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Proposed Live Music Act extension to 500 capacity venues

The extension of the Live Music Act is part of the UK government’s ‘red tape challenge’ aimed at removing unnecessary bureaucracy from civil society organisations, charities and businesses.

The UK government has issued proposals to extend the venue threshold of the Live Music Act from 200 to 500 capacity venues. The announcement comes in a response from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to its consultation on entertainment deregulation. The change will mean that community venues – including community centres, schools, village halls and hospitals – will be exempt from licensing restrictions. They will be free to put on cultural events like dance displays and concerts without having to apply to the local council for a licence. In addition, pubs and clubs up to 500 capacity would no longer need a local authority entertainment license. Under current rules, eligible organisers either have to apply for a Temporary Event Notice at least 10 days prior to putting on every event, or apply for an entertainment licence, that on average costs well over £200 for new applications. “UK Music is a huge supporter of the Live Music Act which came into force last October. It removes the need for venues to seek an entertainment licence if they have an audience of less than 200 people. It will pave the way for a generation of new talent which is the lifeblood of the British music industry,” said Jo Dipple (pictured), chief executive of UK Music. “The Government’s intention to increase the waiver from 200 to 500 is an unexpected seasonal gift, and one we wholegeartedly support. This will energise the grassroots music scene even further than the Act itself. In 10 years’ time, when some new band is top of the charts, we must look back at this announcement and remember its influence on British musical talent. Thank you from all at UK Music.”