Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Official: No tradition of music in pubs

Related threads:
How old is Brit trad of music in pubs? (88)
PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas (101)
PEL: demo - pictures (14)
BS: Is Kim Howells an arsehole? (65)
Licensing Bill - How will it work ? (331)
Weymouth Folk Festival (UK) (120)
A little more news on Licensing (158)
Killed by the PEL system Part 2 (93)
The New Star Session R.I.P. PELs (55)
PEL Problems in Hull (39)
PELs: Are we over-reacting? (74)
Circus PELs - I told you so! (16)
PEL Mk II: UK Government at it again (24)
PEL stops session in Cheshire (78)
Lyr Add: PEL Song: A PEL Protest (Julie Berrill) (27)
PELs - Letters to important folk. (50)
Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs (506) (closed)
PEL: Architect)?) Andrew Cunningam (11)
Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE (286) (closed)
UK Government to license Morris Dancing (68) (closed)
EFDSS on the Licensing Bill - PELs. (38)
PEL: Doc Roew gets through to Minister !!! (11)
PELs Dr Howells on Mike Harding Show. (106)
From Eliza Carthy & Mike Harding PELs (36)
Common's Early Day Motion 331 (new)(PEL) (69)
DANCING OUTBREAK! and definition. PELs (16)
PEL threads. links to all of them. (50)
BS: Village Greens and licences (3) (closed)
PEL's: News Blackout! (53)
PEL: Billy Bragg BBC1 Monday nite (17)
PELs: Exemptions? (107)
Petition Clarification (PELs) (9)
PEL debate on BBC TV Now. (6)
further 'dangers' with the PEL (24)
Stupid Music Law. (8)
Howells (now) asks for help PELs (68)
PEL : MPs' replies to your e-mails (40)
PEL: Where does Charles Kennedy stand? (10)
PEL: NCA Campaign free Seminar (18)
PEL: Howells on BBCR1 TONIGHT! (45)
PEL : Hardcopy Petition (44)
PELs Government v MU & lawyers (48)
PEL Pages (5)
Human Rights Committee AGREES! PELs (20)
Churches now exempt from PELs (55)
Lyr Add: PEL 'Freedom to sing' song (12)
Lyr Add: PEL Protest song (14)
Can YOU help The Blue Bell session? (9)
PEL: Urgent soundbites - CBC interview (25)
BS: Kim Howells, but NOT PELS for a change (8) (closed)
PEL: Billy Bragg on Question Time 6th Feb (15)
Kim Howells (PEL) (85)
PEL - A Reply From An MP. (22)
BS: What is PEL? (3) (closed)
PEL - 'Demo' Fleetwood 30th Jan 2003 (25)
PEL – Robb Johnson on R3, 1215h, 26/1. (8)
New PEL. An alternative argument. (31)
PEL: DEMO 27 JANUARY 2003 (95)
PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY (46)
Poet against PEL - welcome Simon (10)
PEL: First Lord's defeat of the bill (10)
PEL - 'Demo' Fleetwood 23rd Jan (5)
kim howells does it again (PEL) (69)
PEL UK - Unemployed Artist Dancer - look (22)
PEL hit squads! (16)
PELs for beginners (26)
PEL: Latest rumour/lie? It's gone away? (3)
PEL: but not music (9)
Folking Lawyers (PEL) (26)
MU campaign - Freedom of Expression (36)
PEL- Enforcement: How? (8)
PEL: Inner working of Minister's minds? (9)
PROTEST DEMO WITH GAG (PEL) (10)
PEL: What activities to be criminalised? (29)
A Criminal Conviction for Christmas? (PEL) (45)
PEL - Idea (34)
Glastonbury Festival Refused PEL (5)
MSG: x Pete Mclelland Hobgoblin Music (23)
Sessions under threat in UK? (101)
PELs of the past (13)
BS: PELs and roller skates. (1) (closed)
PELs UK Music needs your HELP (64)
Fighting the PEL (43)
URGENT MESSAGE FOR THE SHAMBLES (22)
Lyr Add: The Folk Musician's Lament (a PEL protest (2)
BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms (32) (closed)
PELs UK BBC Breakfast TV Monday (1)
PEL: Licensing Reform? (46)
BS: PELs in Scotland (12) (closed)
BS: The Cannon Newport Pagnell UK - no PEL! (18) (closed)
Action For Music. PELs (28)
Killed by the PEL system (66)
TV sport vs live music in pubs. HELP (6)
PEL and the Law: 'Twas ever thus (14)
EFDSS letter to UK Government HELP! (2)
24 July 2002 Day of Action - PELs (77)
Help: PELs & The Folk Image (12)
Official 'No tradition' 2 (PELs) (55)
Is this man killing folk music? (19)
We have PEL - Rose & Crown Ashwell, 23/6 (2)
BS: Vaults Bar, Bull ,Stony Stratford - PEL (4) (closed)
What is folk ? - OFFICIAL (26)
UK catters be useful TODAY (70)
Help Change Music In My Country (102)
PEL-More questions (7)
NEWS for visitors wanting to play in UK (56)
Nominate for a Two in a Bar Award -UK (11)
USA- HELP Where is Dr Howells? (13)
BS: URGENT UK contact your MP TONITE (18) (closed)
ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP? (97)
Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2 (75)
UK TV Cove Session/The Shambles (24)
All UK folkies take note - the law!!! (68)
BS: Tenterden weekend (and PELs) (11) (closed)
PEL (UK) (25)
Will you write an Email for Shambles? (111) (closed)
Important - Attention All Mudcatters (99)
Council Bans Morris Part 2 (73)
Council Bans Morris Dancing (103)
Day of action for live music 19th July (44)
Traditional activities and the law (13)
Sessions under threat in UK PART 2 (15)
Making Music Is Illegal. (56)
Urgent Help Required!! Threat to UK Sessions (11)


The Shambles 14 May 02 - 02:02 PM
Alice 14 May 02 - 02:15 PM
MMario 14 May 02 - 02:19 PM
greg stephens 14 May 02 - 02:24 PM
Grab 14 May 02 - 02:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 May 02 - 02:37 PM
Joe Offer 14 May 02 - 02:45 PM
Col K 14 May 02 - 02:47 PM
TheBigPinkLad 14 May 02 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Russ 14 May 02 - 03:12 PM
InOBU 14 May 02 - 03:22 PM
The Shambles 14 May 02 - 03:31 PM
Herga Kitty 14 May 02 - 03:45 PM
GUEST 14 May 02 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 14 May 02 - 05:02 PM
Celtic Soul 14 May 02 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Wanker 14 May 02 - 06:12 PM
GUEST 14 May 02 - 06:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 May 02 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Russ 15 May 02 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Russ 15 May 02 - 03:05 PM
Steve in Idaho 15 May 02 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 15 May 02 - 04:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 May 02 - 05:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 May 02 - 05:14 PM
Rollo 15 May 02 - 06:07 PM
The Shambles 15 May 02 - 06:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 May 02 - 06:53 PM
The Shambles 15 May 02 - 07:01 PM
GUEST 15 May 02 - 07:07 PM
Alice 15 May 02 - 07:11 PM
The Shambles 15 May 02 - 07:11 PM
The Shambles 15 May 02 - 07:29 PM
GUEST 15 May 02 - 07:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 May 02 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,petr 15 May 02 - 08:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 May 02 - 09:17 PM
The Shambles 16 May 02 - 03:21 AM
Jock Morris 16 May 02 - 04:26 AM
The Shambles 16 May 02 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,DaveTnova 17 May 02 - 03:43 AM
Escamillo 17 May 02 - 05:33 AM
Dave Bryant 17 May 02 - 05:53 AM
clansfolk 17 May 02 - 06:36 AM
Watson 17 May 02 - 06:46 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 May 02 - 07:04 AM
The Shambles 17 May 02 - 08:14 AM
Grab 17 May 02 - 08:45 AM
sian, west wales 17 May 02 - 09:15 AM
clansfolk 18 May 02 - 01:05 PM
NELLIE 18 May 02 - 02:14 PM
NELLIE 18 May 02 - 02:14 PM
The Shambles 18 May 02 - 07:28 PM
NELLIE 19 May 02 - 04:46 AM
The Shambles 19 May 02 - 05:57 AM
The Shambles 19 May 02 - 07:37 AM
The Shambles 20 May 02 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,Russ 20 May 02 - 10:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 May 02 - 10:20 AM
Alice 20 May 02 - 10:49 AM
Dave Bryant 20 May 02 - 11:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 May 02 - 01:40 PM
HuwG 20 May 02 - 02:05 PM
The Shambles 20 May 02 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Dagenham Doc 20 May 02 - 04:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 May 02 - 05:47 PM
The Shambles 21 May 02 - 06:11 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 06:57 AM
The Shambles 21 May 02 - 08:40 AM
GUEST 21 May 02 - 08:59 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Mike of Northumbria 21 May 02 - 09:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 09:47 AM
The Shambles 21 May 02 - 11:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Mike of Northumbria 21 May 02 - 11:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 11:54 AM
The Shambles 21 May 02 - 12:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 02:01 PM
NELLIE 21 May 02 - 02:53 PM
The Shambles 21 May 02 - 03:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 03:41 PM
NELLIE 21 May 02 - 06:06 PM
The Shambles 22 May 02 - 02:32 AM
sian, west wales 22 May 02 - 05:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 02 - 06:45 AM
Mr Happy 22 May 02 - 07:22 AM
The Shambles 22 May 02 - 09:00 AM
DMcG 22 May 02 - 09:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 02 - 11:28 AM
The Shambles 22 May 02 - 03:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 02 - 04:50 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:02 PM

Yesterday there was a meeting with John Tiffney of the Local Government Association to discuss entertainment licensing reform. Mr Tiffney represents the LGA on this subject when lobbying central Government on behalf of local authorities. He made the following extraordinary, and illuminating claims:

There is no tradition of folk music in pubs in England and Wales.

The low take-up of PELs in England and Wales was simply a reflection of low public demand for live music.

On both points he rejected suggestions that the uniquely restrictive and costly licensing regime and years of heavy-handed enforcement might be partly responsible.

The LGA is a powerful lobbying agency for local government. Many in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport still give credence to these LGA views about PELs and their effect on live music.

Not to encourage knee-jerk responses, I think it is important that folk seek confirmation of these views directly from the LGA.

Brian Briscoe is Chief Executive, Chris Butcher deals with cultural policy issues. The address is:

Local Government Association
Local Government House
Smith Square
London SW1P 3HZ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Alice
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:15 PM

Shambles, your situation over there just continues to amaze me with each new thread that unfolds. The idea that your government can block freedom of expression to that extreme degree is just unimaginable coming from the US experience. We have laws about busking in our city, but anyone can get together with as many people as they want to make music, with no license to pay for, at any day or time of their choosing, as long as the owner of the property doesn't object.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: MMario
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:19 PM

Does this man live in the real world?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:24 PM

shambles, could you expand a little. Who was themeeting between, when Mr Tiffney made these strange remarks. I would be very interested in writing a letter but a need a ;ittle more background to be sure of my facts. I have done afair amount of research on music in pubs as thecarrier of our traditions so I could give a bit of chapter and verse.(The historical research, I mean. I won't concentrate on my personal lifestyle!). cheers, Greg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Grab
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:25 PM

Any transcripts/minutes available, Shambles?

BTW, I heard back from Anne Campbell on that EDM thing (thread drift, ho hum). Apparently as Private Secretary to Patricia Hewitt, she's not allowed to sign Early Day Motions. She's said she'd pass it along to someone appropriate - I've given her my name and address, so see what happens.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:37 PM

It's not actually true that Parliamentary Private Secretaries are not allowed to sign Early Day Motions. In fact even gvernment Ministers can sign them.

They always say they aren't allowed, and they may even believe it, but if they do believe it, it just means they have not done their homework. This site explains about all that stuff.

I think John Tiffney's remark here is actually very useful. If he actually said it, and was speaking on behalf of the LGA, that in itself will serve to discredit anything else the organisation says, sinc eit is such an idiotiuc thing to say. It deserves to be publicised as widely as possible. It has the handy quality of being recognisably an insult to the whole country.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:45 PM

Well, I guess it's just an indication that in the UK, as in the US, corporate interests have precedence over cultural concerns. In the eyes of those in power, music isn't for enjoyment - it's for making money.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Col K
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:47 PM

It just goes to prove that all these unelected spokesmen for various bodies do not live in the real world. Does the gentleman( loose term ) know what folk music or even live music sounds like. Someone should take him in hand and lead him in the direction of some real live music then he learn about what he is talking B------T about. He may even learn to stop talking B------T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 14 May 02 - 02:58 PM

Just to play devil's advocate here ... count the number of pubs in your town/city then ask yourself how many have a folk night. I think there definitely WAS a tradition in the pubs but it shifted for a couple of reasons: Juke boxes and Social Clubs. The latter, especially in the north of England, are still very much a bastion of live music (albeit not usually traditional folk).

What I found more interesting was the suggestion that if people don't want a licence it's because they don't want live music. The old saying 'use it or lose it' come to mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 14 May 02 - 03:12 PM

Shambles,

I've followed the PEL threads and I confess to being a yank who just doesn't get it and probably never will.

As an apprentice geezer who participated in several large scale public expressions of dissatisfaction with government policy during the 60s (18 that is), I remember that part of the inspiration was the example of the ban-the-bombers in England. If I remember, the thinking was that if you didn't play by the rules you MIGHT not win, but if you did play by the rules not winning was a certainty.

Have any of your aging folkies suggested action along similar lines for this issue? Just curious. Not recommending such myself. Not at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: InOBU
Date: 14 May 02 - 03:22 PM

Next I expect, there will be a public burning of all the books titled "Pub Songs of...." Cheers, Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 May 02 - 03:31 PM

Russ I can only speak for myself. That really is the problem. I have tried to wake up the sleeping folk dragon to the theft of its jewells and will continue to do so, with the help of many good souls on the Mudcat.

But without more general support here, any action (except the naked Morris protest, still no takers) will just be ignored.

It is getting all the folk informed, that is difficult. The editor of the main specalist monthly magazine, which could help ensure all were informed, does not see it as a problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 14 May 02 - 03:45 PM

Time was when the local authority associations (Association of County Councils, Association of District Councils, Association of Metropolitan Authorities) were the normal channel for central government consultation with local authorities. Then local government reorganisation happened in the 1990s and the associations merged and rationalised (= downsized their staff). The LGA is not resourced to obtain views from members generally, and there is a problem getting views from elected members (as opposed to officials) within the consultation timescales. These days, at least as far as DTLR consultations are concerned, central government consultation papers have to be sent to the hundreds of individual local authorities.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 02 - 03:54 PM

Shambles,

Can you as Greg and other have asked, provide a bit more information?

there was a meeting with John Tiffney doesn't tell us very much.

Thanks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 14 May 02 - 05:02 PM

If reported correctly Mr Tiffany's claim is certainly flawed as most sessions are on premises without PELs. However the risk of getting shut down at best, and having their friendly landlord prosecuted at worst means that most organisers keep their heads down.

Like the others I would like more background on this meeting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 14 May 02 - 06:03 PM

British Pub music is alive and well! Unfortunately, as Alice has pointed out, it's over here in the US and, I assume, Canada as well.

I am saddened to hear of such things. It diminishes the whole world.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Wanker
Date: 14 May 02 - 06:12 PM

Celtic Soul,

It's still pretty much alive in England too.

Shambles is having unnecessary 'kittens'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 02 - 06:15 PM

Celtic Soul,

It's still pretty much alive in England too.

Shambles is having unnecessary 'kittens'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 May 02 - 06:18 PM

Well, here is the website of the Local Government Association. - and here is the contact page. And here is John Tiffney's email address - john.tiffney@lga.gov.uk

A note of caution. Remember the principle that in any comnflict you should always try to avoid annoying your opponents, unless that is going to weaken them significantly. And we still haven't got any information about what exactly he said, and where and when. Of course presumably he would know thta sort of thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 15 May 02 - 02:54 PM

McGrath,

"Remember the principle that in any comnflict you should always try to avoid annoying your opponents,"

Huh?

Where's the fun in that?

I don't remember that from the 60s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 15 May 02 - 03:05 PM

Shambles,

Are musical gatherings in places other than pubs an option? e.g., private homes, churches, fire halls, etc. Or would they be subject to the same laws?

I ask because pub gatherings are not a viable option for me (aside from the fact that I live in the states) because I am seriously allergic to tobacco smoke. I also ask because all the informal music I do occurs in such venues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 15 May 02 - 04:37 PM

What I can't figure out, and I've tried to follow this thing, is why it is such a big deal to not have live music in the Pubs? Our little town of about 10,000 has a Saturday night Folk music at one of the little coffee shops, there is a group in town that brings in folkies, and one of the bars (Pub for others) has mostly folk style music. I'm not sure the musicians even pay taxes on what they make there - most likely not enough to pay on -

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 15 May 02 - 04:52 PM

Public musical gatherings (apart from Divine Service) would normally require a licence. The key word ins "public". If you let punters in off the street, for payment or otherwise, then the venue must be licensed. The trouble is that standard conditions are often applied which are designed for night clubs and concerts rather than small informa events.

Before Mr Gall jumps in to contradict the major exception is where customers of a public house are singing or playing for their own entertainment rather than to an audience. This should exempt most sessions and in fact most do seem to be quietly ignored but some to get classified as "entertainment" for various reasons which causes a licence to be demanded.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 May 02 - 05:10 PM

(Any conflict that's you want to win that is, Russ. If you're just playing games, just annoying people can be fun. If you want to win the only point of annoying people is when it weakens them, which it can do, or when it is a way of getting other people involved on your side. That was true in the 60s, and it's true now.)

The legal restrictions apply to any public place. So in your living room, no problem. In a coffee bar, or any other public building, you need a PEL. And most of these places won't have a PEL.

Like any silly law, much of the time it isn't enforced, but it's there as a threat. And here is a thread,Killed by the PEL system where there are a number of cases posted where sessions have been stopped because of this. It could be the healthy little session that's been going for years in a pub down your way. Snuffed out just like that.

It's happened twice within the course of a year to well established sessions within a few miles of where I live, in two different districts

in different counties. If it hasn't happened down your way, you've been lucky, but don't count on your luck lasting.

And on top of that God knows how many places (not just pubs) have snuffed out sessions in advance. Ask if you can play some music, and more than likely you get told "Sorry, we haven't got a licence for that." (And even if that's not the reason formally given, it'll be one of the reasons in the mind of the proprietor all right.)

And as anybody who has been following this, on the present plans of the government, it's likely that it won't be legal even to have a single person play or sing in a pub, or in any other place open to the public, unless it's got a licence specifically for this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 May 02 - 05:14 PM

"The major exception is where customers of a public house are singing or playing for their own entertainment rather than to an audience. "

That exception just does not exist in law. Both the sessions which I mentioned in my last post as being snuffed out in my locality were precisely those sort of sessions. Full details in the thread "Killed by the PEL system" which I linked to in the last post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Rollo
Date: 15 May 02 - 06:07 PM

I was shaking my head over that UK policy and thought it unbelievable as well as unbearable. Until the point a friend of mine who once had a pub told me it is undiscussed practice here in germany. Each and every public music performance has to be licenced, including spontaneous singarounds in pubs. There are special regulations for divine service and school performances, but no exception. Maybe its not so unusual in other countries as well? (Not that I think it´s all right, I was rather shocked to hear about it.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 02 - 06:37 PM

The whole point of placing the LGA's reported views here is to enable us to find out what exactly is their view, which is being presented to the Government as fact.

Why not write and ask the LGA what view they hold and are conveying on our behalf to Government?

This will also to make these people aware of this public concern.

So much of this process, of vital interest to the public, and which we will have to live with in the future, is being undertaken in private. As indeed this meeting was.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 May 02 - 06:53 PM

Germany too? Is that something left over from Bismark, or was it sneaked in by some English bureaucrat in post-war Germany? Any other countries got anything weird like that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:01 PM

The following exchange between Mr Bridgett of the DCMS and Richard Bridge will explain what is happening (in private).

From: ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk
[mailto:ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk]
Sent: 15 May 2002 17:53

Dear Mr Bridge

Thank you for your e-mail correspondence to Dr Howells. I have been asked to reply on his behalf.

If I may take your last point first, there was, as you know, a detailed licensing review between 1997 to 1999 on all aspects of licensing, which led to the publication of the Government's White Paper, "Time for Reform", in April 2000. All areas of the licensed trade were involved in that review as were performers, the local authorities, the police, magistrates and other stakeholder groups. The White Paper attracted responses from 1200 individuals and bodies, one of which was from the Association of British Jazz. As the Government is adhering to the policies set out in the White Paper, we believe that the quote from the Association of British Jazz is a valid comment on the Government's proposals for reform.

In your e-mail, you enquired about the Instructions For Parliamentary Counsel. I must point out that these are not a document in the public domain. Similarly, the adequacy of definitions used in primary legislation is a matter for Parliament.

There is no current intention to publish an advance draft of the licensing Bill before it is presented in Parliament. We do, however, intend to discuss some of the issues with interested stakeholders in working groups. Invitations which have gone out include proprieters of musical venues and performers. As I have remarked in a previous e-mail to you, this is not a public consultation.

Finally, in response to your concern that local councils might overcharge for permission to stage public performances, I am able to confirm that fees will be controlled and set centrally by the Government to prevent the excesses which have occurred in some local authority areas.

Yours sincerely
Ronnie Bridgett Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing Branch Tourism Division

Dear Mr Bridgett

I am afraid you have not got the point, or you are trying to evade the point, about the quote from the ABJ. At the time the letter in question was written, no-one imagined that the 2-in-a-bar rule was to be abolished and not replaced with another exemption. To say that there had been consultation about liquor licensing (and about full PEL licensing, which was, at the time, mostly assumed to be irrelevant to folk music) so that any concern now expressed is untimely is a ritual of formalism far distant from any idea of an informed democracy. The letter is also a letter very plainly about the money available to pay performers - which is not a point of relevance to amateurs.

Even if the letter were not irrelevant at the moment for these reasons, in any event the ABJ do not make government policy nor determine its correctness or otherwise and the supposed fact that they approved of your intentions would not of itself justify your intentions if the ABJ were wrong. Your response on this point is therefore at best unattractively disingenuous. Strangely, as I type, I hear a reporter on the television speaking of the government's perceived lack of acknowledgment of the concerns of voters.

You are quite wrong that the definitions in a bill are only a matter for parliament. They are a matter for the proper concern of the voters by whose consent parliament governs. The public at present want to know the effect of the intended legislation. The government on the one hand says that legislation will have certain effects, and on the other hand says that the definitions are in the hands of parliamentary counsel whose instructions are secret. This is not an exercise in open democracy. It is oppression by stealth. To say that you will "reform" the 2-in-a-bar rule and then plan to replace it with a "none-in-a-bar rule" could be called something even less complimentary. You cannot expect the people to trust a government to legislate in the public interest if the government will not be candid about the content of the legislation it intends to put forward.

It is even more remarkable that you speak of an intention to discuss with "stakeholders" (an odd choice of word, I think, for many are properly interested in this debate even if they hold no pecuniary or other specified type of stake) when you have refused to meet the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and when virtually the only government acknowledgment of folk music in the parliamentary debate to date has been the sort of sneer at such music that some might associate with the lowest form of slick spivvishness.

You seem to wish to ignore the fact that the public have spoken, by deed and word, about the licensing of small music. Many have told you that they wanted to be more free to make folk music in pubs. You plan to make them less so. Those whose publicans did not pay for PELs, either because they were within an exemption, or because they wrongly thought they were within an exemption, or who did not care if they were within an exemption, or in practical terms were not the subject of enforcement (when the police so sensibly took the view that they had more important crimes to pursue than singing in bars) will all face an increase in the cost of their music if the proposed new law is enacted as at present intended, and if it is enforced.They will say that a politician's and a civil servant's idea of a modest fee is not theirs - and they will be influenced in this by the eagerness with which local government is fighting to be able to administer and charge for this new layer of bureaucracy. If fees are to be set centrally, and if you want us to be comforted by that, tell us at what level they are to be set. £500 for a PEL (if the pub did not already have one) would bankrupt most folk clubs. Indeed rather less would do so too.

It seems almost fit for the pen of Orwell or Huxley that the department of Culture is presiding over the introduction of legislation that will add licensing fees to and so repress folk music and dance - all the while pretending that a desire to avoid additional bureaucracy prevents the regulation of the antisocial and stifling prevalence of invasive and deafening big screen football or wrestling, or the noise level of juke boxes.

The only way that folk music and dance will be able to survive will be if they are free of the dead hand of local authority (or other) licensing. They should be prized and preserved, even encouraged and subsidised. Once they are extinct it will be too late to revive them.

There are many other follies in the present government position about licensing and folk music and dance, and I will be writing further both as part of the present discussion and for publication.

Foolish laws create disrespect for the law.

Yours sincerely Richard McD. Bridge


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:07 PM

They will ban Darts and Dominoes next


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Alice
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:11 PM

Why do I feel I have been transported into an episode of "Yes, Minister"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:11 PM

The following letter sent to the LGA.

CC Kim Howells MP
CC Jim Knight MP
Dear Brian Biscoe

I have been informed that at a meeting to discuss entertainment licensing reform, held yesterday 13/05/02 John Tiffney made the following extraordinary observations (in italics).

As Mr Tiffney represents the LGA on this subject when lobbying central Government on behalf of local authorities, comments like these could explain why the Government is so ill informed on the subject of traditional musical activities in pubs. Many in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport still give credence to these LGA views about PELs and their effect on live music.

The low take-up of PELs in England and Wales was simply a reflection of low public demand for live music.

I understand that he rejected suggestions that the uniquely restrictive and costly licensing regime and years of heavy-handed enforcement might be partly responsible for the 5% take up figure.

The low PEL take up figure of course bears no relationship with the high level of live music. As many establishments can currently provide small scale live music, exempt from the requirement.

The demand for live music, free of unnecessary official constraints and payments, has never been more apparent, to anyone, save possibly the LGA's advisors and the Government they advise.

The idea of the cut, charge or (per head) fee, place by the courts or local authority on commercial music events, is an anachronism, open to abuse and criticism. It has no place in a modern and open licensing regime and should end with this reform. This Government, if it showed the courage to do it, would be popularly supported for ending it.

There is no tradition of folk music in pubs in England and Wales

What are Mr Tiffney's qualifications, source and support for the extraordinary claim that there is no tradition of music in pubs in England and Wales? Perhaps he would like me to show him?
Even if it were true, which it isn't, the proposed reforms would ensure that there never could be.

As a traditional musician, who specialises in seeking out (and organising) participatory sessions in pubs, I can state quite unequivocally that Mr Tiffney is responsible for providing, quite dangerously incorrect information to the Government if the above statement is as reported.

As a traditional musician who has personally suffered from enforcement action based on the ignorance of local authority officers on this subject, and the law, I am appalled that this ignorance appears to emanate from the very top and is passed to Government as informed comment.

This uninformed attitude towards traditional music in pubs is causing harm to priceless cultural activities and giving great concern to the many that take part. The minister responsible for culture has the opportunity, with this reform to prevent once and for all, these activities from falling foul of strict, unbending and reckless interpretation and enforcement by local authorities. The LGA should be assisting toward this aim, but would appear to have a quite different agenda.

Yours sincerely Roger Gall ENDS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:29 PM

The following infomation and view from Hamish

The Department for Culture has today confirmed the Government's current position: it will NOT require future licensees to declare the provision of live satellite tv on their licence application. However, Ministers may be persuaded to change their minds if a reasonable case against this can be made [how gracious].

My view: we should use this as an argument in favour of an exemption for live music that is incidental to the main business of the premises.

Public music or dancing as defined in the current statute (i.e. Local Govnmnt [Misc Prov] Act 1982 or London Govnmnt Act 1963) will be licensable under the new regime. This basically means public music or dancing or entertainment of a like kind. This will include DJs playing recorded sound, or jukebox.

Hamish Birchall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:50 PM

Shambles,

When you say that this is "of vital interest to the public" you are clearly wrong. The public don't give a stuff.

Indeed, even on this forum, where you might expect a good deal of support, most of your messages are now only answered by McGrath.

Whilst I admire your passion, you need to wake up to the fact that most of us don't care a jot, and your incessent 'refreshing' of the topic is boring us all to death.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 May 02 - 08:16 PM

"Public music or dancing as defined in the current statute (i.e. Local Govnmnt [Misc Prov] Act 1982 or London Govnmnt Act 1963) will be licensable under the new regime. This basically means public music or dancing or entertainment of a like kind."

That's a classic definition. The official definition of "public music" is "public music". This could be a whole new approach to writing dictionaries. "The definition of 'cat' is 'cat'; 'apple' is defined as 'apple'..."

Has anyone seen in anything from anybody in authority a recognition of the fact that pubs are not the only public places where it is possible to make music? And that the existing Public Entertainment Licence requirements apply to all places in England and Wales to which the public has access. (Apart from church services, and the two-in-a-bar exemption which is to go.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 15 May 02 - 08:19 PM

there is similarity with the Dance Hall act in Ireland. I dont know the precise history, but up until the 1920's or so people used to meet in houses and have set dances in the kitchen and those attending would pay a bit for the food and drink etc. Of course the church and government saw this as a loss of income and control. So the Dance Hall act was passed and all dances had to be held in a hall (of course the only halls were church halls) I think the result was less and less people danced and Irish set dancing declined in a big way, its only relatively recently that its made a comeback. Im not sure but that may be one of the reasons for the dances at the crossroads (as well as the fact that people would meet halfway between two towns). Petr.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 May 02 - 09:17 PM

The trouble with Civil Disobedience on this , as Russ suggested, is that the law is cunning. It isn't illegal to make the music without a licence. It's illegal for the people in charge of the premises,whatever sort of premises these may be, to allow people to make the music.

So it's no use us parading around making music. Though technically it's illegal making music on a parade, so far as I know they've never tried to enforce that. So I suppose a musical pub crawl round the streets of London announcing the fact that it didn't have a Public Entertainment Licence, might be worth a shot. (It'd have to be London for any hope of media coverage. The rest of the country doesn't really exist for the national media, apart from spectacular crimes and disasters.)

What we've got here is a classic case of "repressive tolerance" - a law which, if an attempt were made to rigorously enforce it, it would be uninforceable, so they keep it in reserve and just use it when they want to; but in the meantime it dampens down people doing things without asking permission.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 May 02 - 03:21 AM

What we've got here is a classic case of "repressive tolerance" - a law which, if an attempt were made to rigorously enforce it, it would be uninforceable, so they keep it in reserve and just use it when they want to; but in the meantime it dampens down people doing things without asking permission.

I think that it is a pretty good sumary of the current situation but one which will change for the worse under a supposed reform, as it stands, if the cultre and thinking behind this reform is not challenged.

The reform is clearly and blatantly bogus! If the concerns were the ones stated, the public's safety and interests, then TV and church service music should require the entertainment element of the premises licence.

For the question is now and in the future - Any disturbances with TV watching-crowds on licensed premises and noise from amplified church service music, would have to be dealt with by others legislative means. These means must be thought sufficient by our Government, and if these measures are, why can't they be used if and when required at other music events, liquor licensed or not?

No music event should be placed at risk because the Home Office culture of obtaining council revenue from all commercial music events, is now to be continued under a minisry set up to promote CULTURE.

The difficulty is what is the way forward for those that see this? Accept the cynical nature of the stealth tax on music, recognise its thinking, stems from the origin of the reforms at the Home Office and ask for exemptions (and have to define these), or something far more radical?

I fear just trying for exemptions for folk music or unpaid events, will be a small voice and also not seen as too helpful to non folk music people who are affected and trying to improve things generally. I also fear that we need all the friends we can get, for formidable forces like the LGA are stacked up against future sensible public music making (and dancing).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Jock Morris
Date: 16 May 02 - 04:26 AM

So a government official has stated that "there is no tradition of music in pubs"; now if you've been running a session for many years in a particular pub then you can now quote this to any official who trys to stop it by demanding a PEL and argue that you have a tradition of holding this session, but seeing as there is no tradition of music in pubs the session cannot be music and therefore doesn't require a PEL. QED:-)

Alternatively, why doesn't England just adopt the Scottish system where sessions are not a problem?

Scott


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 May 02 - 08:01 PM

Yes why don't we adopt the Scottish system?

The chap who made the remark is a official of the Local Government Association. He is not a Government official but does advise the Government on behalf of the local authorities.

Many would already state that it cannot be music or entertainment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,DaveTnova
Date: 17 May 02 - 03:43 AM

According to the tourists boards latest adds all englishmen are eccentric, throw wellies and DANCE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE. Perhaps someone should tell the authorities.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Escamillo
Date: 17 May 02 - 05:33 AM

I've followed this discussion with interest but can't have an opinion on a matter of cultural policies of a government in a country like the UK. I can only express my concern about a fact that somehow limits personal rights and access to art and its social influence. Hope that things will change.

Un abrazo - Andrés


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 17 May 02 - 05:53 AM

I decided to challenge Mr Tiffney on such a fatuous statment.

Dear Mr Tiffney,

In the many debates about the PEL laws, the statement "There is no tradition of folk music in pubs in England and Wales" has been associated with you. Firstly I would like you confirm that this is your opinion and if so ask you for the basis of your belief.

During the 1950's the BBC embarked on a project to send collectors out to record some of the last of the older generation of traditional singers. With very few exceptions (usually caused by the feebleness of old age) singers were recorded in pubs where they were used to singing.

In the book "A Song For Every Season" (Heinlen), Bob Copper (a member of a family of singers going back over 200 years and one the BBC collectors) tells how the various songs would be sung in the pubs throughout the year.

Even in towns and cities, many pubs still have a piano which is (or was) used to lead the singing of songs, which although not strictly traditional, have become part of the folk singer's repertoire.

Finally can you think of any other venue that the following songs would have been suitable for ?

GOOD ALE THOU ART MY DARLING.
JOHN BARLEYCORN (There are many versions - the tune of "We Plough the Fields and Scatter" was borrowed from one).
DRINK OLD ENGLAND DRY.
FATHOM THE BOWL.
ALE, ALE, GLORIOUS ALE.
THE BARLEY MOW.
I HAVE DRUNK ONE AND I WILL DRINK TWO.
BRING US IN GOOD ALE.
THE OLD DUN COW.
DRINK, BOYS, DRINK.
JONES' ALE.
LITTLE BROWN JUG.
NOTTINGAM ALE.

These are merely a small tithe of traditional drinking songs, and of course many others exist which don't mention drinking in the title. Even AWAY WITH RUM was not meant to be taken seriously.

Dave Bryant


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: clansfolk
Date: 17 May 02 - 06:36 AM

just set up a new web site as a central point for info on PEL - remember the two in a bar rule is a bonus! if you sing or play or entertain virtually anywhere else you will need a PEL however many people play/sing/dance/etc. what about our whistling milkman?

Any links (Mudcat is already there!) - or information you would like adding just email me

The link for the site is http://www.twoinabar.co.uk and is only 3 days old so there is a LOT of room for expansion......

Pete

barman@twoinabar.co.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Watson
Date: 17 May 02 - 06:46 AM

Just to help - Two in a Bar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 May 02 - 07:04 AM

Thanks clansfolk - looks useful. I've emailed you a link to a song I wrote about this, which anyone is welcome to use if it seems helpful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 May 02 - 08:14 AM

Fine site - and many thanks for the hard work and positive action, it could really make a difference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Grab
Date: 17 May 02 - 08:45 AM

McGrath, according to that site you pointed me at, anyone can sign an EDM. However...

"In general, Ministers and Whips do not sign EDMs, and some Ministers have taken a dim view of their Parliamentary Private Secretaries' doing so."

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: sian, west wales
Date: 17 May 02 - 09:15 AM

Shambles

I have a meeting of Trac (Welsh trad. music development agency) on the weekend and I am hoping to bring this up. I hope I've collated some of the relevant points from the various threads but if you have your own compilation, I'd appreciate having them by 4.30p.m today (to s.thomas@trinity-cm.ac.uk)

Sian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: clansfolk
Date: 18 May 02 - 01:05 PM

McGrath

checked song out will add it to Two in a bar website (might be nice to have a section just on related songs?) anybody else????

Did you sing it at Fylde last year?????? I seem to recall someone at the John Bond singaround at the Mount Friday doing a song like it...

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: NELLIE
Date: 18 May 02 - 02:14 PM

I would heartily disagree with Guest (whoever that is) that Shambles has brought up a boring subject, and judging by the no. of posts I would have thought that quite a lot of people do not think so either (is that good gramma).? This is a subject that is of vital interest to all of us who either run folk clubs or play or sing in them. We run a very laid back sing-a-round session in our local pub, with a very enthusiastic landlord, (don't know about a pel) but there are other artists play there too. Not my kind of music some-times but there should be room for all types of music. There are other folk clubs in local pubs around here, it would be a crying shame if they were stopped. I think that maybe some people are concerned that if they are being left alone to have music sessions, to query and ask questions about the pel could bring the weight of the law down on their heads, when at the moment they are being left alone. Does that make sense? I know that thought occurred to me.

Jenny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: NELLIE
Date: 18 May 02 - 02:14 PM

I would heartily disagree with Guest (whoever that is) that Shambles has brought up a boring subject, and judging by the no. of posts I would have thought that quite a lot of people do not think so either (is that good gramma).? This is a subject that is of vital interest to all of us who either run folk clubs or play or sing in them. We run a very laid back sing-a-round session in our local pub, with a very enthusiastic landlord, (don't know about a pel) but there are other artists play there too. Not my kind of music some-times but there should be room for all types of music. There are other folk clubs in local pubs around here, it would be a crying shame if they were stopped. I think that maybe some people are concerned that if they are being left alone to have music sessions, to query and ask questions about the pel could bring the weight of the law down on their heads, when at the moment they are being left alone. Does that make sense? I know that thought occurred to me.

Jenny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 May 02 - 07:28 PM

I think that maybe some people are concerned that if they are being left alone to have music sessions, to query and ask questions about the pel could bring the weight of the law down on their heads, when at the moment they are being left alone. Does that make sense? I know that thought occurred to me.

Well yes it certainly makes sense and is in part the reason why folk (even those involved in similar events) generally have just watch while others have fallen victim. Even in some cases then critising the people suffing from this unecessary enforcement for 'making a fuss' and threatening their events.

As a result the action against the current legislation has not been as united (and as a result, not as effective) as it could and should have been.

The situation is now somewhat different as the new reform is even worse news and will affect all sessions, folk clubs and music making in general.

http://www.faxyourmp.com/

http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1182

It is later than we think, please inform all your friends and get them all involved NOW! Before it is too late.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: NELLIE
Date: 19 May 02 - 04:46 AM

Aren't we all so shortsighted and insular. What is the best way to tackle this then? We had some-one distributing leaflets at our folk day and as you say about people not wanting to know, because it doesn't seem to affect us here, it gets pushed to the back of your thoughts.

What can we do, that wouldn't instantly bring our and other local sessions to the attention of what is an apparently laid back local authority who just leave people alone.

Jenny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 May 02 - 05:57 AM

Well first find out if you licensee does hold a PEL. As other entertainment is held, they most probably do. If that proves to be the case, you can make do what you will, without threatening your event (or licencee).

No matter how 'laid back' your authority may currently appear and hopefully are in practice, they will not be able to continue this approach under the proposed reforms.

The test of this is getting them to publicly state their current approach. Which would be just as useful, in the unlikely event that they would make such a statement. We have been trying in vain to find such a council

The latest indication is that the Bill will feature in the next Queen's Speech. So there is not really much time.

It is a good idea to read and get as many others to read the White Paper (linked to above) and make up your own minds as to if the proposals for entertainment licensing in particular are well thought out and an improvement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 May 02 - 07:37 AM

The White Paper http://www.culture.gov.uk/new_responsibilities/liclaw.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 May 02 - 02:52 AM

This is how Don Thompson sees the present position.

I think there is a point that we have all been avoiding, which needs to be addressed. We have talked, and acted, as though the government, in its ignorance, has blundered from one bad law to another worse one. We are ignoring the fact that their political agenda probably has nothing to do with what interests us, namely the music.

The way in which they persist in misunderstanding what we say to them makes it obvious to me, that they are fighting a rearguard action designed to delay any action by us until it is too late. Their obvious intention is to enact legislation designed to force all landlords to purchase PEL's.

This is a TAX collecting excercise of the type for which this government is well known. For this reason we need (while keeping up the pressure for further consultation), to attack on a totally different front.

Publicity is the key to this whole affair. We must somehow find a way of interesting the media in what is happening. If the general public can be informed of changes which will affect the price of their pint, we will acquire large numbers of allies, and be much more difficult to ignore.

Any suggestions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 20 May 02 - 10:07 AM

Shambles

Don Thompson's analysis sounds right to me. But that's all I can say. I am completely ignorant of political reality in England.

If his reading is right, he is also right about publicity.

In the states, with the occasional exception of NPR, the media is NOT interested in the written word, no matter how elegantly done and flawlessly argued.

What the media wants is something that LOOKS interesting enough to warant 10 seconds or so on the 10 o'clock news. They want street theater.

I have this vision of a hoard of aging folkies with ancient gas masks and placards linking arms and singing "We shall overcome" and calling 20-something policemen "pigs" and doing something disruptive in a public place at rush hour. What a sight!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 May 02 - 10:20 AM

Yes, clansfolk, I made up A licence to sing walking up from the campsite at Fylde last year, and I sang it at The Mount when I got there. The tune and words have changed a bit since then, as songs do.

Maybe Don Thompson is right about the tax-collecting aspect, but I suspect that's only a minor element. I imagine there are people around who instinctively would try to make any new bit of legislation a tax-raiser, but with the amounts involved here I can't see a high-powered high-level conspiracy. I suspect that if we can only work "up a bit of noticeable opposition we could get what we want.

But that is a big if - even among folk people there's a real reluctance to engage with this one. I think NELLIE is right about the fear people have that if they raise their heads they'll get them chopped off, so it's better to keep them down, and go on ignoring the law.

This is part of an English cultural tradition I think - if you don't like the law, you don't protest, you just quietly ignore it. The way the most law-abiding people instinctively jay-walk, or walk through the "no exit" and "no entrance" signs, or the hallowed tradition of the pub lock-in after legal drinking time is over.

Generally speaking there's a lot to be said for it - but it can let you down. With PELs the problem is that it isn't us breaking the law, it's the proprietor of the pub or coffee house or whatever other public place might be involved.

Maybe a musical lobby of parliament would be an idea. It would have the advantage that the proprietors of Parliament would be at risk of a £20,000 fine for allowing the lobby queue to sing or make music or dance, since no PEL would be in existence. And since Parliament is in the Palace of Westminster, I imagine the proprietor technically would be the Queen.

Talking of which the Jubilee should give opportunities for lots of musical activities that won't be covered by PELs. (Including Not-The-Jubilee events. Same difference - I expect I'll be involved in both sorts.)

I remember when Thatcher tried to close down May Day (or rather the Early May Bank Holiday on the nearest Monday to May Day), as an act of peculiarly daft class warfare, the press gave a fair amount of attention to the Morris Dancers in the lobby. And the idea was laughed out of existence. (Mind, I'm not sure that the Morris Dancers were the crucial element - the tourist industry was probably a bit more significant. But then that should be on our side this time too, by rights and commonsense.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Alice
Date: 20 May 02 - 10:49 AM

English folk music and the tourist industry IS a significant connection. I do think this is all about taxes, raising revenue, controlling whatever can be controlled that has money attached. We had enough of that over here in 1773 and did our own media event -
quote "On December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams led three groups of fifty men dressed like Mohawk Indians and walked through the streets of Boston. Then someone blew a whistle. The men headed for the harbor and boarded the three ships with hatchets. They broke into 342 chests and threw all the tea overboard. When they finished, they marched back through the city and headed for the Liberty Tree. Other colonists followed and together they sang 'The Liberty Song.'"

I think you need to organize some folk music media events. Otherwise, the problem will be ignored, the public will continue to be clueless.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 May 02 - 11:49 AM

I am afraid that the whole situation is one which has occurred before. The government finds it much easier to bring in legislation that hits minority interests (and lets face it Folk Music is) than to take on any issue which has support from a large percentage of the populace and even more important large commercial interests. Banning fox-hunting and the ownership of (licensed) hand-guns are both example (I use these only as example - don't thread-creep about them).

It is very noticeable that exemptions can be made for wide-screen television viewing of football - I bet there'd be a huge outcry if a publican was prosecuted because he'd allowed the fans to sing during a match without a PEL.

The faceless industrialists who have been gradually trying to steer society into a dummed-down, advertising/fashion led, planned obsolescence, market economy have no place for Folk Music. They probably remember that the Folk Music boom in the 60's was closely linked with protest song and anti-establishment views - not the compliant "buy it and don't question things" one that they want. They (especially the music industry) want people to buy fashionable products which when they achieve market saturation are replaced by the next one. The Folk Music movement, horror of horrors, makes a virtue of re-using old music over and over again !

The leaders of the current government were probably brought up on pop music and regard Folk Music with a level of derision - often born out of fear - they probably know that many changes (including the labour movement) were spearheaded by marchers singing songs !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 May 02 - 01:40 PM

The distinction between folk music and fox-hunting or handguns is that many people in England, I'd say a sizable majority of people, are in favour of clamping down on the latter activities. (And, please, if anyone wants to talk about that, start another thread rather than drifting this one). Blocking efforts to restrict them would definitely cost a lot of votes.

There are very few people who see folk music in that way - puzzled indifference is the general attitude rather than outright hostility. No votes in it - and if there were they'd be in our favour.

Beacause, as shouldn't need to be restated, this isn't particularly about folk music. The same laws that restrict our freedom restricts the freedom of people to play any kind of music - and not just in pubs, but in any place open to the public. (Apart from religious services - and I'm not even sure the exemption there isn't limited to buildings used for religious purposes, so that the Sally Army would be lawbreakers when they hold a street-corner service. Now those would be allies worth having...)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: HuwG
Date: 20 May 02 - 02:05 PM

Sorry, Dave Bryant, but...

Football Fans ? Sing ?

I have difficulty in reconciling these two mutually incompatible concepts. The average UK football fan learns ditties with 2 or 3 lines only, with words not more than two syllables at most, and usually produces notes between two and seven tones flatter than the scored notes (if any).

Apologists for these hordes whose semen count depends on David Beckham returning to health could certainly argue with some justification that the racket they produce could not be defined as "singing" in any sense of the word.

And unfortunately, we are shortly to suffer from a mass outbreak of hysteria on the part of these fans and many more people in Britain who should have more sense, as the World Cup (that's the "Real" World, as opposed to the US World) gets under way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 May 02 - 04:01 PM

As to the tax/revenue aspects.

The following from Tery Redmond, who has a far better head for figures tham me. These are based on the White Paper Cost and Resources 13 para 135. http://www.culture.gov.uk/new_responsibilities/liclaw.html

The present cost of an annual PEL is between £50 and £20,000 pounds depending on the venue.(sounds good to the local authorities!)

The proposed cost is estimated at between £3,500 and £200,000 over a ten year period, the duration of the new PEL (or rather the personal liquor licence). (Hey, a 700% increase at the lower end - that sounds even better for the local authorities!)

And no increase for the big festival sites or major venues, so professional musicians and major organisers can support the change and save on inflation. (The more commercial the venue the more they save.)

In addition an annual premises inspection fee of between £50 and £150 pounds would be payable to the local authorities - at present free and part of the liquor licensing conditions-and the local authority will still be able to impose special conditions that could require expensive structural changes.

Add to this the cost of obtaining a personal AND a premises license (between £700 and £7000 for the same ten year period), legal fees incurred if the license was contested (estimated at a further £5000 average).

The White Papers own estimate of costs are £600 MILLION for all licensed premises over a ten year period with a further £1.5 BILLION to be spent by the licensing industry in training staff to comply with the proposed reforms.

There are currently 156000 licensed premises and 23000 clubs operating in England and Wales.179,000 in total, meaning the licensed entertainment sector must find £2,200,000 from it's PROFITS in order to stay in business. Averages around £200,000 each. The publican can can save money by opting out of the PEL portion.*

Now, Major venues are going to be able to afford this outlay and keep operating, but your local pub? It's going to cost them at least an additional £5000 pounds to have a few folkies singing once a week for the ten year period. That's without any alterations or legal objections and assuming that the local authority always charges the minimum fee........

I'm going to sink a couple while I can still afford them.

Terry

* The latest news from the DCMS, clarifying para 135, is that the fee for the premises licence will be set at the maximum figure, even if none of the (so-called) optional elements are requested.

The fee will have to be paid again for any change.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Dagenham Doc
Date: 20 May 02 - 04:59 PM

Shambles, I must say the work you do on this crazy subject is worth so much more than just thankyou , but thanks anyway.You know of course you'll end up in folkie heaven.

Doc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 May 02 - 05:47 PM

"There are currently 156000 licensed premises and 23000 clubs operating in England and Wales.179,000 in total, meaning the licensed entertainment sector must find £2,200,000 from it's PROFITS in order to stay in business. Averages around £200,000 each."

Something funny about those figures. At one end of the sentence it seems to be saying that there are 156,000 licensed premises, and at the other that there are only 11 (£2,2000,000/£200,000) Or is it saying the average pub makes a profit of £200,000 per year?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 02 - 06:11 AM

This from Terry Redmond

It's 156,000 licensed premises AND 23,000 clubs (presumably no liquor licences but with PEL) making 179,000 premises - I couldn/t be botheresd to work the figures accurately, it still works out at over £200,000 each That's over the ten year period that the licence is in force for. So it's an AVERAGE of more than £20,000 per year the govenment wants to screw from each of the premises. That's the end of figures quoted from the White Paper.

Now my comments. Your local pub may have to find only £5000 extra per year, under a tenner a week each, while something the size of the old Wembley Complex might have to find an extra million or so per year. These figures are peanuts in capital cities but for small rural pubs, local breweries etc. they could be the difference between making a working income and going bankrupt.

So if you want the future of entertainment in this country to be to sit on your arse and listen to commercial entertainment while drinking mass produced drinks at top prices, just keep arguing and nit picking. That's what you are heading for. No more sing arounds, blues evenings, jam sessions. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Just sit and listen, buy the CD and the T-shirt and drink your lager from a plastic glass from a pressurised aluminium barrel.

I'm pissed off with the whole thing, if folkies and other amateur musicians want to dither about and get priced out of existence and fobbed off with claptrap from Cabinet Ministers and Festival organisers let them do it. The opening paragraph of section 13 concludes with the sentence "This means that even if the proposed streamlined and simplified system reduces costs, it may be neccessary to increase the fees from their present level".

Using this analogy, if the price of crude oil falls, it may be neccesary to put up the price of petrol. But if the price of oil rises, it may be neccesary to put up the price of petrol. And we all know how much cheaper petrol is today than ten years ago, don't we?


The White Paper


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 06:57 AM

Still going too fast for me, I'm afraid. Manoeuvring around figures like that was never my strong point. However the basic point, that the effect of the reforms is going to be to make things worse, is clear enough already.

And unless more people involved in live informal music actually stop shrugging it off and do something about it, it's going to sail through and we'll be stuck with it for a generation.

And yet it's still true that, if you mention it to most folk music people, they don't see it as having any relevance to them. There's a deafening sound of silence. And that goes for the Mudcat too, I'm afraid, unless there are an enormous amount of lurkers who have been writing letters to MPs and tourist boards and local papers and so forth, and not reporting back, .

When they brought in the restricted drinking hours all those years ago, there was some excuse for people not noticing, because there was the Great War raging. And it took the best part of a century before the rules got loosened some of the way.

Is there any point going on about it? The tiny number of people here who give a damn about it have probably written their letters, and the rest aren't going to do anything except grumble when its happened.

Well, it is worth banging away, as a matter of principle. And thanks for doing so Shambles especially. But I'm not optimistic about getting much response.

I suspect at the root of it may be a reluctance, a sense that it is embarrassing, to be on the losing side. (That never worried the people who gave us the songs and held on to them and passed them on. Proud losers to a man and woman.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 02 - 08:40 AM

http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1182

The total is now 63 MP's names

I don't think it is time to get too down, we have all come a long way - there is just still a long way to go and many more people to inform.

In truth the full awfulness of the 'reform' is only just sinking in to even those who have been on the case for some time. Our trust in this Government to improve things was totally misplaced.

We used the TV crowd aspect, not being covered by PELs, where any three musicians were prevented and under the reform, we now get the same exemption, as regards TV in pubs but now no musician or premises are allowed, without an increased, centally set and collected fee being paid.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 02 - 08:59 AM

In an earlier posting, McGrath wrote:

" …even among folk people there's a real reluctance to engage with this one. I think NELLIE is right about the fear people have that if they raise their heads they'll get them chopped off, so it's better to keep them down, and go on ignoring the law. This is part of an English cultural tradition I think - if you don't like the law, you don't protest, you just quietly ignore it. "

Well Kevin, so far that's been my position. The current regulations are unenforcable, except as an occasional token gesture. So, keep your head down, and hope that your pub didn't become this year's token enforcement exercise. (If your publican gets lumbered, organise a whip-round to compensate him.)

My other excuse for keeping quiet was the fear that making a fuss would only attract unwelcome attention from the powers that be, making the situation even worse. However, it seems that forthcoming legislation will move the goalposts significantly, as it offers local government a big financial incentive to enforce the new laws strictly.

Just to make things worse, the mainstream music industry (and probably the Musician's Union) will see the new law as a useful way of suppressingunwelcome competition. The general public - who prefer televised football, or a juke-box playing latest hits and golden oldies, to live music – won't give a hoot. And the style gurus of the posh newspapers will enjoy a smug titter at the misfortunes of an un-stylish art-form (one which they dislike all the more because they they have absolutely no influence over it.)

It seems that we have nothing to gain by keeping our heads down. So, if there's a petition going round, I'll sign it, circulate it, and publicise it wherever I can.
Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 08:59 AM

Has anyone been in touch with Liberty (formally Natinal Council for Civil Liberties) about the Civil Liberties aspects of this whole thing? More especially about the question of the legality of laws that restrict the right of informal music making in places open to the public.

If we could get Liberty involved I think that would help get the message given more attention by the press.

Here is an email letter I sent last night to Ronnie Bridgett (ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk) I'll post any reply here :

Dear Mr Bridgett,

I have been following with interest and growing concern public statements, correspondence and articles concerning the proposed reforms of the PEL system. I have been puzzled by the lack of any information from your department relating the situation of places other than premises licensed to sell alcohol.

My understanding is that at present the law requires that a Public Entertainment Licence is necessary for any "performance" in a place which is open to the public. The only exceptions to this appear to be where religious services in churches etc. are concerned, and the two-in-a-bar exemption, which it is planned to abolish.

So far as I am aware there are no plans to reform the PEL requirements in any other way, and the intention of the government is that it will continue to be an offence to permit even a single person to sing, dance or make music in a way which can be termed a performance in any public place, such as a coffee bar, tea-shop, bookshop or park.

I am aware that there appear to have been instances in the past where the law does not appear to have been enforced. However I have seen public statements to the effect that the reform of the law will mean that there will be no general exceptions, apart from one that will permit premises selling alcohol to provide enlarged television screens for football supporters and so forth.

Am I correct in my understanding of the present law, and in anticipating that there are to be no exceptions, that might permit the continuation of such activities as busking, Morris Dancing, Carol Singing, or in parades and marches including musicians, except where a Public Entertainment Licence is in existence? And is there any guidance available on the procedures for such activities to obtain PELs, and the appropriate cost etc. ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Mike of Northumbria
Date: 21 May 02 - 09:02 AM

Sorry folks! that last GUEST posting was from me - forgot to activate my cookie again.

Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 09:47 AM

"We are the Secret People, we have not spoken yet" indeed.

The thing is, the two-in-a-bar exemption has informally been extended in practice - much of the time no one is going to count how many people are playing and so forth. We've lived in it's shelter, silly though it may be. But without it there'll be no need for head counting before we are in danger - and any publican who allows anything at all that isn't covered specifically by a licence is going to be taking a very significant risk.

Sending a messageto your MP via Fax Your MP is the simplest thing to do, only takes a couple of minutes, and it means it lands in their in-tray, much harder for them to ignore than an email.

And here is an email I have just sent to Liberty arising from that last post of mine:

I was looking through the Liberty site to see if I could find anything relating to the matter of restrictions on the right of people to sing or make music. However I could find nothing.

My understanding is that under current law it is an offence to permit anyone to sing, pay music or dance in a place open to the public, unless a Public Entertainment Licence is in existence; the sole exception to this being religious services, and an exemption allowing up to two people to perform in the course of a session in a public house - an exemption which is now likely to be abolished under pending legislation.

I am aware of a number of recent cases where informal music sessions involving people playing traditional music have had to be abandoned because of the existing law, and it appears likely that the proposed "reform" will result in many more such cases, since the two-in-a-bar exemption has often been extended in practice to allow informal sessions of these cases, so long as the law does not intervene.

If Liberty has any light to shed on this situation it would be helpful, and I will pass it on to other people who are lobbying and campaigning in this connection.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:00 AM

I hope I am wrong, and with the aspect now on the reform rather than PELs I may be, but I suspect that you will recieve the following standard reply.

Dear Mr Gall

Thank you for your emails. Liberty's casework focuses on four areas in which we have specific expertise and have identified as priority areas. These are equality, criminal justice, privacy and policing.

We seek to take on specialist test cases in these areas that force changes in the law, usually by mounting a challenge under European human rights law or the Human Rights Act 1998.

Unfortunately, licensing is not an area in which we have specific expertise and it is not one of our priority areas of work. Because of this I am afraid we are unable to assist directly.

I am sorry we are unable to provide further assistance. As I hope you can appreciate, we receive a huge number of requests for help. As we are a small organisation are only able to take on a small number of these requests as test cases.

You will be able to obtain details of Solicitors in your area, along with their areas of specialisation, from the Community Legal Services help line 0845 608 1122. They may also be able to give details of firms who may be able to act on a no-win no-fee basis.

We do appreciate that there are many Human Rights Act queries that do not come into our core areas of specialisation. Because of this we offer a telephone advice service for solicitors who are seeking assistance on Human Rights Act issues relating to their cases. If you instruct a solicitor who holds a civil legal aid contract they can contact us on 0808 808 4546.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:06 AM

So freedom of speech isn't seen as a core concern by Liberty? We'll see about that. I doubt if too many of their affiiates are aware of that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: GUEST,Mike of Northumbria
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:32 AM

OK McGrath - I just put my mouse where my mouth is, and sent this fax to my local MP. Will that do for starters?

Dear Mr Jim Cousins,

You will no doubt be aware that the highly unsatisfactory (though seldom enforced) English law on music-making in public places is soon to be amended, following recommendations in a recent White Paper. The proposals in this White Paper are even more unsatisfactory (and unjust) than the legislation they replace.

Briefly, the new law will insist that live music, dancing and singing can only take place in any public space, indoors or outdoors, if covered by a Public Entertainments License (PEL). This PEL will be obtainable from the local authority at a cost of several thousand pounds. Failure to comply with this regulation will be punishable by a heavy fine, or possibly by imprisonment. (Note that Scottish law is far more rational on this issue. No license is required in Scotland for informal music-making in bars.)

This new law will lead to an absurdly illogical situation. A large modern pub, generating a high decibel output with its wide-screen televised football and state of the art juke-box, will not require a PEL. Whereas a small rural pub, in which a few folk singers and musicians occasionally gather to amuse themselves with unamplified music, will have to pay thousands of pounds for a PEL or risk prosecution. A team of Morris dancers who wish to perform outside the pub will be subject to the same restriction.

I realise that folk musicians and Morris dancers are only a small minority of the electorate. Nevertheless, we do exist, and we have votes. Furthermore, a considerable number of electors earn their living from the tourism industry, which benefits considerably from the survival of our national culture, including our traditional dance and song.

You might also consider the possibility that if this new law is enacted and enforced, then test cases will be taken to the European Court. Many people (including some European lawyers) argue that the right to sing - while not disturbing the peace, or giving offence to others - is indeed a basic human right. Prolonged litigation over this issue could cause the Government of the day considerable embarrassment.

I would therefore urge you to use your influence in the House of Commons to encourage the Government to drop this proposed legislation, and replace it with something more sensible.

Yours etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:54 AM

Good stuff. Post his response here, Mike. If he responds. It's a great facility this FaxYourMP, isn't it? The missives look so pretty when they're all set up in letter form. "Ignore this, you bum" they seem to be saying, but in a courteous way.

One minor point you've got wrong - I think that while the Giant TVs in the pubs (for the hordes of stay-at-home hooligans to congregate in front of for worship and possible mayhem) are indeed going to be totally exempt, the idea at present is that Juke Boxes will actually have to have a licence.

Which in principle is helpful - I can imagine a scenario in which enraged Bikers could join up with Morris Dancers and advance on the House of Commons in a pincers movement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:07 PM

The following are answers and further clarification of the White Paper, obtained from the DCMS by Richard Bridge, who has kindly agreed for these answers to be circulated.

It contains some important detailed information about the current proposals. I would just add to this, the latest information, in this World Cup year, that crowds attracted to live satellite TV in pubs will be able to continue, without a premises licence.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has today (15/05/02) confirmed, however, that the Government has no plans to require landlords to declare the provision of live satellite television on their licence application.<

From: ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk 08 April 2002 13:51

You ask me to explain how the two responses can be reconciled.
In response to the question - will criminal offences be committed by customers who spontaneously break into song, our advice is that we do not anticipate that spontaneous singing which does not constitute a "performance" under the terms of the Bill or is not undertaken or organised for "reward" as defined in the Bill, will be within the range of the licensing regime.

Whereas a musical "performance" as defined in the Bill by a single musician undertaken for "reward" (either his own or the organiser's) will be subject to the licensing regime. It is for Parliamentary Counsel to decide how in terms of draft clauses to give effect to that policy.

Accordingly, whenever a group of people in a bar break into spontaneous song, the licensee would have to decide the point (noise level)at which he is at risk of being closed by the police because of "excessive noise" which might be disturbing the public. This is an important point for context and explains why it would not be necessary to bring spontaneous singing (music making) within the licensing regime as adequate public protection would already exist.

Yours sincerely

Ronnie Bridgett Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Branch Tourism Division

From: ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk Sent: 09 April 2002 13:41

Your concerns have been noted and will be taken into account when final instructions are sent to Parliamentary Counsel.

With regard to more detail of definitions to be used, I am sorry to have to report that you will need to wait until the publication of the Bill.

Finally, you asked why there is a need to license music if noise controls are adequate. I can confirm that the Government would not accept that it is the case that public performances of acoustic music are not always "noisy". Also, as you will appreciate, noise is not the only factor to be considered when considering the licensing of musical performances. Public safety issues have to be taken on board, and the time of day or night with regard to public disturbance.

Your sincerely Ronnie Bridgett Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Branch Tourism Division

From: ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk Sent: 20 May 2002 14:22

Further detail is given in section 5(ii) of the Regulatory Impact Assessment at Appendix 4 to the White Paper (particularly the section "Under the New Regime").

Only one fee will be paid for a premises licence regardless of the activities which the licence covers.

There will also be an annual charge to provide a revenue stream for inspections.

The fee and the charge will be set centrally by the Secretary of State. It will not be set by local authorities.

The fee needs to recover fully the costs of administration, inspection and enforcement associated with licensing law.

The most likely formula for calculating the band levels is capacity - so that larger venues pay more than small ones. However, it may be necessary to include a geographical factor in the formula. This is because administrative overheads are likely to be different in different parts of the country. For example, employment and accommodation costs are higher in the South East of England.

The Secretary of State will set the fee levels after consulting the industry trade associations and the local authorities.

The new regime should save the businesses affected around £1.9 billion in the first ten years of operation. Most of this saving will be from legal costs associated with the current system.

From: ronnie.bridgett@Culture.gsi.gov.uk Sent: 20 May 2002 16:09

With regard to any amendments to a premises licence, the Secretary of State will set the appropriate fee structure for variations to the premises licence. It should not be presumed that it will be the same fee as for the original application.

Noise complaints are dealt with by DEFRA (the Department for the Environment, Food and Regional Affairs) whose advice we take on these matters. In addition, the police and the local authorities raise matters concerning rowdyism and general disturbance. Advice from all these sources does not differentiate between types of music. In any event, we are not aware of a precise definition of what constitutes "folk music".

It would not therefore be possible to cite particular examples of complaints which are specifically to do with venues at which "folk" musicians are performing.

As for public order issues, consideration is linked to the provision of alcohol at premises. As we have explained, there will be one licence which will cover the sale of alcohol and the provision of public entertainment.

Ronnie Bridgett Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing Branch


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 02:01 PM

And here's yet another letter I've sent to my MP, Bill Rammell, using FaxYourMP:

Dear Mr Bill Rammell,

Public Entertainment Licences (once again)

I have been learning more about the 'reform' proposals in the pipeline, and in common with quite a lot of people, I am getting alarmed that the effect may be to make the situation a great deal worse so far as informal music making is concerned.

I doubt this is what is intended by MPs, but it would not be the first time that this kind of thing has happened in relation to a policy matter that is seen as peripheral and of minority concern.

The situation at present is far from satisfactory. In my previous letters I have told you how two well established informal music sessions within a few miles of Harlow have had to close within the last year or so because the premises where they took place were not covered by Public Entertainment Licences, and more than two 'performers' were involved on any one occasion.

My assumption, and that of many people, had been that the 'reform' of the PEL system and of the two-in-a-bar rule would mean that this kind of thing would cease to happen, and that the freedom for friends to meet and make music together in public houses or in other premises open to the public would be restored, subject of course to the proviso that no public nuisance or public danger was involved - a proviso which applies to everyone in all circumstances.

However it now appears that the intention is not to do anything to achieve this. The system that restricts such music making generally will be left intact, so that music in coffee bars, bookshops or parks etc will continue to be illegal, except where a licence has been obtained. However the minimal two-in-a-bar exemption will be completely abolished, and at the same time it is stated that the application process for a licence that will cover specified types of musical performances will in some ways be simplified.

The vast majority of public houses do not at present have PELs - including most where music has taken place, under the cover of the two-in-a-bar exemption. It seems highly unlikely that most of these will be covered for the new equivalent licences to include musical performances.

While the two-in-a-bar rule is absurd in itself, it has in practice been informally extended, so that in many places more than two performers have been able to play together without police harassment of the publican, so long as they keep quiet about it. After all, much of the time nobody has been counting, and there has been no occasion for any complaint. However with a firm rule that without a licence covering it, no music which is not purely spontaneous is allowed (thus ruling out any where a musician has brought an instrument from home for the occasion), there will be no room for this kind of leeway.

In the same way there are to the best of my knowledge no exemptions which will make it legal to organise and permit such activities as Carol Singing (leaving aside Church Services etc), Morris Dancing, or to allow music on marches parades or processions, where no specific licence has been obtained. The only exemption which is envisaged, it appears, is one which will allow publicans to install large TV screens so that, for example, sizeable crowds of football supporters can crowd into pubs to watch matches. This apparently is seen as not entailing any public safety or public nuisance comparable to that which would be likely to arise if a few friends with fiddles and guitars were to wish to play and sing in the corner of a room in a pub, or in a coffee bar.

As said above, I am sure this is not what you and other MPs want to happen. But it is what is going to happen unless something is done to take control of this 'reform' in time.

Here's a quote from a monologue Stanley Holloway used to recite that is quite popular in folk settings today - and unnervingly topical:

'And it's on account of this here Magna Carta
Which was signed by the barons of old,
That in England today you can do what you like -
So long as you do what you're told.'

Yours sincerely,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: NELLIE
Date: 21 May 02 - 02:53 PM

Am I correct in interpreting McGraths comment about busking, to mean that busking will be illegal if this bill is allowed to be passed?Am trying to fax my mp. I am sticking my neck out and braving the consequenses of 'big brother'; if this bill means even a very laid back council such as we have here (our folk club and folk day was given a really good write up and publicity in our local newspaper and even when asking the council both local and county for permission for the morris dancers to dance we had no problems whatsoever), then we could lose what we have anyway. I apologise if I am asking the obvious, as I am getting very mind-boggled with all this information but as I read this info, it seems that morris dancing in the pub car parks etc, will be breaking the law.

Enlighten me please

Jenny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:29 PM

The Morris situation (on private land) is currently as follows. A letter to and a reply from my Licensing Manager.

Thank you for your letter of the 04/06/01 and the answer you have given. I must confess that I did find your answer a little confusing with regard to the reference to "not on private land". I will try again.

The event or events I have in mind are the following. A Morris side (comprising of more than two people) will produce a programme of dates where they will be performing during a summer season. When these include public houses, which may be visited more than once and they take place on land belonging to the public house, such as pub gardens or car parks, would these events require a Public Entertainment Licence?

Dear Mr Gall

MORRIS DANCING

A performance of music and dancing taking place in the open and on private land i.e. land to which the public has access only with the permission of the owner, will be subject to SS3 and SS4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (Schedule 1), which requires a licence to be granted by the local authority.

An exemption is available if the musical entertainment is incidental to an event such as a garden fete.

May I suggest that if you have a specific event in mind, which you believe may require a licence, you submit an application giving all the relevant details so that the Council may consider it properly.

I hope that this information is of assistance.
SS3 and SS4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (Schedule 1) for outdoor events, is optional. Your local authority does not have to adopt it. Most have and where they have, a PEL is required.

Busking (on public land) will be the same as now. Any form of music making on private property, to which the public has access, will be illegal without the new premises licence (and entertainment element). Whether serving liquor or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:41 PM

It's illegal already, so far as I can see. It's just that they don't bother to do anything about it except when they feel like it. Morris Dancing in pub car parks, it's the same story.

Or rather the trick is, it's not illegal to do it (though for busking if the police tell you to move on and you don't it's likely to be seen as a breach of the peace, which is), but it's illegal to organise it or to permit it, if you are a proprietor of the place where it's happening, so long as that is a place which is open to the public. For the street I imagine the proprietor would probably be the local council, which is unlikely to prosecute itself. In a shopping mall, for example, or a shop doorway, it might be a different matter.

The expectation is that the proposed "reforms" won't change those things; what they will do is make it impossible for pubs to use the two-in-a-bar exemption as a loophole for allowing a session with more than two, because they won't be allowed to permit even a single person to "perform" unless their licence specifically covers it - which it probably won't. The option of just keeping your head down and doing it anyway won't be on any more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: NELLIE
Date: 21 May 02 - 06:06 PM

Thanks for clarification

Jenny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 02 - 02:32 AM

Does the Ministy of Culture, Medai and Sport really have to tax music making? .........The following quote from from Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell:

"Sales of alcohol of around £30 billion each year generate duty and VAT that buys our country's schools, roads, hospitals and puts policemen on our streets."

Do you how much duty and VAT that amounts to? This from Hamish Birchall:

£7 billion in duty and £5 bn in VAT = £12 billion in total (Source: HM Treasury yesterday) The current annual take from PELs in England and Wales is about £13.5 million.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: sian, west wales
Date: 22 May 02 - 05:29 AM

So, what's the story on public places again? I know that parks need licences for festivals, and presumably anything else? What about town squares? And busking?

And what if people meet in a pub, make music together, but say that it's a rehearsal?

On a 'mainstream' note, as I've said privately to The Shambles, Trac (Welsh music traditions development company) decided on the weekend to get a dossier together on this whole question and submit it with questions to the Welsh Local Government Association, Wales Tourist Board, Welsh Arts Council, National Assembly departments, et al for comment. The intent thereafter is to call a meeting to face them down on some issues.

I must also have a look at the recently instituted "Power to Promote Well Being", given to Councils by the Local Authority Act:

Section 2 (1) of the Local Government Act 2000 ("The Act") creates a new power for county/county borough councils to do anything which they consider is likely to promote or improve the economic, social and environmental well being of their areas. This power came into force in Wales on 9 April 2001 in case it should prove useful to local authorities in addressing problems arising from the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

I'm assuming that the overall Act is UK (maybe not?) The Welsh one should be here but that's assuming I did the BCT right ... and I've never quite managed before so ...

At any rate, I had a meeting some time back with WLGA reps. and the Power includes stuff like:

* a move away from "preventative" legislation * is generic and applies across all social and economic circumstances faced by local communities * must enable responsive and innovative services in partnership with other bodies * aimed at maximising flexibility * allows councils the means to pursue the priorities set out in the community strategy in partnership with local organisations and local communities

Re: that last, this suggests that folkies are well advised to get in touch with their community/parish councils to make SURE that live music and leisure/social music making is noted in the local Community Plan.

Letter-writers in rural areas in England should also drop a line to the Countryside Agency. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover Wales, but its sway is considerable in Eng.

sian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:45 AM

"So, what's the story on public places again?" - so far as I understand it everywhere that is open to the public (ie virtually everywhere apart from your living room) is subject to the requirement of having a licence for anything that can be called a performance. (With the sole exception of church services and the two-in-a-bar exemption for pubs, which is to be abolished).

And rehearsals count as performances. Probably. "Probably" is the key word for most things in this area, because the definition of what counts as a performance is all case law. Someone telling a couple of jokes might well count as a performance.

Remember, just because it's daft doesn't mean it's not the law. And just because it's the law doesn't mean it's always enforced - just put "crazy laws" in your search engine and you'll be amazed what comes up. But the PEL crazy laws are enforced in a range of situations, in a purely arbitrary way. Most people would assume that the story about a pub being fined for allowing people to sing Happy Birthday was an urban legend, but it's true; and so is the story about the police stopping a string quarter playing in a bookshop.

But it's much better to ask those kind of questions of the authorities. It's no harder to send a fax asking your MP than it is to post it in a thread, and it's completely free, using Fax Your MP They can then pass it on to somebody who might actually know the answer. It's a good way of telling them there are people who care about these things.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 May 02 - 07:22 AM

no thread drift intended

but

there's been a recent thread about the anniversary of the mass trespass by walkers & ramblers & other ordinary folk who needed access to the great outdoors

i don't know the history or outcome of this but i guess some positive change was made to the laws on trespass

the PEL law in relation to folk [& other types of musical/social enjoyment] is batty & unfair

where i'm leading is that the mass trespass people were able to:

1. raise public awareness

2. get the law changed

what's others think?

mass folking about?

cheers

mr happy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 02 - 09:00 AM

Mr Happy

Just do it, is the answer.

Build it and they will come.

Wait for a committee, and they probably won't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: DMcG
Date: 22 May 02 - 09:10 AM

McGrath says Fax Your MP is easy. Unfortunately GetAReplyFrom Your MP seems to be more difficult. I've emailed mine twice about this over a period of about a month and had an acknowledgement from his secretary but no more.

... But that's no reason not to keep trying.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 02 - 11:28 AM

Keep trying. Fax Your MP are interested in doing a published table of which MPs responsd and which don't so there may be some comeback in the future.

But to get an MP to do something it's best if you are actually asking them to do soime specific thing, like forward your query on to a named department or that kind of stuff. The department has to reply to the MP, and then he'll send the reply on to you. It's chipping away at a rock face, but that's no reason not to do it. MPs don't necessarily do much in response to letters, but if they don't get them, that's their excuse for inaction. So take it away from them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 02 - 03:55 PM

http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1182

Click on the above for progress on the Early Day Motion in The House Of Commons. Total is now 69 MPs names. Is your MPs name there yet?

Click on the following link send a fax to your MP. All you need is your post code. http://www.faxyourmp.com/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OFFICIAL No tradition of music in pubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 02 - 04:50 PM

This thread is overlong, but there's still lots of unfinished business. So here is a link to part 2.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 August 5:10 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.