The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51867   Message #1419285,1419285
Posted By: The Shambles
24-Feb-05 - 02:01 AM
Thread Name: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
href=http://www.morecambetoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=34&ArticleID=947142

The following from the above webste.

EVERY Monday afternoon, senior citizens from all over the north of England gather at the Pier Hotel in Morecambe for an Old Time Music Hall sing-song. An organist and vocalist from Blackpool belt out all the old tunes to entertain the pensioners, some of whom have travelled from as far afield as Southport and Yorkshire to enjoy their weekly sing-along. But when the regulars gathered around the piano for this week's trip down memory lane, a mood of frustrated confusion replaced the usual feelings of nostalgia.

Management at the Pier were recently told by council licensing officers that this old-fashioned afternoon's entertainment may have to stop – because when the elderly folk get up to sing along it's classed as karaoke and the Pier does not have an entertainments licence.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," said Janet Kirk, licensee at the Pier. "They threatened me with a £20,000 fine, so I've had to tell the people they can't get up to sing. "It's a shame because they absolutely adore it." Janet said she plans to apply for an entertainments licence - but it will cost. "It will be £315 up front and then the council will have to come out to see if I need to spend more on any work on the pub that may need doing," she said.
"I don't know how they expect us to run a business when they charge this amount."

A regular customer of the Pier's Old Time Music Hall afternoon said: "I was horrified to hear that the Monday sing-a-long may have to stop. "I understand Jan Kirk accepts the limitations placed on her for her weekend entertainment, where only singers not using backing tapes are allowed to play. "But the Old Time Music Hall is a great day out for a lot of older people and I always thought karaoke was where you mimed or sang to backing tapes and read the words off a TV screen. "It's just typical, here is someone in Morecambe offering good old fashioned seaside entertainment and the council want to put a stop to it."

Despite the outcry, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. A spokesperson for the council said: "Music and singing generally requires a public entertainment licence. "However, there is an exemption under the Licensing Act 1964 for premises with a Justices' licence (like the Pier Hotel). Such premises do not require a public entertainment licence for public entertainment by way of music and singing only, which is provided solely by the reproduction of recorded sound, or by not more than two performers. "A singalong with more than two performers would fall outside this exemption." In other words, if only one of the senior citizens wants to get up to sing along with the pianist, that is perfectly fine, as long as it's the same person for the duration of the performance. But if two or more people got up to sing, then the Pier would risk a hefty fine.