The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60626   Message #976518
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
04-Jul-03 - 05:59 AM
Thread Name: Licensing Bill UK - Urgent help please.
Subject: RE: Licensing Bill UK - Urgent help please.
With all the horse-trading at the last minute I am very unclear about what the actual situation is going to be, especially as regard un-amplified music.

As I understand it, it is still going to be illegal to have any musical performance, even un-amplified, in premises which are not covered by a licence permitting entertainment, apart from churches etc. And there is a possible exception for music accompanying traditional dances of some kinds, and the very unclear "incidental music" exemption. So far as I can see that essentially means that there is no reason to think that anyone will particularly enjoy listening to it.

I think to call this bit of legislation a Dog's Dinner would be very flattering to it.

Here is the Guardian piece on it today. I think it gets it wrong on some points, especially the situation as regards un-amplified music - but at least there is a Government promise of "a review of the effects of the legislation within 12 months of implementation".

"If it proves the bill has had an unintended, disproportionate, negative effect on the provision of live music, we will use powers already in the bill to modify the position through secondary legislation," said the junior culture minister, Lord McIntosh of Haringey.

This doesn't add up to much - "a promise" doesn't mean much in the light of the broken promiss we have had already, while "a review" can mean a rubber stamp operation. However clearly it's going to be important to take advantage of this opportunity for common sense to be allowed to creep back in.

Note that they seem to have give up on the original idea that the purpose bill should be that it makes things better, and have fallen back on the hope that it won't actually make things all that much worse.