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Success for live music in the UK

The Live Music Bill has now passed its third reading and report stage in the House of Commons which bodes well for smaller venues in the UK, writes Paul Watson.

The UK music industry is celebrating a musical triumph, after the Live Music Bill passed its third reading and report stage in the House of Commons.

As a result, small venues wanting to host live music events will no longer need a local authority entertainment license – cutting bureaucracy and expense, and making it easier for pubs and clubs to host live performances.
 The Bill was introduced in July 2009 by Lib Dem Peer Tim Clement-Jones and promoted in the Commons by Bath MP Don Foster. Almost three years on, it should now proceed to Royal Assent. 
 Jo Dipple, acting chief executive of UK Music, the UK commercial music industry’s umbrella body, says she is enthusiastic about what this bill means for live music.
 “The Live Music Bill will make a real and positive difference to lives of musicians,” she enthuses. “There is no doubt that the current Licensing Act has created needless layers of bureaucracy, making it complicated and expensive for pubs and other small venues to host live gigs.”
 John Smith, Musicians Union (MU) general secretary, is pleased that the Live Music Bill has finally made it through Parliament, as over the past few years, MU members have been claiming that the number of gigs available to young musicians has been in decline.
 “This is primarily due to a reduction in the number of smaller venues which traditionally offered this level of gig, and is directly linked to the Licensing Act,” Smith explains. “The exemption that the Live Music Bill introduces will be hugely beneficial to these small venues. It is a real achievement for a Private Member’s Bill to get through and the MU would like to thank Lord Clement-Jones, Don Foster and all of the other MPs who helped to pass this Bill.”