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Live music

Comment 1st July 2010

The Music Licensing Bill. This is a supposed health and safety measure that is easily covered by other legislation, Scotland did not consider it necessary.
In practice it means it is legal for two hundred drunken football fans to watch a football match in a pub on wide screen television. However it is illegal for an acoustic guitarist to play to a handful of people in an organic restaurant unless the restaurant has a license. The punishment for any musician that plays in a venue without a license is up to a £20,000 fine and two years imprisonment.

Why does this matter?

It means that the traditional way of British musicians honing their skills, which meant they dominated the world of music, is now a criminal offence. It is illegal for an organic cafe to put on folk music or a wine bar jazz, unless an expensive license is paid for by the venue. This has all but killed live music, especially the music cottage industry, that was the training ground for previous generations of musicians in this country.

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