The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58909   Message #938554
Posted By: The Shambles
23-Apr-03 - 11:46 AM
Thread Name: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
The following from Mark Gibbens

EFDSS met with Kim Howells and some of his legal advisors two weeks ago. One of the clarifications we sought was the situation for folk dance in the open on public land.

Sadly, the situation is even more worrying than below, according to what the Minister's advisors said.

Personal licenses will only be available to people who are organising entertainment *where alcohol is sold*. If you are just dancing (and not selling alcohol), you will need a premises licence - which is obviously not appropriate for a morris team performing in sometimes as many 50 "premises" a year.

We were told that the only option for such teams was to dance in places that are already covered by entertainments licensing. Teams will therefore be at the mercy of local authorities, some of whom may ensure their town centres and public spaces are covered by licensing. Realistically though, I don't hold out much hope that many public spaces will be licensed.

So it seems that even if Morris teams were to afford their own licensing, there will be no option open to them that would adequately cover what they usually do - as far as I understand it, and as far as you can trust a DCMS analysis. The Morris Federation were at the meeting with us and asked whether they could negotiate a PRS-style license that would cover all of their members. This suggestion was rejected by the Minister.
Mark Gibbens, Development Officer, English Folk Dance & Song Society
[ Phone: 020 7485 2206 | Web: ]