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.
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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.” 

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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.

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Live Music Act in effect

The Live Music Act took effect 1 October and to coincide with the launch, the Musicians’ Union has created a ‘Live Music Kit’ containing practical and creative advice for venues wishing to host live music events.

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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.