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Draconian Licensing Regulations restricting public dancing or singing

Comment 14th July 2010

The regulations under the Licensing Acts and the Local Government Acts restricting the playing of music in pubs, the activities of live musicians and whether the public are dancing or singing should be scrapped. It may come as a surprise to many that if a member of the public spontaneously starts dancing and or singing and the Licensee does not have a relevant license allowing the public to dance or sing then this is a breach of their license conditions and they could faced closure.

People should be free to sing and dance wherever they want in a liberal democracy such as ours. Landlords should not be forced to behave like Cromwellian informants and suppress normal human behaviour. 

I agree that very loud or disruptive behaviour disturbing the peace should be curtailed but under Common Law we already have the means to control this if there is a complaint or if the police have grounds to believe such behaviour could result in a danger to persons or property.

Why does this matter?

These are petty regulations that cause a lot of confusion and upset. If a pub has a juke box and it is playing music (where presumably they would require a recorded music license) and someone likes the song why is it wrong under any circumstances for someone to begin dancing to it or singing along? Currently under the present licensing regulations without a permit allowing "public entertainment" any person so doing would be risking the landlords license and has to be told by the landlord to stop what they are doing. This is the wrong sort of government intrusion into normal civic freedoms.

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