The liberalising Live Music Bill – which now has the full support of the LGA – has moved a decisive step closer towards implementation with its successful passage through the Committee Stage.
Originally proposed during the last parliament, the Bill aims to facilitate varying levels of regulation depending on whether the live music is amplified or unamplified. Unamplified music would not require a licence in a venue if no other licensable activities are taking place (with the exception of late night food) and the music takes place between 8am and 11pm on the same day. Meanwhile, amplified music would not require a licence if the music takes place between 8am and 11pm on the same day, the performance is to no more than 200 persons, and the venue is a workplace as defined in regulation 2(1) of the Workplace (Healthy, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. In addition, conditions relating to live music may be added to a premise licence for alcohol under the regular review process.
As well as receiving the backing of large parts of the creative and cultural communities, the Live Music Bill now has the full support of the Local Government Association. A series of amendments has quelled the LGA’s concern about impact on local residents, although it retains reservations regarding the prospect of audiences being allowed to bring their own alcohol.
In a statement, the LGA emphasised that the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Support) “should consider the implications of the passing of this Bill, with particular regard to the size of audience requiring a licence, and ensure their proposals are consistent with it. Whilst we support the limit contained within the Bill of 200 people, the LGA believes that the ACPO proposal for a 500 audience limit is the maximum acceptable figure for unlicensed events. We continue to stress that events should be managed according to risk levels and not just audience size.”
The Bill will now go forward to its third reading and report. Beyond that, the consideration of amendments will presage Royal Assent and the passage of the Bill into UK law.