Restoring the Right to Sing in Licensed Premises

The Licensing Legislation has seriously harmed small events and informal music in pubs, which are such a traditional part of our English culture.  About 50% of bars and 75% of restaurants now have no live music permission.  Obtaining permission for the mildest live music remains costly and time-consuming.  The Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended exemptions for most small-scale performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants and licensed premises and for un-amplified performance by one or two musicians.  The government at the time said “no”.  But those exemptions would restore some fairness in the regulation of live music and end the criminalising of informal un-amplified grassroots music.

i am a Barbershop Singer and, together with the other members of my quartet and my chorus, we could find ourselves being evicted from a pub for singing a beautiful song unaccompanied with only the use of a pitch pipe.  I have never heard of a barbershop quartet inciting violence!  Sureley some sense of proportion is necessary for any law.  This is truly a 'labour folly' and it should be demolished.

As part of this, the granting of licences should be returned to the local magistrates court, who used to do the task efficiently and at a low cost.  Over £3000 for a licence is quite outrageous.

Keep Music Live!

Why is this idea important?

The Licensing Legislation has seriously harmed small events and informal music in pubs, which are such a traditional part of our English culture.  About 50% of bars and 75% of restaurants now have no live music permission.  Obtaining permission for the mildest live music remains costly and time-consuming.  The Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended exemptions for most small-scale performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants and licensed premises and for un-amplified performance by one or two musicians.  The government at the time said “no”.  But those exemptions would restore some fairness in the regulation of live music and end the criminalising of informal un-amplified grassroots music.

i am a Barbershop Singer and, together with the other members of my quartet and my chorus, we could find ourselves being evicted from a pub for singing a beautiful song unaccompanied with only the use of a pitch pipe.  I have never heard of a barbershop quartet inciting violence!  Sureley some sense of proportion is necessary for any law.  This is truly a 'labour folly' and it should be demolished.

As part of this, the granting of licences should be returned to the local magistrates court, who used to do the task efficiently and at a low cost.  Over £3000 for a licence is quite outrageous.

Keep Music Live!

Change the music licensing law of 2003

This law is killing live music and closing down all the small venues to the benefit of large corporate chains who can easily afford the licence. It should either be completely repealed or changed so that you only need a licience to play music above a certain decibel level for any sustained period, if this was set at a sesible level it would allow for some control of noise when a venue started to regulaly annoy its neighbours but it would mean that most events could take place without the need to buy a licence. Decibel meters can be obtained cheaply and a venue operating without a licence would have a perfect excuse to turn down the volume of any unruly performers.

Why is this idea important?

This law is killing live music and closing down all the small venues to the benefit of large corporate chains who can easily afford the licence. It should either be completely repealed or changed so that you only need a licience to play music above a certain decibel level for any sustained period, if this was set at a sesible level it would allow for some control of noise when a venue started to regulaly annoy its neighbours but it would mean that most events could take place without the need to buy a licence. Decibel meters can be obtained cheaply and a venue operating without a licence would have a perfect excuse to turn down the volume of any unruly performers.

Allow LIVE MUSIC anywhere, if it isn’t LOUD.

The new licensing acts require all live music events to be covered entirely in red tape.  Live music should be spontaneous, and subject to regulation only when it may cause annoyance.

I propose that "live music" should not be regulated, but "loud music" should be.  Thus an acoustic guitar in the town square should not be regulated, but a heavily amplified should be.

Why is this idea important?

The new licensing acts require all live music events to be covered entirely in red tape.  Live music should be spontaneous, and subject to regulation only when it may cause annoyance.

I propose that "live music" should not be regulated, but "loud music" should be.  Thus an acoustic guitar in the town square should not be regulated, but a heavily amplified should be.

Ban The Stereotype!!! There is a serious side to this.

As a rock'n'roll male of the species I have long hair and ear-rings.  I used to wear a suit when I worked for the banks as well.  They recognised the 'student' and 'arty-farty' factor, and how relevant it was to custom.

Many don't though, and the bullying can get pretty bad.

Your appearance is tied to who you are as a person.  It's part of your personality, and everything to do with that.  And linked to your mental health as well.  Bully someone for long enough over something as petty as fashion and you will harm them.

And if they're downtrodden will they be able to show any of the genius they once had?  It's unlikely, as they'll be too afraid to even think straight.

Why is this idea important?

As a rock'n'roll male of the species I have long hair and ear-rings.  I used to wear a suit when I worked for the banks as well.  They recognised the 'student' and 'arty-farty' factor, and how relevant it was to custom.

Many don't though, and the bullying can get pretty bad.

Your appearance is tied to who you are as a person.  It's part of your personality, and everything to do with that.  And linked to your mental health as well.  Bully someone for long enough over something as petty as fashion and you will harm them.

And if they're downtrodden will they be able to show any of the genius they once had?  It's unlikely, as they'll be too afraid to even think straight.

Remove the need for a licence to allow music and dancing in a venue

Currently a venue has to have an entertainments licence to play music and to allow dancing.  This is absurb, at what point was it reasonable to regulate peoples natural and instinctive right to dance.  Get rid of this.  

Music is a fundamental tradition of humanity as are social gatherings, this right should not be restricted.  I understand that there are health and safety issues surrounding the number of people in one area this issue however is adequately catered for under other regulations to do with health and safety.   It is not right that people are not allowed to dance and listen to music without the venue paying a fee for the privilege.  Get rid of it.

Why is this idea important?

Currently a venue has to have an entertainments licence to play music and to allow dancing.  This is absurb, at what point was it reasonable to regulate peoples natural and instinctive right to dance.  Get rid of this.  

Music is a fundamental tradition of humanity as are social gatherings, this right should not be restricted.  I understand that there are health and safety issues surrounding the number of people in one area this issue however is adequately catered for under other regulations to do with health and safety.   It is not right that people are not allowed to dance and listen to music without the venue paying a fee for the privilege.  Get rid of it.

Repeal the music licensing law of 2003

Previous to this law being enacted two musicians could play in a restaurant or bar without any license being required.  Since this law was passed, even a charity can't put on an event without having a license for music.  Private parties require licenses for music even if the music isn't impinging on neighbours.  I run a jazz club for the past 30 years and have been employing many musicians who in turn pay their tax to the government.  I am also a jazz vocalist and through my gigs again employ many different musicians to play with me at various hotel and restaurant venues. Again, this adds to the government's revenue.  There are many venues that would love to have music and employ us but can't be bothered to get a license or simply can't afford it.  The music attracts people to their restaurants and hotels and again generates income on which they pay taxes.  This revenue is no doubt more than the cost of the license.  It is just beaurocracy gone mad.  It is also false economy.  Repeal this ridiculous law.  Instead you may wish to control the level of noise generated by Discos which is going to cause a generation of deaf people adding to the burden of the NHS.

Why is this idea important?

Previous to this law being enacted two musicians could play in a restaurant or bar without any license being required.  Since this law was passed, even a charity can't put on an event without having a license for music.  Private parties require licenses for music even if the music isn't impinging on neighbours.  I run a jazz club for the past 30 years and have been employing many musicians who in turn pay their tax to the government.  I am also a jazz vocalist and through my gigs again employ many different musicians to play with me at various hotel and restaurant venues. Again, this adds to the government's revenue.  There are many venues that would love to have music and employ us but can't be bothered to get a license or simply can't afford it.  The music attracts people to their restaurants and hotels and again generates income on which they pay taxes.  This revenue is no doubt more than the cost of the license.  It is just beaurocracy gone mad.  It is also false economy.  Repeal this ridiculous law.  Instead you may wish to control the level of noise generated by Discos which is going to cause a generation of deaf people adding to the burden of the NHS.

two in a bar rule

1. repeal the two in a bar rule – to allow musicians to earn a living – this was part of the lib dem manifesto.

 

2. also repeal/amend sections of the Criminal Justice Act – to allow people to have small gatherings and music on their own land – obviously health and safety are important issues – but some of the sections in this act are too oppressive and should be changed. How can 3 people listening to some dance music in a field constitute a rave?  People should be able to do what they like on their own land without interference from the state unless there is a serious breach of law.

Why is this idea important?

1. repeal the two in a bar rule – to allow musicians to earn a living – this was part of the lib dem manifesto.

 

2. also repeal/amend sections of the Criminal Justice Act – to allow people to have small gatherings and music on their own land – obviously health and safety are important issues – but some of the sections in this act are too oppressive and should be changed. How can 3 people listening to some dance music in a field constitute a rave?  People should be able to do what they like on their own land without interference from the state unless there is a serious breach of law.

FOR PUBS REPEAL LIVE MUSIC LICENCE LAW

I assume it was the last Labour government that made the law that pubs that stage live music have to buy a compulsory live music licence that can cost something like £2,000 a year.  Although I have a full time office job I am also a musician myself.  I play piano and organ, and if much more music work was available I am the type of potential professional musician that would use it to supplement my income rather than be solely dependent on music for a livelihood.    I blame that daft unnecessary law for the sharp decline in demand for musicians to play paid live music because it is expensive enough to pay musicians without having to have an expensive licence on top of it in order to have the privilege of hiring musicians.  I believe that this daft live music licence law most probably discourages many pub landlords from staging live music and therefore destroys many musicians' jobs.  In that way the music licence law stifles and frustrates musical enterprise, and in that way is contributory to keeping the economy weak.  Because of that I can see that law being equally unpopular with potential professional musicians like myself to how unpopular it probably is with pub landlords.  It is just like a very heavy tax on live music, and I am sure that is the main factor that is killing off live music.

Why is this idea important?

I assume it was the last Labour government that made the law that pubs that stage live music have to buy a compulsory live music licence that can cost something like £2,000 a year.  Although I have a full time office job I am also a musician myself.  I play piano and organ, and if much more music work was available I am the type of potential professional musician that would use it to supplement my income rather than be solely dependent on music for a livelihood.    I blame that daft unnecessary law for the sharp decline in demand for musicians to play paid live music because it is expensive enough to pay musicians without having to have an expensive licence on top of it in order to have the privilege of hiring musicians.  I believe that this daft live music licence law most probably discourages many pub landlords from staging live music and therefore destroys many musicians' jobs.  In that way the music licence law stifles and frustrates musical enterprise, and in that way is contributory to keeping the economy weak.  Because of that I can see that law being equally unpopular with potential professional musicians like myself to how unpopular it probably is with pub landlords.  It is just like a very heavy tax on live music, and I am sure that is the main factor that is killing off live music.

Music Licensing Laws

Is it at all possible to put the music licensing laws back to how they were a few years ago? At out school, we held a Children in Need concert a few years ago with teachers providing the band, as we had some people who could play -great success. We decided to do another one a few months later and found out that now, we would NEED A LICENSE for it. Nobody had the time or energy to face the paperwork for it so we cancelled it! Every time we think of doing something along these lines, we hit the same problem. It seems that anyone wishing to do any kind of musical performance these days, even if its just a couple of people playing, now needs a license! 

Another example of how stupid, stifling, petty and restrictive this law is, is provided by my friend who runs a small wine bar. He would like to have a bit of live music -it used to be the case that a couple of musicians could play and a license wouldn't be required. However, he has discovered that he can't do this and so it's piped music and/or kareoke. Again, the hassle of going through the red tape makes it easier not to bother and that means that talented musicians can't get to perform. 

Why is this idea important?

Is it at all possible to put the music licensing laws back to how they were a few years ago? At out school, we held a Children in Need concert a few years ago with teachers providing the band, as we had some people who could play -great success. We decided to do another one a few months later and found out that now, we would NEED A LICENSE for it. Nobody had the time or energy to face the paperwork for it so we cancelled it! Every time we think of doing something along these lines, we hit the same problem. It seems that anyone wishing to do any kind of musical performance these days, even if its just a couple of people playing, now needs a license! 

Another example of how stupid, stifling, petty and restrictive this law is, is provided by my friend who runs a small wine bar. He would like to have a bit of live music -it used to be the case that a couple of musicians could play and a license wouldn't be required. However, he has discovered that he can't do this and so it's piped music and/or kareoke. Again, the hassle of going through the red tape makes it easier not to bother and that means that talented musicians can't get to perform. 

Repeal H&S Law Banning 2-in-a-bar Pub Entertainment

In about 1999 Labour enacted a new Health & Safety law.

Until then any pub could stage occasional enertainment with 1 or 2 entertainers with no paperwork whatsoever, under the "2 in a bar" rule.

Many pubs used this for folk singers or kareoke. Some had aspiring stand up comics. Some had talent nights. A few even had one stripper once or twice a week. For many pubs this was an essential lifeline when finances were tight. It was easy, there were no complex forms or assessments, no licencing hearings, fees or delays.

Then Labour introduced compulsory Health & Safety assessments, even for one stand up comic appearing for an hour twice a year. The cost of expert assesments could easy be the cost of a barman/woman's wages for a year. And that was without expensive H&S adaptations in case the perfectly ordinary pub suddenly became unsafe. Measures seen as appropriate for crowded pubs with off-West End theates upstairs and audiences of 100s packed into small spaces were applied equally to rural pubs with 10 customers and 3 exits.

Result? Overnight closure of many small struggling pubs including my favourite, The Fort.

This is H&S overkill. And anyone who says won't it being back strippers, I say they were in most towns until then, and had been for at least 20 years, on an occasional discreet basis. By all means have licencing for all-day 7-day-a-week establishments that don't do anything else, but this ban closed struggling community pubs. It destroyed a financial safety valve, diversity, and directly lead to concentration of all-day 7-day-a-week establishments specialising in pole dancers because only the big operators could afford the operating costs. And that concentration is not a good thing for custoers, neighbours or dancers.

Why is this idea important?

In about 1999 Labour enacted a new Health & Safety law.

Until then any pub could stage occasional enertainment with 1 or 2 entertainers with no paperwork whatsoever, under the "2 in a bar" rule.

Many pubs used this for folk singers or kareoke. Some had aspiring stand up comics. Some had talent nights. A few even had one stripper once or twice a week. For many pubs this was an essential lifeline when finances were tight. It was easy, there were no complex forms or assessments, no licencing hearings, fees or delays.

Then Labour introduced compulsory Health & Safety assessments, even for one stand up comic appearing for an hour twice a year. The cost of expert assesments could easy be the cost of a barman/woman's wages for a year. And that was without expensive H&S adaptations in case the perfectly ordinary pub suddenly became unsafe. Measures seen as appropriate for crowded pubs with off-West End theates upstairs and audiences of 100s packed into small spaces were applied equally to rural pubs with 10 customers and 3 exits.

Result? Overnight closure of many small struggling pubs including my favourite, The Fort.

This is H&S overkill. And anyone who says won't it being back strippers, I say they were in most towns until then, and had been for at least 20 years, on an occasional discreet basis. By all means have licencing for all-day 7-day-a-week establishments that don't do anything else, but this ban closed struggling community pubs. It destroyed a financial safety valve, diversity, and directly lead to concentration of all-day 7-day-a-week establishments specialising in pole dancers because only the big operators could afford the operating costs. And that concentration is not a good thing for custoers, neighbours or dancers.

Live Music

Get rid of all the licences for live music – they are covered in the noise abatement laws.

I recently took part in a charity raising fete where we raised over £2000 for the air ambulance.  The administration to perform was an unneccessary complication for a volunteer committee.

Why is this idea important?

Get rid of all the licences for live music – they are covered in the noise abatement laws.

I recently took part in a charity raising fete where we raised over £2000 for the air ambulance.  The administration to perform was an unneccessary complication for a volunteer committee.

Relax licencing laws for live music venues

I would like the laws / licencing regulations  that increased the cost of allowing live music in pubs and other public buildings should be repealed to enable it to be easier for pubs, clubs and other public buidlings to stage live music.

Why is this idea important?

I would like the laws / licencing regulations  that increased the cost of allowing live music in pubs and other public buildings should be repealed to enable it to be easier for pubs, clubs and other public buidlings to stage live music.

Repeal Licensing Act 2003

Repeal and remove the unnecessary bureaucracy that small community groups have to go through for small local events to happen that benefit the local community that involve local music groups.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal and remove the unnecessary bureaucracy that small community groups have to go through for small local events to happen that benefit the local community that involve local music groups.

Save live music in pubs – Repeal Licensing Act 2003

Repeal the Licensing Act 2003. Or, as a bare minimum, remove "the provision of regulated entertainment" from the licensable activities definition.

The Act defines "licensable activities" as:

  • the retail sale of alcohol,
  • the supply of alcohol in clubs,
  • the provision of late night refreshment, and
  • the provision of regulated entertainment

In turn, "regulated entertainment" is defined as:

  • a performance of a play,
  • an exhibition of a film,
  • an indoor sporting event,
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors),
  • a performance of live music,
  • any playing of recorded music, or
  • a performance of dance

The highlighted definition above has seen small bands and local pubs lose out to beauracracy, red tape and high fees.

I propose that you repeal the definition of  "The provision of regulated entertainment" from licensable activities.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the Licensing Act 2003. Or, as a bare minimum, remove "the provision of regulated entertainment" from the licensable activities definition.

The Act defines "licensable activities" as:

  • the retail sale of alcohol,
  • the supply of alcohol in clubs,
  • the provision of late night refreshment, and
  • the provision of regulated entertainment

In turn, "regulated entertainment" is defined as:

  • a performance of a play,
  • an exhibition of a film,
  • an indoor sporting event,
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors),
  • a performance of live music,
  • any playing of recorded music, or
  • a performance of dance

The highlighted definition above has seen small bands and local pubs lose out to beauracracy, red tape and high fees.

I propose that you repeal the definition of  "The provision of regulated entertainment" from licensable activities.

Licencing laws preventing live performances

The 24 hour licencing laws sneaked through severe restrictions on any live performances on the pretext of  prevention of disorder. These had no justification, and there is no evindence that the "two in a bar" exemption it removed had ever caused a single incident. The new law has affected almost all of the places where a new artist can perform, cutting away the roots of music in this country. The last people to introduce such draconian erstrictions on music were the Puritans. One example of the stupidity of the law – Morris dance is exempt (OK, as I support this pastime) but only as long as people are dancing – the musicians cannot play or sing while no-one is dancing! Circuses have been cancelled because a temporary licence must be obtained well in advance, which only covers 3 days, and in places, councils have had to issue licences to themselves covering the whole town in order to hold a festival. Schools have also cancelled events becasuse the temporary licence is only valid for 3 days. A locked piano in a pub corner counts as entertainment and requires a licence – what about a penny whistle sitting on a shelf? Music shops have been hassled for demonstrating instruments to customers. There is no evidence that any of this red tape has done anything except hinder or prevent entertainment. We need to end this madness.

Why is this idea important?

The 24 hour licencing laws sneaked through severe restrictions on any live performances on the pretext of  prevention of disorder. These had no justification, and there is no evindence that the "two in a bar" exemption it removed had ever caused a single incident. The new law has affected almost all of the places where a new artist can perform, cutting away the roots of music in this country. The last people to introduce such draconian erstrictions on music were the Puritans. One example of the stupidity of the law – Morris dance is exempt (OK, as I support this pastime) but only as long as people are dancing – the musicians cannot play or sing while no-one is dancing! Circuses have been cancelled because a temporary licence must be obtained well in advance, which only covers 3 days, and in places, councils have had to issue licences to themselves covering the whole town in order to hold a festival. Schools have also cancelled events becasuse the temporary licence is only valid for 3 days. A locked piano in a pub corner counts as entertainment and requires a licence – what about a penny whistle sitting on a shelf? Music shops have been hassled for demonstrating instruments to customers. There is no evidence that any of this red tape has done anything except hinder or prevent entertainment. We need to end this madness.

Live music

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 is this idea important?

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.

Licensing Act 2003 “Entertainment”

The Licensing Act 2003 introduced licensing for "entertainment" almost anywhere, including open spaces which had never previously required licensing.

In Scotland, there is no requirement to get a licence for "entertainment", existing public nuisance and public safety laws (the same as in England and Wales) being considered sufficient to prevent any difficulties. 

Though the 2003 act exempted a small number of activities (church services and morris dancing) other similar "entertainments" (for example mummers plays and other traditional pastimes) are still effectively banned by the act, even in the open air where they have always traditionally been allowed.

There’s no evidence that staging live entertainment leads to crime or disorder any more than other kinds of public gathering. Excessively noisy premises can already be served noise abatement orders under the Environmental Protection Act, or fined under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.  There is also no evidence that there is a crisis of public disorder in Scotland caused by the act not applying there.

All of the "entertainment" clauses in the Licensing Act 2003 should simply be repealed.  It's hard to understand how they should be needed in England and Wales but not in Scotland.

Why is this idea important?

The Licensing Act 2003 introduced licensing for "entertainment" almost anywhere, including open spaces which had never previously required licensing.

In Scotland, there is no requirement to get a licence for "entertainment", existing public nuisance and public safety laws (the same as in England and Wales) being considered sufficient to prevent any difficulties. 

Though the 2003 act exempted a small number of activities (church services and morris dancing) other similar "entertainments" (for example mummers plays and other traditional pastimes) are still effectively banned by the act, even in the open air where they have always traditionally been allowed.

There’s no evidence that staging live entertainment leads to crime or disorder any more than other kinds of public gathering. Excessively noisy premises can already be served noise abatement orders under the Environmental Protection Act, or fined under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.  There is also no evidence that there is a crisis of public disorder in Scotland caused by the act not applying there.

All of the "entertainment" clauses in the Licensing Act 2003 should simply be repealed.  It's hard to understand how they should be needed in England and Wales but not in Scotland.