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Confirmed: Live Music Act in effect 1 October

Celebrations co-hosted by Musicians’ Union and UK Music took place in Westminster as the recently-passed Live Music Act is confirmed to take effect on 1 October 2012.

Headliner Martina Topley-Bird ­– joined by Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Sting, Friendly Fires, and other artists – celebrated with an afternoon of live music in Westminster last week as the Live Music Act was confirmed to come into effect on 1 October 2012. The event was co-hosted by the Musicians’ Union and UK Music. Covered extensively by PSNEurope, the Live Music Act was introduced as a Bill by Lib Dem Peer Tim Clement-Jones and promoted in the Commons by Bath MP Don Foster. It received Royal Assent – becoming the Live Music Act – in March of this year and is meant to encourage pubs and other small venues to host live music events. Under the Act, performances of live amplified music to audiences of less than 200 people between the hours of 8am-11pm will no longer need local authority permission. There will be no audience limit for performances of unamplified live music. John Smith, MU general secretary, said: “Personally, I have been campaigning on this issue ever since the Licensing Bill first started going through Parliament in 2002-03, and once the Licensing Act came into place in 2003 our members immediately started telling us that the number of gigs being held in small venues was going down. “The exemption that the Live Music Act will bring in is fantastic news for musicians and will be a real boost for live music, and we thought it was right to celebrate it with a live music party in parliament.” Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music, added: “This Act will reverse the damaging effect the Licensing Act had on live musical performances in the UK. Our most successful musicians, Joy Division, The Sex Pistols, Rolling Stones all learnt their trade and earned their livings in small clubs and bars. Reversing overzealous licensing regulations will create new opportunities for British artists. The Rose & Crown in Totteridge Park and the constitution in Camden Town will be – thanks to this Act – full of music and seedbeds for talent. Tomorrow’s headline acts will grow from these seedbeds which is great for music lovers and for the wider UK economy.” Pictured here at the Westminster event are musician/producer Bernard Butler, Lord Clement Jones, Andy Heath (UK Music Chairman), Martina Topley-Bird, Jo Dipple (UK Music CEO), and John Smith (MU General Secretary). Photo credit: Joanna Dudderidge