The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58909   Message #935307
Posted By: Doktor Doktor
17-Apr-03 - 06:08 AM
Thread Name: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
Didn't use to need a licence - per se, although pubs & festivals did and mass dance events that involve closing off streets always have involved a lot of negotiation with the town hall.

The real change so far as I can see is that if you are organising a dance event of any sort (apart from village fetes - but you won't be organising them anyway) you will in future need to ensure that the event / venue has a licence. The exemption from the criminal law is only for performers - not organisers. So if you're the squire / foreman and you feel like doing a summer's evening tour, you now have to decide exactly where & when you're going to do it about 6 weeks in advance. You'll than have to approach all the publicans / village councils on your route to confirm that licences are in place. If they aren't, you'll have to give a temporary event notice to the / each local authority for each unlicenced spot @ £20 quid a go.

DCMS have already conceded that wassailers (carol singers) won't have to go through all this rigmarole and I can't really see whole rapper sides being carted away by the feds - but the letter of the law looks as if it's going to stand. Obvious danger is that local authority prodnoses are going to use it for a re-run of the Cerne Abbas Mumming Scandal.

Still theres scope for a whole new tradition - the Annual Banning of The Mummers. Suggestions invited for the format of the event!