Live Music Bill set for Royal Assent today

The much-awaited Live Music Act will become law later in the year when the Bill receives Royal Assent today.
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The Live Music Bill is set to receive Royal Assent today, when it will become the Live Music Act. The Act states that an exemption to the controversial 2003 Licensing Act should take place when ‘the live music entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience of no more than 200 persons.’

However, the Act is not likely to become law until October 2012 – after a potentially lucrative series of events including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

John Smith, Musician’s Union general secretary, said earlier this week: “It’s great news that the Live Music Bill has now passed all of its parliamentary stages, and we would like to thank all of the MPs and Lords who have been involved in this process.

“The MU has been lobbying for changes to the Licensing Act for many years now, and this exemption is fantastic news for musicians and will be a real boost for live music. We look forward to the implementation of the Act later this year and we will be working with the Government to ensure that the Act has maximum impact.”

As the Bill becomes law, small venues (less than 200 capacity) wanting to host live music will no longer need a local authority entertainment license between the hours of 8am and 11pm – cutting bureaucracy and expense, and making it easier for pubs and clubs to host bands music acts. It also clarifies Licensing Act anomalies whereby a pianist could be fined for playing in the street, or a school fined for hosting an unlicensed concert by its pupils.

PSNE has followed the Bill's progress extensively over the last three years. It was introduced in July 2009 by Lib Dem peer Lord Tim Clement-Jones and promoted in the Commons by Bath MP Don Foster. In a Music Week report earlier this week, Lord Clement-Jones confirmed that the Act was not likely to become law until October this year:

“We have to educate local authorities about the [Bill] as well as police on how to enforce it,” he said, joking that making the act law too early risked “irritating every village up-and-down the country”.

Jo Dipple, recently appointed CEO of UK Music, the UK commercial music industry’s umbrella body, recognises that this 7-month hold-up was inevitable: “Because of Parliamentary procedure, there was always going to be a delay between Royal Assent and deregulatory measures coming into effect. It’s no surprise."

“However, this should not detract from what a huge achievement this is or the positive impact that deregulation will have on grassroots live music and the UK economy. A Live Music Act is still cause to celebrate," she added.

(Picture courtesy Tony Moore and Ilona at the Bedford in Balham)



Live Music Bill becoming law

This Thursday, the Live Music Bill will become the Live Music Act. The Act will make it easier for small venues to host live events by eliminating the need for a entertainment license.


Live Music Bill to become law

The Live Music Bill received Royal Assent on 8 March, becoming the Live Music Act. Once in effect, small venues wanting to host live music will no longer need a local authority entertainment licence between the hours of 8am and 11pm.

Further progress for Lib Dem peer's Live Music Bill

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.

Lib Dem peer speaking out for live music

UK: Lord Clement-Jones' bill "to revive live music" received its Second Reading last Friday (January 15), writes David Davies. The Live Music Bill - the First Reading of which took place in the House of Lords last July - recommends that any venue with a capacity of 200 or less should not need a licence for live music and that the 'two in a bar' rule be reintroduced, enabling two performers to play non- or minimally-amplified music in a pub or bar without a licence.