The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88019   Message #1652664
Posted By: The Shambles
21-Jan-06 - 06:02 AM
Thread Name: Jamie Cullen leads the way
Subject: RE: Jamie Cullen leads the way
E.G. two fiddle players in a pub with no-one else is legal (no audience) but once someone else comes in - illegal (audience) - then a pub full of players - legal,(no audience) - one stops playing - illegal (audience) sort of thing.

Perhaps the best approach is not to focus on live music at all but on the other things that are now Regulated Entertainment and which directly affect many more people.

For now the above senario is exactly the same - if the activity is darts or pool. These things can now be considered as licensable Regulated Entertainment - if they are for the purpose of entertaining an audience.

So if any LA's licensing officers should seriously consider the simplistic act of there being others customers present and these forming an 'audience' when participatory social music making takes place in a pub - the same is equally now true for social games of dart and pool etc.

Perhaps the best approach is to contact your LA's licensing dept and report all the cases where entertainment permission has not be obtained and where social games that could be considered as licensable Indoor Sports because some other customers may be watching, be entertained and thus form an audience?

If these LAs should respond saying that they do not consider these events to be licensable Indoor Sports - as they are not for the purpose of an audience then you simply insist - through your local councillors that the same approach be taken with participatory social music making......Or vice-versa.

No LA to my knowledge is making a case that social games of darts etc require Premises Licence entertainment permission or taking steps to prevent them without this (yet). However, I am pretty sure that if you asked your local licensing section if participatory social music making in a pub required entertainment permission - you would be advised that it would as it could be considered as Regulated Entertainment. As well it could but only if it were for the purpose of an audience as could darts and pool etc.

This is my answer from the second-in-command of my local authority - Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

As I said at our meeting, it is important to emphasise that if musicians regularly congregate at a pub to play, this could constitute regulated entertainment and so the pub would be likely to apply for a licence to provide regulated entertainment as the Cove House Inn already has.

This answer rather side-stepped the question that was asked about the possible re-start of a session at the New Star without a licence to provide regulated entertainment but which was not being asked for such a thing to enable for players of darts or in their skittle alley.

The only reference in this letter to Indoor Sports was only to confirm that the council were adhering to section 5.15 of the statutory guidance to the Act (that I referred to). The letter clamed that the writer could not remember any further specific enquiry about pub games but that I was free to contact them for further clarification. Which I intend to do....

There is no real danger that asking for all your local pubs to have entertainment permisssion to enable darts and pool because your local authority somply is not going to do this, whatever the words of the law say. But by taking this approach and obtaining maximum publicity for it- it could result in the words in Schedule 1 of the Act being changed by the Secretary of State.

For the irony is that there are no saving words or specific exemptions for pool and darts in the words of the act. Unlike the exemptions for incidental live music, non-amplified music for Morris dancing and the restrictions that can be placed on non-amplified live music in small premises, which do appear in the words of the Act. The only saving words for social games of pool and darts etc appear in the Act's Guidance.

Many licensing officers have seemed to think that their role under the old legislation was to make life difficult for live music. It was not to make life difficult for darts and pool. So despite major changes in the words and scope of licensing legislation - they seem intent to carry on just as before.