Why have a tick box at all rather than automatically grant the right to play live music?
Because a dozen electric guitars at full chat is a very different situation from just serving beer!
4 out of 5 public houses have yet to submit their application and there was only a month to go
Oh the poor dears. This has only been given a load of publicity for the last year or so - were they all in a coma for the last 18 months? I know one of our clubs, the publican hasn't done anything, but he can't find his arse with both hands and a map so this is entirely his problem. I printed him off the guidance notes and licensing form from the web about 3 weeks back, and that was the first time he'd seen it. For people like that, I have no sympathy - if he can't be arsed, the club goes elsewhere and he loses our custom. If he cares so little about his customers, fuck him.
Ticking the box means means having to fill out a substantial new section of the application form, setting out the days/times live music is being proposed. Additional boxes ask for further information, implying a fuller description of the music intended.
Oh what a shame. I've read that form - anyone who takes more than 10 minutes to fill out those extra sections should give up running a pub on the grounds they're too damn thick. And 33 pages of guidance are too much information?! Excuse me, as an engineer I'm dealing with a dozen specs of a hundred pages each! Again, if you can't read 33 pages then take up basketmaking or something less intellectually taxing. You may have gathered by now that I don't have much sympathy for a landlord who can't work out the answers to questions like "do you want to stage live music?", "what kind of music will you be staging?" and "when will it be happening?"...
Re "better for musicians", it depends on whether you think a free license for ticking a box is better than "2 in a bar". Yes, I would rather there was no license needed at all - but then what do you do about umpty-tum decibels of electric guitar at 2am? Noise regulations will only work if you're exceeding a limit - and you can be seriously loud without exceeding that limit, a fact I'm well aware of after a year living next door to a pub that ran live rock bands until midnight with zero sound insulation. The old PEL didn't require the councils to take any notice of local people's views on what should and shouldn't be allowed in their nearby pubs/clubs - the new license does. An improvement, surely? A folk club in a pub is certainly not a threat to public order - but a thrash metal band playing the same pub will definitely create some ill feeling with the neighbours! ;-) And when the folk club uses PA, how would you define which one to allow? Decibels? Then use a license with a restriction on so many dBs.
Yes, local councils are a bunch of arseholes and *will* find new and ingenious ways to try and screw you over, on the rare occasions when they don't just screw you over through incompetence. What else is new?
Yes, it's inconsistent on piped music and TVs. That's crap, and I wish they'd had the foresight to include that. Live football coverage is definitely a bigger threat to public order than live music.