UK: Lord Clement-Jones (pictured) is seeking to increase the number of opportunities for small-scale live performance, writes David Davies. Intended "to revive live music", the Liberal Democrat peer's bill has attracted the support of the Musicians' Union and UK Music, among many others.
Following the Live Music Bill's second reading in the House of Lords in January, it received its third reading in the second chamber on February 9. Having experienced a noticeably smooth passage through the various stages of the legislative process, the Bill has now been picked up in the Commons by Lib Dem Culture, Media & Sport spokesperson Don Foster, and may face its second reading in the Commons on Friday 12 March.
Whilst the UK Government has been advancing its own proposal, there is now thought to be a greater chance of Clement-Jones' bill passing into law before the next General Election. Polling Day is rumoured to be taking place on May 6, although at the very latest it must be held by June 3.
Among other measures, the Lib Dem life peer's bill calls for the reintroduction of the 'two in a bar rule' and the ability of any venue with a capacity of 200 or less to hold live music without a licence.
Speaking to PSN-e recently, Lib Dem spokesperson Natasha Kirwan noted that "the
preamble to our constitution highlights the importance of nurturing creativity and allowing individuals to develop their talents to the full. The Licensing Act 2003 implicitly opposes these core values and contradicts Government rhetoric in support of live music. Lib Dem peer Tim Clement-Jones' Live Music Bill [...] seeks to redress the balance in favour of live music."