

Current suggestions include:

1. No licence for venues accommodating less than 250 people.

2. No licence for venues who don't operate live music after midnight.

3. Bringing venues which screen live 'sport' in line with other venues by insisting on them being licensed too - after all 200 beered-up football 'supporters' leaving a venue are likely to cause more mayhem than 200 blues fans.

Best wishes,

Mark Ringwood


I am sure may of you have thoughts and what would be really good if all these could be brought together as Mark suggests. What do you think? In the meantime do not forget to write to your MP etc. and make your feelings known.

Regards

ASHWYN


Hello everyone, I don't usually get involved in politics, but this time it's personal. If Kim Howells has his way, there'll be nowhere to go to see live music, nowhere for live music to be heard and a generation growing up with no incentive to pickup an instrument of any kind.

No-one will deny the fact that we all have the responsibility to make venues safe for our audiences but Kim Howell's proposed legislation really does threaten the future of live music and is a total about turn from what he said at the Modal Convention in Sheffield last April.

If we do nothing the future is extremely bleak.

Please do what you have to, but do something.

Steve Swithin

Swingout Productions


Dear music lovers,

Apologies if you receive this more than once but if you care about the future of live music in this country, please take the time to read this message...

You may not have heard about this, but the Government is about to try and bring in a ridiculous new law which will make it far, far harder for pubs, clubs, organisations and anyone else for that matter to promote live music.

The proposals in Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Kim Howells' new Licensing Bill, published a couple of weeks ago, will mean that soon you will need a licence (cost £100 -£3,000) to perform music of any kind almost anywhere!

What's more anyone caught giving an unlicensed performance (and that could even include you and your family singing "Happy Birthday" to your granny at a party in a restaurant!) will be liable for prosecution and a heavy fine or even a jail sentence!
(Full details are in the article at the end of this text, which was send to me courtesy of Richard Pavitt of Blues Alive - thanks Richard!)

Unbelievable, isn't it?

If you're as outraged by this as I am, DON'T DELAY!


TAX ON ENTERTAINMENT

Proposed new law will effect everyone


Recently there have been press headlines about the government ' s proposals to abolish the restriction on pub opening hours. At last we will fall in line with just about every other country in the world. Hurrah!

But before you cheer too loudly, there is a sting in the tail and a nasty one at that. It lies in the less publicised parts of "The Licensing Bill"
currently before Parliament.

At the same time as revising the law on pub opening, the Government is proposing to tidy up the situation on entertainment licenses which is riddled with anomalies; but rather than making the situation better, the proposed bill makes it far worse.

For a start, all the pubs and clubs that have 'got away' without needing a Public Entertainment Licence in the past because they've never had more than 2 musicians appearing at the same time will need a licence in the future. The two-in-a-bar rule was a long outdated regulation and needlessly restricted live music performance but what it is being replaced with will limit live music still further.

Then there are all the other areas of public entertainment. The bill currently before parliament contains provisions that will have a serious impact on all branches of the performing arts, both amateur and professional. All premises in which performing arts activities take place will require a licence from the local authority. No costs have been revealed, but licences will be granted only after inspection by the police, fire authority, health and safety inspectors and consultation with local residents and interest groups, so the cost will be far from nominal. At present a license for a pub can be anywhere between £100 and £3,000 depending on where in the country.

Churches, schools, village halls, pubs, restaurants, even private houses will have to be licensed if used for performance events, whether they take place frequently or only occasionally. Performances for members of clubs or for charitable purposes are also subject to this legislation, as are recording studios and premises used for rehearsals. Any performance in unlicensed premises will be a criminal offence, punishable by a large fine and costs, or a prison sentence.

Religious gatherings are exempt but here¹s a prime example of the madness of this legislation. 100 people attending a church service and singing hymns with orchestral accompaniment will not require a license. But if the same 100 people go into the same church simply to listen to the orchestra (i.e. a concert) it will require an entertainment license. It really will be a tax on entertainment.

Existing legislation relating to law and order, noise nuisance and health and safety makes the licensing of premises specifically for entertainment superfluous. There is no need for new regulations. No other country imposes such restrictions on artistic activities and a leading legal authority has determined that this legislation is incompatible with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights relating to freedom of expression.

Who, then, has been campaigning for these measures? Suspicion must fall on local authorities for whom this legislation will be a big money earner. These organisations have had a significant influence on the committee that formulated the Licensing Bill, while bodies representing arts interests have been refused representation.

Recent experience indicates the lengths to which some local authorities go in applying the letter of the law. A landlord was fined £500, with more than £1,500 costs, for allowing four of his regulars to sing 'Happy Birthday¹ (without an entertainment license); another was threatened with court action when patrons were seen to be 'tapping their feet¹ to, and therefore being 'entertained¹ by, unauthorised music. The new Licensing Bill provides even more opportunities for 'jobsworth¹ interference in harmless activities.

The net effect of this new law will be curtail peoples¹ freedom and drastically reduce the number of small-scale music performances. If you value your freedom to enjoy watching and listening to, or participating in live performance ­ be it music, drama, poetry reading, or any other performance art ­ then you need to voice your concern about this new legislation. Once it becomes law, it will be a difficult and lengthy process to get it changed and the damage to the performance arts could well be permanent.

Write to you Member of Parliament, your County and District councillors, and your local paper.


Here is a recent interview given by our old friend, Tim Aves, to his local newspaper.
It throws further light on the madness of this proposed new legislation.


MUSICIANS will be utterly horrified when they find out how much the Bill will cramp their style, says blues singer and festival organiser Tim Aves. But the most worrying aspect, he adds, is that many people are unlikely to discover the full implications of the Government proposals until it's too late and they have already passed into law.

"It really is hard to credit that a Government which has aligned itself so closely with rock and pop musicians should come up with something that will do so much harm to musicians everywhere," he adds. " You tell other musicians what it is likely to mean and most of them just think you're having them on."

Tim, 44, has worked widely as a semi-professional musician for 25 years, first with r'n'b band Automatic Slim and currently with Essex blues outfit The Rockin' Armadillos, with whom he has released two acclaimed CDs and recently recorded a session for BBC Radio 2's Paul Jones R&B Show. He is also one of the organisers of the long-running annual Burnham Festival of Music and the Arts - and in this capacity has been lobbying for some time for a change to the present law.

"The current laws are clearly daft," he says. "They were made for an age before amplified music was the norm. Imagine if the roads were still regulated by laws made for horses and carts - that's where we still are with music licensing!

"But to continue the analogy, what is being proposed is the equivalent of putting a man with a red flag in front of every car on the M25. It's heavy-handed, overly bureaucratic and proscriptive. If the Bill passes into law, you'll probably need a licence to break wind!"

All the Government needs to do, he argues, is to look at the problems associated with live music - noise, electrical safety and overcrowding in venues - and make sure there are proper legal safeguards to deal with these.

"The legal framework for these safeguards is already largely there under other laws," he adds. "All the Government has to do is apply a light touch to co-ordinate these safeguards and leave the creative side to its own devices. It's what they do in the USA, continental Europe - even just over
the border in Scotland and Ireland - and it works just fine."

He is especially concerned that for the first time, musicians will be responsible for making sure the places they play are licensed - with the threat of prosecution hanging over them if they're caught giving an unlicensed performance.

"Imagine taking the Salvation Army band to court for playing Christmas carols in the local shopping centre, or prosecuting a family group for singing 'Happy Birthday' at a private party," Tim adds. "Crazy as it seems, both these situations would require a licence, under the proposals. That's how idiotic and petty this thing really is!"

And here's an interesting notion...

If he's not careful, a certain Mr A Blair, could fall foul of his own law, as he strums his Fender Stratocaster in the privacy of his Downing Street home! Under the Bill, for the first time, rehearsal areas will require a licence - and it's far from clear exactly what, in law, will constitute rehearsal space.

And what will be gained by imposing the most restrictive controls in the West upon a grass-roots music scene whose creativity has long been the envy of the world?

"It makes me seething mad every time I think about it," Tim adds. "Absolutely nobody will gain - and a hell of a lot of people will lose. The little guy who makes his living playing solo in pubs; school choirs; young bands who need small gigs to hone their performing skills; the huge numbers of working musicians who are the cultural lifeblood of this country - they'll all lose out".

"That's why it is VITALLY important that everyone - not just musicians, but everyone who cares about the future of music in Britain - gets in touch with their MP right now and makes a huge fuss about this. Otherwise, the cultural map of this country will be irreparably changed for ever."


We have heard of changes to 'licensing' laws and closure of folk sessions in the south Midlands, the full extent of these and other changes is laid out clearly in these letters, which we at Fizgig are looking at with great concern. We feel that it is important that music fans throughout the UK are aware of this developing situtation and act as they feel necessary.

Tom & Ali


Even before we have had chance to load this page onto our website we have received another email with more info about these new laws!


Subject: Music and Entertainment Licensing Disaster


Re: New legislation for the licensing of music.

* The two in a bar law is being replaced by a none in a bar law.
* Music making will become a licensable activity in every place, not just in pubs.
* Breaking this law will become a criminal offence, punishable by prison.
* All musicians, dancers and everyone connected with the arts is under threat.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 3, 2002

This document sums up my personal views and those of all of us at Hobgoblin Music on the licensing disaster which is unfolding. I know that Hamish Birchall and others have put in a lot of work on everyone's behalf on the licensing issue, but most musicians are still not at all aware of what is going on. Please circulate this document as widely as possible, and feel free to contact me with any helpful ideas.

The new Licensing Bill has been introduced to parliament on 14th November 2002. I believe it is an assault on our civil liberties as it clearly restricts participation in the performing arts. If passed as is it will be a disaster for musicians, event organisers, music teachers, studios and retailers, and bring repression unseen for centuries for our whole musical culture in England and Wales. No other country in the world restricts the arts in such a way.

It is essential that maximum effort is put in by everyone affected right now to try to get the bill amended as far as possible to deal with the main objections listed here. This can be achieved by lobbying of your MP - write to them now - by contacting the media in your area, by offering your support to the campaigning bodies - the Musicians Union, The Music Industries Association - the Arts Council.


Key Objections:

1 Making music should not be a licensable activity. Live Music should not be licensed at all - it isn't in Scotland, and most other countries. Existing and recently enhanced health and safety, fire, and noise regulations are in place across the whole of the UK and provide adequate protection in themselves. The licensing procedure requires clearance from
police, fire, health & safety, local authority, and local residents, and may come with expensive conditions attached. It will not be a simple matter at all.

2 The scope of locations covered is far too wide. The new Act will make music licensable not just in pubs and clubs and places where alcohol is sold, but also in private homes and gardens, in churches, fields and all other places. This is not a trivial license easily obtained, it is the same one as required to sell alcohol in pubs. There can be no justification for requiring a license to make music in these secondary locations. Tens of thousands of weddings, private parties, village fetes, School concerts etc will be banned.

3 The punishment proposed is way too strong. It should not be a criminal offence punishable by 6 months in prison or a £20,000 fine to play music. The penalties are far too strong. This is a clear civil liberties issue. The Musicians should not be liable to prosecution themselves if hired to play in unlicensed premises (Clause 134 makes them liable) (Clause 188
makes any location at all count as premises). Musicians will always have to check first whether a license is in place before performing, and this may not be easy in practice.

4 The scope of activities covered is far too wide. A new activity "Provision of "Entertainment Facilities" will become licensable (schedule 1, paragraph 3). This vague clause will catch Music Shops, Music Studios, and Music and Dance teachers as it stands. All of these activities will require a license. It will become illegal, and punishable by prison to teach music, use a rehearsal room, try out an instrument in a music shop, make a recording in a recording studio, unless a license is first obtained.

5 Amplified broadcasts still legal. It cannot be right that amplified broadcast events should be legal while singing happy birthday by a single person will be illegal.

6 Folk Traditions under even greater threat. Also the folk traditions of this country have been handed down in pubs for centuries, this new "none in a bar" law will severely harm a national treasure which was already under threat from the existing "two in a bar" law. It cannot be right that Scottish traditions can be continued, while English and Welsh ones are to be made illegal.


Specific Issues, and Amendments Needed

1 Schedule 1, paragraph 1 states that music will be a licensable activity if the entertainment meets these two criteria: If it is to any extent for the public or for members of a club, and it is also for consideration and with a view to profit.
Sub-paragraph (6) states that raising money for charity counts as being for profit.
Sub-paragraph (4) states that if any charge is made by any person concerned in the organisation or management of the event (this might include a charge by the bandleader to the organiser) or if any charge is paid by those entertained, then the entertainment will count as being for consideration.

Paragraph 1 will catch any private party or wedding reception where an entertainer is paid. It will also catch buskers, school concerts, choral society events, school and village fetes, and many other currently legal events. It will not be possible or practicable for the organiser of such a one off event to obtain a full entertainment and drinks license, nor will
they know how to go about it even if it is made relatively easy. The events will all have to be cancelled. Dr Howells (the culture minister) has stated that the bill intends to make all music licensable where the artist is paid
to perform.
Subparagraph (4) seems to be the key issue here, if it were amended to specifically not include payment to performers at an otherwise unlicensable event, things would be much better.

2 Schedule 1 paragraph 3 which refers to "Entertainment Facilities" is completely unacceptable. It includes the whole infrastructure of music making in this country. This whole concept needs removing from the bill.


Examples

As an example, if you put up a marquee in your garden for your daughter's wedding, and hire a band to play, you will be a criminal if you don't have a licence. The band leader will be a criminal too. Both of you may go to jail, and gain a criminal record. Other soon to be illegal activities: Busking, Music Teaching, Selling musical instruments, Rehearsing, Hospital concerts, Fundraiser in the village hall, and much more.

The current laws are enforced very zealously by many authorities at present. A landlord has recently been fined a considerable amount for allowing four customers to sing Happy Birthday. Many other pub based folk clubs and sessions have been shut down. We must expect this over zealous interpretation to be applied to any new law, so it is very important that no ambiguity is there for the local authorities to exploit.


Pete McClelland (Hobgoblin Music)

Useful contacts: Hamish Birchall , Pete McClelland, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, House of Lords
SW1A 0WP, Tessa Jowell MP (minister for culture) Kim Howells MP (minister for tourism, film and broadcasting), Malcolm Moss MP (conservative spokesperson on licensing), John Whittingdale (conservative spokesperson on
culture), Paul Evans House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights,


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