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Minister say's jamming OK in UK

The Shambles 19 Jul 05 - 05:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 19 Jul 05 - 06:25 PM
Amos 19 Jul 05 - 10:42 PM
ET 20 Jul 05 - 08:42 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Jul 05 - 09:39 AM
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GUEST,The Shambles 20 Jul 05 - 10:25 AM
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Subject: Minister say's jamming OK
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 05:54 PM

"If it's just people singing along or jamming then it doesn't require a licence"

The Minister in charge of Licensing said this today on Radio 2.

You can hear it on 'listen again' on the BBC
website.;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/vine/


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 06:25 PM

Is he going to pay the fines when publicans are prosecuted?

That may be his opinion, but it is certainly NOT what the new law says.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Amos
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 10:42 PM

Excellent news, if he's willing to make it stick.

A


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 08:42 AM

It will be for the courts to decide, not him. And it will be the licensee who probably will not take the risk.

By the way only 25% of existing licence holders have bothered to apply for a new licence containing existing rights (or much fewer variations to include music!). THERE IS LESS THAN 2 WEEKS TO GO to get the application in - and it should be a correct application, not one that the local authority reject.

Ask your local publican. Ask if entertainment is included. TIME IS RUNNING OUT.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:39 AM

Good advice from ET. Don't rely on ministerial statements. Ask YOUR landlord, and if he hasn't applied, persuade him.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Torctgyd
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:49 AM

He's probably thinking of being jam packed in a pub, watching football and singing football songs; which is obviously a lot less a cause of trouble than a couple singing unamplified in a bar!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:25 AM

Ask your local publican. Ask if entertainment is included. TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

This is good advice and we should be doing this to ensure that some form of live music can continue. At the same time we should recognise that which premises decide to apply is not finally a matter that we as indiduals - have much control over. It looks as if the majority of premises will NOT have entertainment permissision after November 2005 - so we should perhaps concentrate now on trying to ensure that some form of live music can still take place in these premises. As recorded and broadcast music still will be able to.

The Minister's legal advisors at the DCMS must be confident that such a statement can be the case under the Act (even when it does not seem to be the case under current legislation). However, given the words of the Act and the guidance to it - it is difficult to see things can
be any different.

But he has said this and a letter to your MP asking if your local event would be exempt and exactly what part of the Act the Minister and his legal advisors now consider allows this - may be useful in establishing the true position and give you something to present to your local authority (and licensee) to try and convince them. Such a reply would make interesting reading.

For as pointed out - unless licensees are just as convinced as our Minister and allow such a thing in the first place (without Licensing Permission) - jamming sessions etc in such premises are rather unlikey to happen. In one way the Minister is right. These   'jamming' sessions and singing along will probably not be actively prevented for lack of entertainment permission under the new Act - they just will not be very likely to start anywhere without this permission.

Where and if they did continue to take place - I suspect that a Local Authority's legal advisors would perhaps be giving different advice to ensure that the council did not fall foul of the Act in the courts - where the Minister's comments on a Radio Show - would not hold much sway.

Perhaps if the legislation does not support this statement - The Minister should resign or ensure that the Secretary of State changes the words of the legislation (and statutory guidance) - to ensure that the courts will accept such a position?

If saying it on a radio show is not enough - perhaps he should be forced to deny or stand by and repeat this statement in the Commons?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:31 AM

Oh goody! Now I can buy a powerful noise transmitter and jam all these awful rackets I hear from passing cars? 100db of pure squeal down their ears?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: PennyBlack
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 01:27 PM

and what does the man from the PPL think about it!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 01:51 PM

Yes I wonder. It was interesting the hear the Minister say that (along with the MU and others) PRS were going around trying to to pursuade premises to apply.....................


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 04:03 PM

JEREMY VINE BBC R2 - Tuesday 19 July 2005 - 1.30-2pm approx.
Interview with James Purnell, and feedback from listeners re licensing and live music


VINE: If you are pub or a restaurant, or premises which sell alcohol or provide live music, you only have 18 days left to apply for a new licence which has been created by the government. At least 60% of all licensees are yet to apply. And if they don't meet the deadline of August the 6th they may have to close when the new Licensing Act comes into force in November. The government has come under some criticism for this new legislation. At the moment a single musician or a duo can perform in pubs and clubs without a licence. But, under the new Act all proprietors have to apply for permission to host any live music, whatever the size, so we're told. With so few clubs and pubs yet to apply musicians fear the legislation may lead to the decline of live music and we love live music here on Radio 2, so that's why we're discussing it. James Purnell is minister for licensing and joins us, good afternoon.

PURNELL: Good afternoon.

VINE: So now you're basically giving out a warning here are you, saying 'apply now'?

PURNELL: It's very important that people who sell alcohol or who put on entertainment, or indeed sell food after 11 o'clock, get their licence applications in by the 6th of August. Once they do this is going to be, I believe, a much much better system. It's going to get rid of some of the old arkike.. archaic rules like you know the 11 o'clock closing time for example which means that people end up necking two or three pints of beer then all being chucked out on the streets at the same to fight for cabs, and sometimes even fight with each other. I also think it's going to be much better for live music, actually, and I know there have been worries about this, but er, er I believe that this Act is going to be much better for live music. I'm a huge live music fan myself, and I think that's something which we, you know, will see a real benefit from here...

VINE: Because you've streamlined it, have you, so you, you used to have to bring out er an alcohol licence and then an entertainment licence separately, and now you fill out one form.

PURNELL: That's right. If you're applying for an alcohol licence in effect you only have to tick one extra box and er you can then get a public entertainment licence. And before you had to apply every year and there were lots of areas where people were being charged thousands of pounds for these public entertainment licences. There is this worry about what was called the 'two in the bar rule'. And there used to be an exemption for people, if two people turned up to play then that was OK. But our fear about that was that actually it massively distorted the, kind of, the market for gigs. You could have the White Stripes turning up, you know they've only got two people in their, er in their band they could turn up and play. But someone with three or four people, Coldplay or whoever, couldn't. So actually you had a distortion. We think it's much better to have a regime where music's properly licensed, and erm we think it will increase the number of areas of pubs that actually apply for those music licences.

VINE: But it seems that people are either objecting or they just want to live in ignorance about this because this, this form is trouble. Now how many, how many sheets of paper is this form?

PURNELL: If you're applying to convert your licence you have to fill in seven pages. The form's 21 pages long. But that's to cope with all the different regimes which we're bringing into one. So we're bringing six previous regimes into one and the form is 21 pages long so you can cope with all the, the various um, the various er reasons why people to apply. But you would only have to fill that in if you were a pub that was putting on dancing, cinema, wrestling as well as, um, you know, having er, applying for extra hours. So, actually most people only have to fill in the 7 pages.

VINE: Do you have to supply architect's drawings of your establishment?

PURNELL: You have to provide drawings of your establishments and that's because, for example, if you got, er, er, a nightclub everyone would expect it to be properly licensed for health and safety reasons, for fire reasons, and that's why, that's why that's there...

VINE: But you didn't have to do that before.

PURNELL: You did actually have to provide forms of your er, plans for the.... before, yeah.

VINE: Because it just seems people find this form a bit of a bind and they, and they and they may not be filling it out they may not be getting their licences because it's actually, it's another overhead they just don't need.

PURNELL: Well what we've done is gone from a situation where people were having to run off to the magistrates every time they wanted to put on a special event. So for example if you wanted to show a Lions test in the, early in the morning, or if you wanted to stay open late for Christmas Eve, people would have to go to the magistrates to get a special permission. And I think there were about 16 million of those a year. Instead of that we're gonna have people apply for a licence once, and then they never have to apply again. So that means we're front-loading the application process. So it's perhaps not surprising that people are worried about the burden they're going through now. What I would say is that the light at the end of that tunnel is they will have, they will never have to apply for it again. So it is going to be a much more flexible system, and overall we calculate it's gonna save the industry about two billion pounds over ten years, so there is work to be done now, but there's a real prize for doing that work.

VINE: Susan Mallett has just emailed and she say's 'Can you ask the minister why it's necessary to require a licence for nursery school assistants in a drop-in play group open to the public to sing along with two-year-olds... ' [laughs] er that can't be right.

PURNELL: Doesn't sound right to me. Ahm, the, the principle that we've put in place here is no different from one exists under the current Act, so there's no difference there at all, so essentially..

VINE: So they can sing without filling out a form...

PURNELL: It's not for me to say that, that would be up to their local authority. But the essential principle there is if you're putting on a piece of public entertainment, like a concert where you're advertising it, people were coming along to listen to a performance then that is what would need a licence. If people are jamming for example, or something happening in a play group, it doesn't sound like they would need a licence.

VINE: OK, she says you could put on a tape but if you join in with it you require a licence, that can't be right [laughs]...

PURNELL: Doesn't sound right...

VINE: And she says this, 'Can you ask the minister is he aware that nursing homes are cancelling musicians coming in to entertain the elderly and the sick. They are aware that if relations and visitors are present and they join in with the singing, they need a licence'!

PURNELL: Again that doesn't sound right to me.

VINE: Because you get into this bureaucratic thing don't you where everybody things they need a licence and they may not do.

PURNELL: Yeah. And the point is that there is no real difference between the Act as it exists at the moment, the law as it exists at the moment and what we're bringing in. So the point is if it is a concert and it's public entertainment then it probably will need a licence, and people would expect that. If it's just people singing along then it probably won't.

VINE: Let me just read some more comments that are coming in. Ashley Hunter's just emailed 'I understand that this Act applies to all live music in places like working men's clubs and church halls as well as pubs.' That is correct isn't it?

PURNELL: Well, er, churches are exempted from the Act.

VINE: Well church halls, though, village halls and so on.

PURNELL: Village halls would be included if they were putting on a concert, yeah.

VINE: He says it doesn't apply to live music in churches themselves...

PURNELL: That's right.

VINE: So people singing hymns don't need to get a licence. Adrian Fry emails and says 'I am a professional musician. This new legislation is unnecessary bureaucracy. Sound volume levels should be covered by the environmental health department. And when it comes to safety concerning numbers, each venue should simply have a capacity limit. There's no broader picture. Those are the real issues. Administration of anything else is a waste of public money and another example of New Labour creating a nanny state.' And email here from Paul Dixon in Rochdale who says 'Dear James Purnell, why did your department leave it until the third week of June to publish guidance for licensees on how to complete these application forms?'

PURNELL: Well that's not true actually. We, er, published, er we've been publishing evidence all the way through. We've been trying to make people aware of this, er, for the last two years. And people are often coming to us asking specific questions, and as they come up with specific questions we've been posting specific advice. But we've, we've published a wide range of advice and it's not right to say that we waited until June.

VINE: Judy Warlham in Stratford on Avon says 'we've had to apply for a licence as a school to put on entertainment and serve alcohol and it's actually not as daunting as you might think'. You have a supportive listener there.

PURNELL: Here here!

VINE: Mandy Friend in Croydon says 'I was on a hen night in a pub and we started singing "You've Lost that Loving Feeling", the whole pub joined in and...' er, this, no this can't be right... 'the bouncers then stepped in and were very cross and they said we had to all stop singing because we did not have a licence for live music'. Come on, could that happen?

PURNELL: Well that presumably is under the current regime, under the current law before the new law comes in. But certainly under the new law when it comes in, that we think that would be fine. If it's...

VINE: A hen night on a night out, in a pub that doesn't normally have live music, no problem...

PURNELL: The the principle I think is fairly clear which is if it's an entertainment, where you're advertising it, people are coming along, paying, expecting to see live music that will require a licence as it does now. If it's just people singing along or jamming then it's not, then it doesn't require a licence.

[DISCUSSION OMITTED RE PROBLEMS FOR TRAVELLING CIRCUSES. PURNELL SAYS HE IS CONSULTING CIRCUS REPRESENTATIVES AND LOOKING AT THE 'ISSUES']

PURNELL: ... But the point is this is an Act that covers 190,000 people. As it comes in there will be some anomalies, some issues that we need to look at. We've put in a review process and where there is evidence of real problems you know we are committed to acting on that.

VINE: And it won't hurt live music in pubs and bars in this country?

PURNELL: We think it will be good for live music. As I say it's going to be an easier process people won't be being charged thousands of pounds. We're working with Feargal Sharkey and the Live Music Forum to get people to apply for these public entertainment licences. The Musicians' Union, for example, are visiting all the pubs where people play to get them to apply. The PRS society are doing it, the agents and concert promoters are doing it. So, we, I really really am working to make sure this is good for live music rather than having a system before where if there were two of you or less you could play, but if not it was very very hard.

VINE: OK Thank you very much James Purnell MP, minister for licensing, in charge of all this, thanks for your time.

PURNELL: Thank you.

[MUSIC INTERVAL]

VINE: ... we were talking to James Purnell who's the minister in charge of this Licensing Act. And Roger Heywood from Norfolk is managing a small circus and you're very very concerned indeed...

[CIRCUS DISCUSSION OMITTED HERE. 'TOTALLY HEAVY-HANDED AND COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE SMALL TOURING CIRCUS', SAYS ROGER HEYWOOD. HE MAKES THE IMPORTANT POINT THAT ALTHOUGH NOT LICENSED IN THE PAST, CIRCUSES WERE ALREADY VETTED UNDER HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION]

VINE: .... The Two Lips, er, have just emailed, well Mark Kelly from the Two Lips which is a duo. Of course at the moment duos can play without a licence. Under this new law they will need to be licensed. And he says: 'We're a musical duo struggling to make a living in the south west. This new licence could spell the end for us. How can two self-employed musicians ending up on the dole be any good for anyone?'. Howard Bragen emails and says: 'I am a working musician as well. I rely on casual engagements in pubs, in restaurants, bars, hotels. From my point of view I shall probably lose a great deal of work because of the two in a bar exemption disappearing. It looks like I am looking at life on the dole from now on.' This is terrible news. This is all to do with this one particular thing, the provision that says the licence must be there for any live music from now on, whereas previously it was only if it was more than two people. Susan Violino from Frome, is that Susan? Hello.

SUSAN VIOLINO [on phone]: Hello Jeremy.

VINE: You Frome in Somerset are you?

SUSAN VIOLINO: Yes that's right.

VINE: It's nice down there isn't it.

SUSAN VIOLINO: It's lovely, yes, a lovely rural spot.

VINE: And you have a restaurant.

SUSAN VIOLINO: We do yes, run by my husband who's a chef, and myself.

VINE: Now is this a restaurant where, where you get a guitarist wandering around playing at tables?

SUSAN VIOLINO: No, not at all. No, our problem is completely different. All we wanted to was extend our licensing hours, our supper licence and the hours where we can, er, provide alcohol by literally a couple of hours a day. But in order to that we had to fill in a, an enormous quantity of forms and make plans etc as I was explaining to the person on the phone. I had to do 204 photocopies.

VINE: No!

SUSAN VIOLINO: Yes! You have to send them to environmental protection, public safety, planning enforcement, protection of children from harm, fire and rescue, trading standards, etc.. you know...

VINE: That sounds a bit like overload.

SUSAN VIOLINO: Yeah, it has been. I mean, you know, it's been difficult to run the business, you know, as we're only a two man team and do all this paperwork as well.

VINE: But at least, the minister's gone now, but he did say it is a one-off thing.

SUSAN VIOLINO: I know, but he, I heard him speaking on I think it was the Today programme on Radio 4, his quote something like 'all you have to do is put a tick in the box'. I mean the forms have been so complicated, so difficult. I'm not an unintelligent person but I really found them hard. Also drawing up to scale plans of your premises. I mean why? You know, we hadn't had to produce any plans until now.

VINE: And what about if somebody suddenly bursts into song while they're eating a meal in your restaurant!

SUSAN VIOLINO: Oh, [laughs] I don't know about that!

VINE: Is that legal?

SUSAN VIOLINO: That remains to be seen.

VINE: Susan, thanks and good luck with it.

SUSAN VIOLINO: OK, all right. Thanks. Bye.

VINE: Chris Finch is in Devon, not the Chris Finch I assume, and says: 'If the whole pub spontaneously bursts into song - that is legal. If you organise the pub to burst into song, you need a licence.' Nick Bird in Clevedon in Somerset says 'I'm a degree educated man. I've just received these reams of info that I need to fill in to get a licence and I've found that it's a minefield. And the worst thing is if you get it wrong you risk not getting your licence in November'. Lots and lots and lots of calls on this. Rosemary... here's one more for you. Rosemary Hilyard in Slinfield says 'Because our village hall has had to apply for a licence the parish council can no longer meet there. Parish councils are not allowed by law to hold meetings in licensed premises. We have taken advice.'

[MUSIC INTERVAL]

VINE:.... [we were talking about] licensing and the, er, what seems to be a new scheme of licences which is not receiving widespread approval [laughs]. Nick Edwards outside Maidstone in Kent says 'No-one's been mentioning the cost of this. We've just had to apply for our licence. Last year it cost £26. This year it's going to be £600. We are a non-profit making sports and social club.' We have very... an emailing from Welwyn Garden City who says 'Why do we have to be different in this country from any other country in Europe when it comes to music licensing? France, Holland, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland, they don't have these complicated rules.' And Roy Turner in south Wales says ' I was on holiday recently in Croatia. We were outside a bar having a drink, having a good time and there was a group of Croatian musicians at the next table. Suddenly, spontaneously they started singing and produced some instruments. And they then spent two hours singing to us and enjoying themselves. How can it be that in this over-regulated country that now would not be allowed to happen?' Geoff Winship in Exeter, good afternoon to you.

GEOFF WINSHIP [on phone]: Good afternoon Jeremy.

VINE: Now I understand you run a medieval jousting tournament.

[DISCUSSION OMITTED HERE CONCERNING WHETHER THIS IS COVERED BY THE NEW ACT]

[MUSIC follows to end of show at 2pm]

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 05:34 PM

I wonder if the Minister really understands his own act. What a mess!

I presume he thinks that "jamming" is musicians playing for their own pleasure and maybe keeping traditional music alive. But its not his interpretation that counts - its the courts - and just as important, not getting chucked out by a confused and frightened landlord or landlady.

I think there will be an explosion of anger over this. If James Purnell likes live music, as a Minister he ought to consider the mess he has inherited from the wretched Kim Howells and consider whether this can be saved by Ministerial statutory instrument - like removing live music from the list!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 05:40 PM

Unless the pubs get their fingers out sharpish it won't just be singing and music that'll be barred, it'll be drinking. I was talking to someone working for a local council, and they are getting rather worried, because if that happened the councils won't be at all popular...


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 06:09 PM

My local authority is buried with applications - "no chance of even looking at all of them by 8th august. Problem is if they are incorrect. They could be rejected and have to start again "out of time" as it where.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Government dosn't blame local councils for not processing the mess on time!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 06:16 PM

The pubs will blame the councils, the councils will blame the Government, the Government will blame the councils, and the punters will blame the publicans. I'd blame them all.

What I suspect will happen is that there will be a last minute amnesty and extension of the deadline announced.

These guys really couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery...


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 06:33 PM

here we go again

If you can tolerate a Morris man dancing all night, you do not need a licence. The Lord Reedsdale incorporated a "script ammendment" that said for Morris dancing, or similar, any musician may play unamplified and not qualify as entertainment. Not only have I seen the script ammendment, I have a letter from the Lord Reedsdale thanking me for the ceilidh dance (similar see?) named "Lord Reedsdale's Clause" which can be found on my website > ceilidh dance sequences.

So there you have it, Football (on telly) and Morris are not entertainment. It's official.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: freightdawg
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 06:36 PM

Okay, I'm a yank and really don't have a dog in this fight (quite yet, anyway).

But here's hoping that you all can get this figured out really quickly. Anytime a politician is surprised by actual language in legislation that he/she supposedly supports it is bad news.

204 photocopies? Yikes!

Best of luck to you session players and performers. To borrow a southern expression, sounds like you have a real tiger by the tail.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 06:44 PM

Your right Mcgrath, they coudn't, 'cos it wouldn't be licensed. Not by August 6th anyway.

Significantly, the one pub that is exempt is the members' bar at the House of Commons.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 06:45 PM

"Morris dancing or similar... Now I wonder if this would count? Bawdy Woman Jumpin Jack Doll


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 08:14 PM

If you can tolerate a Morris man dancing all night, you do not need a licence.

Hooray! Our problems for sessions etc are over.

All you have to do is ask the licensee if they mind having Morris Dancing all night in their pub. Complete with bells, hankies and banging bloody great sticks together.................I am sure they will agree.

And then make sure that they don't stop dancing. For if they should stop dancing - the music - without the dancing - will then be illegal without entertainment permission.

This may make you may laugh - but it is perfectly true. Thank you for all your efforts - Lord Redesdale.

And some people still want to do away with the House of Lords.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: BanjoRay
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 08:42 PM

So if a bunch of us want to play Old Time music in an unlicenced pub, all we need is an Appalachian dancer doing some flat footing to make the whole thing legal?
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 08:49 PM

well I collected 100's of names for the anti-pel petition last year.

didn't make a ha'peth o' difference to 'nanny' - who also seems to have totally ignored 1000's of people protesting on line.

i'll carry on 'illegally' singing, & other forms of self expression regardless- they can imprison me & all the other folkies!

BUT!

if this SHIT! does really manifest itself in prohibition of our innate right to sing, then perhaps we should approach the problem in a similar way to these examples from the past:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Trespass_of_Kinder_Scout


http://www.simondawson.com/phseiont.htm


Militant Folkies Unite!!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:11 PM

The law is framed so that any self-important "civil disobedience" you engage in will harm the licensee, not you. Nobody will arrest you; but he or she may lose their livelihood. Do you still not understand that?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:13 PM

malc,

thanx 4 yr support

u mist the point

open yr eyes!!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:16 PM

It's yr privelege to slag me down- that's easy.

But much more difficult to think about doing something yourself about this issue.

Tell me what have YOU done?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:23 PM

No less than you, I think.

You appear completely to have failed to understand the legislation. If you can find a licensee who is prepared to commit professional suicide, by all means go ahead. You will, I take it, be prepared to put your money where your mouth is, and see them right once you feel you've made your point.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:37 PM

I've pm'ed you on this issue- but you've ignored it.

I'll ask again-

Do you have any suggestions what to do next?

Or do you just want to score points by put downs?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:48 PM

PM? Haven't seen it yet. I don't check them often. There are very few things that aren't better discussed in public.

This isn't about point scoring. It's about behaving sensibly and constructively; and that's something you have to decide for yourself. What do you propose to do that will not hurt others?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 09:51 PM

I've pm'ed you again!

Don't u want to respond? [in private]

I don't want a fight- we should all be standing together on this issue!!

Please say, either via pm, or on here what your strategy is to overcome this threat to our civil liberties & freedom of self expression!

Thanks in advance,

Mr H


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:01 PM

nite-nite Malc!

Thanks for SFA!


PS I"ve pm'ed you on Folkinfo[e] also.

Are you a Folkin foe?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:09 PM

malc,

chek yr pm's

but in your words, 'There are very few things that aren't better discussed in public'

well let's do it in public then- do you have any suggestions or proposals?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:24 PM

So's I kno me adversary- are you able [honest, courageous, other +ve adjectives] to add some details here?

I checked the 'locator'. It says you are in Yorkshire UK.

I'm in Chester UK.


http://www.mudcat.org/photos/profile.cfm

http://www.mudcat.org/photos/photo.cfm

Please say by PM or here what you'll do when the new legistlation starts to bite.


I know I'm putting you on the spot - but u started it!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:27 PM

BTW Malc- did you look at the lynx?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:44 PM

The law is enacted. We can't change that. All we can do is try to ensure that licensees get the new license, and help them with that if necessary; meanwhile cataloguing the inadequacies and inconsistencies of the law, and of the ministers who pronounce upon it without understanding what it actually says. Forward precise and detailed dossiers to the MU.

All this has been said many times before; by me among others. Must I repeat it all yet again? Civil disobedience only works if the people who do it are the people who must take the consequences, which is not likely to be the case here. You must surely understand that.

I know it isn't exciting, and will take a long time. Legislation since the Poll Tax has been designed to ensure that martyrdom is usually impossible, and that dissent only harms others. Knock off the personal messages accusing me of being simultaneously "apathetic" and "the enemy" simply because I point out that what you propose will just hurt potential allies and alienate others, will you?

You don't need to tell me who you are. I already know. You can find out about me via the usual search engines if you particularly want to (hint: I use my real name, and I'm not the crocodile farmer, the actor, or the retired fireman).

We are not adversaries. I will, however, have no hesitation in telling you when you are talking crap. That is for the benefit of the cause.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:50 PM

'We are not adversaries. I will, however, have no hesitation in telling you when you are talking crap. That is for the benefit of the cause. '

Do you really think it's 'CRAP' [Your word!] to protest about what's happening?

What planet u on??

AND


You still didn't say what your strategies/suggestions are/may be!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:55 PM

Just spotted yr website here:


http://www.malcolmdouglas.com/midwinter/index.html


So u r an illustrator- the pel laws won't affect you!

As far's I can detect, there's no prohibition of doing drawing on licensed premises- no wonder you're so blase on this topic!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:58 PM

above post was me


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:06 PM

I don't just draw pictures, of course. I also do general design and DTP work, and run extensive websites for The South Riding Folk Network and Yorkshire Folk Arts: the former I took over from the original webmaster, the latter I built from scratch. I built this site, come to that (lovingly hand-coded to html 4.01 transitional specs, no less) and I've recently put together a new site for the Folk Music Journal. If you want a clean and simple website that will display consistently across a wide range of browsers, you might do worse than to talk to me about it.
The English Folk Dance and Song Society recently published my revision of the classic Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, re-titled Classic English Folk Songs. I didn't get to design the cover, but they let me choose a couple of the photos.


*************



Beg yo' pardon suh!


You're really a folkie! (as long's they let u design their website & let u choose a couple of the photos!)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:15 PM

Can't you say where you stand?

***********


Enough's enough on nonsense!

Anyone have any sensible suggestions on how to tackle this prob. of seshes being shut down etc when it arises?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:32 PM

I'm a bit younger than you (only 50), but I've played in pub sessions for a quarter of a century or so. I don't need to offer credentials on that or anything else.

I've already told you what the only workable current strategem is in my own opinion. Read the post, please; feel free to disagree, but don't presume to accuse me of not caring. Protest is vital, but it must be done responsibly if it's to work. Hurting other people in order to make your point is not the way.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 02:22 AM

The law is framed so that any self-important "civil disobedience" you engage in will harm the licensee, not you. Nobody will arrest you; but he or she may lose their livelihood. Do you still not understand that?

The point is well - if a little harshly made among those who are on the same side. But where it was certainly the case that licensees were needed to take the risks in any musical defiance under current legislation - it is less the case under the new Act and shouldn't be used as a cop-out and a reason to do nothing.

For this Act makes (practically) any live music illegal anywhere - without Premises Licence entertainment permission. So I am sure that there are ways that effective protest action can be undertaken - where there is a will to - that will only place those taking part at risk.

An example that springs to mind is a Morris Side (on public land) using one amplified instrument - to bring attention to the fact that this is illegal.

Or live music performances from the back of a moving vehicle.

I am sure that many more can be thought up. Of course any protest action will have to be carefully arranged so that we keeep or improve on the public's sympathy and do not actually harm the cause. But I am sure that with a little thought - many ways of doing this can be devised - where there is a will to do so.

It is not as if the pro music lobby has not tried most of the conventional routes to try and bring this nation's attention to the damage this Act will do to our basic and traditional freedom of musical expression. What really frustrates me is the fact that this action came so very close to throwing this terrible piece of legislation out completly. It was only Lord Redescale and his Lib Dem peers voting with the Government that saved it.   

And he gets a dance created for him. Perhaps it should be called The Traitor's Dance?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 03:19 AM

So if a bunch of us want to play Old Time music in an unlicenced pub, all we need is an Appalachian dancer doing some flat footing to make the whole thing legal?

That it probably correct but you would first have to convince a licensee (without entertainment permission) that the Local Authority also saw it the same way and ensure that the poor souls didn't stop dancing. Convincing the licensee will be the main problem - as from my experience - there will be no shortage of folk prepared to dance to Old Time music...........

But this is almost a complete reverse of the the current situation generally - where there is a partial exemption for (small scale) live music - but where any dancing is illegal without a licence.

If the point of this licensing is to ensure the safety of the public - it hardly makes sense that exactly the same music but without the risky business of dancing - is considered more unsafe and requires entertainment permission.

In all truth Morris Dancing did not need the exemption - for it was never at any real risk - under the old or new legislation. For local Authorities and the powers that be - did know what it was. The real problem of the new Act was presented to the other folk arts - which are less understood by them - like mumming plays and sessions etc.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 03:39 AM

This debate is interesting but unfortunate. What Shambles says is accurate. This is legislation and the Government will not change its mind whatever-Hazel Blearse from the Home Office even defendent 24 hour opening against 1 m plus crimes of violence so nothing will change for music.

And it is generally the premise owner that carrys the can, not the musician.

I have copied the radio broadcast of Vine and James Parenell revealing the Minister does not understand his own legislation, to local press and local commercial radio broadcasters, and to my MP but I don't anticipate changes, other than vague ministerial statements that the legislation will be kept under review.

I fear its a case of "go with the flow" or else!   Make sure your local licensee has applied for the entertainment variation.

I have also raise other, non pub issues, like village fetes that have jazz bands to entertain. They will need a licence, and wont bother. They could have fire eaters breathing flames over the crowd without a licence but have a JAzz Quartet and a licence is needed. Things like Art Galleries which have open evenings with a string quartet to entertain need a licence. (can you imagine the trouble that playing a Bach Violin Solo might bring!)

Happy Days


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Lanfranc
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 04:01 AM

I submitted the licence application for our Sailing Club several weeks ago. In the course of doing so, I spoke on the 'phone to the lady heading up the Licensing Department pointing out that we had held ad hoc and advertised live music sessions in our Clubhouse for some forty years although our original Magistrates licence imposed no conditions in this respect. She agreed that we could "tick the box" under the "grandfather rights" clause. I spoke to her again a couple of weeks after submitting the application, promarily because the police had acknowledged receipt, but the LA hadn't, and she informed me that our forms were on the "approved" pile.

My experience would appear to indicate that the Local Authorities are really more interested in raking in the extortionate fees (GBP190 in year one, GBP180 a year thereafter in our case - cf a Magistrates licence at GBP15 for 5 years!) than in conspiring with the legislators to ban live music! However, if applicants are intimidated by the complexity of the application and the horrendous requirements if a variation from the existing licence is applied for (the restaurateur's complaint above is justified), then the whole new regime is going to be a total cockup.

We thought that we were going to have to complete the whole application until I spoke to the Licensing Dept, and that would have been far more painful and time-consuming. The need for plans was easy for us because we are currently applying for planning permission for a CLubhouse extension, though a local restaurant owner who was in the print shop when we were making copies complained that he had been charged GBP450 to have his drawn up.

As has been said many times before, the Licensing Act 2003 is thoroughly bad, ill-thought-out and unnecessarily complicated legislation, which is going to have repercussions that will, with any luck, give those imbeciles in Westminster a bloody electoral nose at some point.

But I should still have somewhere to play! Perhaps I could invite a few of you along.

Alan


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 04:43 AM

Mr Happy,

Malcolm Douglas is almost completely correct in stating that the licensee will carry the can for ill advised action on your part.

There is, however, one point he has missed. The new law imposes the same penalty on anyone organising, or providing facilities for, unlicensed music.

If you put together a protest by organising illegal sessions, you will be risking your own cash, and your own liberty, while those who merely join you will be safe under the law.

Can you afford to do that? I know I couldn't.

And before you start slagging me off, I've been an active folkie for 45 years, and I've been actively fighting this stupid legislation for the last four, without success.

The only way forward is to work with what we've got.

Get your landlord to apply, then be ready to rub Westminster's nose in it when the final tally of lost venues becomes evident.

They wouldn't listen to us as concerned citizens. What makes you think they will value our opinions more as criminals?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 06:35 AM

My experience would appear to indicate that the Local Authorities are really more interested in raking in the extortionate fees (GBP190 in year one, GBP180 a year thereafter in our case - cf a Magistrates licence at GBP15 for 5 years!) than in conspiring with the legislators to ban live music!

That is probably correct - at least for the early stages - when they they will be very busy indeed just trying to meet demand and make the basics work. Their need for revenue from the old PEL was really much of the cause of many of the problems presented to live music. An indirect affect - rather than any intentional attempt to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. There is also probably little doubt also that the legislators have any real intention of banning live music. However, lack of intent - does not alter the situation or the words of the Act.

We may think that without the direct connection between revenue and live music permission - there really should be no reason for the local authorities to come down hard upon any live music. Or rather upon any that may still try to take place in premises without entertainment permission. But we should not be lulled by this - in the short term.

For our legislators have ensured that there really is very little live music making that will be legal and our Local Authorities (whatever their view of live music) will find themselves in breach of the law - if they are not seen to be taking enforcement action.

We should of course do what we can to ensure that most premises do apply - but not to limit ourselves to this action exclusivly - for (whatever the take-up) this will not be the total answer to legislation that has made the public's free musical expression anywhere - an illegal activity.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 06:47 AM

I hope there will be a recognition at some stage that there will be electroal repercussions. There was not much sign of it at the last election. I am not however advocating a change of Government but recognition by the existing lot that they have made a pigs ear out of this.   Even the extended drinking, seen originally I am sure as a vote winner, is now a vote looser.

It nears the air of bad publicity. The Lawyers/Performing group are working on someting around these lines.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 06:49 AM

Well the minister's statement makes fascinating readong. It seems fairly clear he says jamming is OK...though there is nothing in the legislation to support his view, as far as I can see. What is vaguer is exactly what he means by jamming. When I was a lad, jamming met playing in an improvisatory style, as opposed to using an arrangement(written or head). And there was a possible implication that the muscians jamming together were not part of a regular group.(Though a formal group could jam as well, so it's rather confusing). But what exactly did the minister mean? It would be useful to try to get a definition out of him. I would guess he means muscians playing together for fun. But what if the pub adverises "acoustic jam session"? I dont believe he is saying that is perfectly legal, because that position is obviously completely illegal under the new law. So what did he mean, exactly?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 06:54 AM

Another point that worries me a lot is the legal position of musicians who play fro Morris dancing(or flatfoot, or clog). It is OK when you are playing for the dancers, but what about the intro you play before the dancers start? I understand this is illegal( in unlicensed premises). You could get round this by counting 1234 and then both starting together, I suppose. Unless they classified counting 1234 rhythmically as music....questions like this need answers, you know.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 07:08 AM

So what did he mean, exactly?

There is only one to find out. That is for us to write to him (via a letter to our MPs) and get him - or rather his legal advisors - to explain the words of the Act that enable his statement to be the case.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 04:20 PM

I dont think he knows himself what he means. Most of what he says is made up, lies, or at best ignorant. Dosn't inspire confidence in a Minister. I think there will be uproar when this mess becomes well known -


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 05 - 04:38 PM

How long before the first ASBO on a musician? Or a Morris Dancer for that matter. (That might actually be quite popular in some circles...)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 10:03 AM

The Musicians - Lawyers Group - Richard Bridge in particular, is doing stirling work on behalf of musicians - more to come.

But in the meantime, and I hate this legislation, but, many Pubs locally have applied for entertainment where they did not have it in the past - some say they need flexibility to keep trade alive in the face of cheap boose from Tesco etc and fear a smoking ban reduction.

Check that your local has done so. Time almost up.

Tesco meantime are applying for 24 hour drinking - goes down well with anti binge drinking.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 05:14 PM

Thank you ET. Hamish and you are doing a lot too...

Yes, PLG has 3 plans we are (like Max) workin on in our spare time, and we may try to re-activate the Marshall-Andrews plan too if it needs it...

None are very likely to bring immediate relief, so applications for licences (with box ticked) need to go ahead, but remember that the Minister has power to make many categories of amendments by ministerial diktat, so if anyone has any good blackmail material, PM me....


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 05:52 PM

Firstly let me agree that the minister most obviously did not know what he was talking about. The inevitable consequence is that he was delivering a civil service brief, which he only partially understands. A common occurrence for any politician. On the other hand the civil service would not give such a briefing without having a reason for doing so. By november the legal profession will need to have figured out that reason to have a chance of successfully defending anyone who a local council charges with a breach of the act. I suspect that the obvious defence is contained in paragraph 7 of the 1st schedule to the act. This is

"The provision of entertainment consisting of the performance of live music or the playing of recorded music is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not itself a description of entertainment falling within paragraph 2, or the provision of entertainment facilities."   

One thing is certain. The courts will not accept that that paragraph can possibly have no meaning so some live music must be exempt as a result of it. It was argued in parliament that buying and selling alcohol was the primary activity in a pub bar and hence that there are at least some circumstances where music is incidental to that purpose and so exempt. That would seem to cover most pub bar sessions where the musicians mainly pay for the pleasure of being there by consuming large quatities of the landlirds ale, at their own expense.

The important issues at the moment are not whether that interpretation is true. They are, whether people will put themselves into a position where they may have to employ thath defence and whether local authorities will take action in such circumstances in the knowledge that the defence will be employed. In fact knowing how the legal profession appears to work, there may be a more fundamental question. It appears that the law as referred to in courts is as interpreted in legal books. The UK lawyers on the forum might do us a service by telling us whether the legal press have written authoritative interpretations of that exemption and if so how they have interpreted it.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 07:02 PM

RichardP - there are no authoritative interpretations yet. You understand enough that I wonder why you mislead us on that point. Are you a civil servant or ex-civil servant?

The principal reason for the civil service to give a minister a "difficult" brief (if doing so knowingly) is to cover their own backs, and I strongly suspect that those drafting the Act had litte idea of what they were talking about on the music side. Once that happens, hubris leads to a robust defence of the error.

The weasel word is "incidental", and it may be much narrower than "ancillary". I suggested amendments to clarify this and the DTI blanked us. What they may, ironically, have done, is left themselves nore open to challenge under the Human Rights Act.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 04:37 AM

Richard Bridge, if "ancilliary" would allow more unlicensed music than "incidental" you are to be congratulated for suggesting it. If incidental allows more than ancilliary the DCMS are to ge congratulated on retaining it. Only a lawyer could guess which is more generous and if you had two lawyers there would be at least three opinions about which was the wider.

However, the important point is that there is an exemption where the music is incidental/ancilliary to anything other than licensed entertainment. That explicitly includes the licensed supply of alcohol for money. Furthermore clause 7 of the schedule has equal status to clause 1 and any other clause.

Consequently there is a boundary that will eventually be drawn by case law between legal and illegal unlicensed music in a bar and the boundary cannot be at the no music end of that continuum. It might even be at the opposite end so that any music in a bar that is serving alcohol is legal - but I doubt it and even doubt that going that far would be sensible. However, the boundary that the courts have to draw is where the music becomes the major activity and the licensed trade (presumably) becomes incidental.

I don't pretend to know how the courts will draw that line, or how local authorities will decide what to take to court to test the line - and I fear no-one else knows either. However we should not ignore the fact that the line awaits its drawing. Nor should we cease trying to get licences to include music, because that must of necessity be more generous in what it allows.

RichardP


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:32 AM

This is an interesting legal debate but the real issue is whether a licensee (or even a backing brewery) will want to involve themselves in this - I think they will take a "no risk" view and prevent music if they have no licence.

The rules of interpretation, as I understand them are that:- firstly the courts assume that Parliamnet is competent and interpret the clause literally. If this makes no sense then the mischief rule applies - what mischief did Parliament intend to prevent. If this fails there is something called the Goldern Rule but I fear I forget its meaning.(best possible explanation??)

The interpretation that the "incidental" acception means something is correct. What Literally does this mean. "to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity that is not a description of entertainment in Schedule 2" is interesting.   It therefore does not mean that music performed as a backdrop to a play is exempt because a play is described regulated entertainment. It must, literally, be music (recorded or live)incidental to some other licensed activeity other than regulated entertainment - so literally music incidental to (not a core part of) selling alcohol.

The courts look to Parliamnetary words but could be urged to take into account parliamentary debate. The wretched Howells, pressed to define "incidental" said he thought it was obvious but that he would have a shot at it. He waffled about a restaurant having a pianist playing in a corner...he thought that was ok (although the prime purpose of a restaurant, I would have thought, is not (as yet) licensed - ie selling food.

He said it would not be incidental if it was live music that was advertised and the main purpose of the public being there. So if a band is advertised to play at a pub and it plays loud enough - licence needed. if a session takes place undvertised and largely ignored by the regulars- no licence needed - incidental.

But these are fine points of law and not something I think even the most eloquent of us could pusudade our local licence to risk £20,000 &/or 6 months on.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:43 AM

Further to this - and my own views, I have just discussed this with legal colleagues and I now think that the incidental exception is music incidental to some other activiety not in itself regulated entertainment - that other activiety need not be licenced activety,. so Howells piano in a restaurant is incidental, if it is not the main purpose.   

So if a comedian, (main purpose comedy - not yet licensed by new Labour) played a banjo (like Billy Connoly) incidental to his main purpose, not regulated entertainment for the music.

Anyone still awake?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:48 AM

Ye Gods - its me again.

Marks and Spencers have late night shopping evening with a Jazz Combo. The Jazz Combo is live music but incidental to the main purpose - shopping.   No licence?

A Cafe without a liquor licence puts on entertainment - incidental to main purpose.

But the Minister says - if advertised then not incidental. But he refused to be drawn into a further definition and the act makes no mention of advertising.

Good night!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 06:17 AM

"incidental" - "casual, not essential...a subordinate event"   Concise Oxford.   The government view was was that it was only something of trivial importance that could be "incidental" and that as soon as the provision of the live or recorded music became of significant importance then it was no longer "incidental".

I think this is too narrow, but the government refused to clarify. I have a particular reason but I am not giving it away yet in case the Government does something Machiavellian before we need to use it in anger.

Anyone know a licensee who wishes to risk his livelihood and many thousands of pounds finding out?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:01 AM

My point is that as (practically) any live music will now be illegal (practically) anywhere - without Premises Licence entertainment permission - there is not now a need to require a licensee to risk their livlihood in order to test this legislation.

Yes it is unlikely (as before) that a licensee will be prepared to take the risk to go to court (on this aspect alone) - but this Act has changed many things. Perhaps some thought could be given to the way individuals (or groups) could test these aspect of the Act in areas and premises other than pubs/clubs etc?

For example - cafes and other places - not serving alcohol - under the Act - will have to apply for Premises Licence entertainment permission - if they wish to provide Regulated Entertainment. If their normal business (and opening hours) does not require anything that IS licensable - the claim can surely be made that any live music in these premises - is incidental to something that is not in itself licensable?   

I am sure that with a bit of thought many examples of testing the music aspects of this legislation by willing individuls (on full legal aid) can be found?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:11 AM

So basically, if your music is crap, so that no one would have listening to it as a reason for being there, you're all right. If you're good, there might be a problem...

I think a lot of pub sessions should be safe enough with that.

Maybe a useful defence would be evidence of punters complaining to the landlord about that dreadful noise that lot over there are making.
.................................

But of course it isn't actually going to get to court in most cases, so the law doesn't matter too much. The landlords, and, more significantly, the directors of the chain pubs, are going to play for safety, and insist that there's no live music at all. So it's football on the telly instead, and a music centre controlled from behind the bar, when there's no match on. And maybe even the occasional juke box, if you are lucky.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:13 AM

Don't rely on Legal Aid. Barristers are soon to go on strike about lack of it!

But an interesting thought. If a non alcohol cafe applies for a premise licence for live music, would a local authority answer the question of a need for a licence if the live music was declared to be low key (forgive the pun, I don't mean in C) and "incidental" to the main purpose?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:06 AM

An intriguing point, which I have not seen discussed, is the suggestion that the legality or illegality of playing music may turn on the issue of whether it was or wasn't advertised.
A lot of advertisisng, particularly of acoustic sessions, is not done by the landlord. It is done by participants, via the internet, or specialist local magazines. Or even by non-participating enthusiasts. Which seems to suggest that a landlord's guilt or innocence will be established by actions of people totally beyond his control. Can that be the intention of the bill?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:27 AM

Which seems to suggest that a landlord's guilt or innocence will be established by actions of people totally beyond his control. Can that be the intention of the bill?

As to the second question - who really knows what the intention of the Bill/Act was. Especially as regards to live music. But the case with advertising is really the case now - as regards licensees not being able to control what is advertised (by the piblic) for their premises.

But as has been pointed out - the advertising of event (or not) does not really figure in the words of the Act.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:35 AM

Don't rely on Legal Aid. Barristers are soon to go on strike about lack of it!

Yes - but it will remain a factor given the cost of any legal actions.

Perhaps anyone who feels that their circumstances would qualify them for Legal Aid and who would be prepared to test aspects of the legislation - should contact The Musicians - Lawyers Group?

And what about a fund for fighting these aspects - that we could all contribute to?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 12:03 PM

If 120,000 who signed the petion pledge a couple of quid each - hmm


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 12:43 PM

The Act mentions advertising in two respects only:

Advertising of applicaitons for licenses and a total exemption for advertising films. Any other discussion based on advertising - and there has been much on the mudcat over the last few years is solely based on Kim Howell's statements in parliament, which in this respect were never clear and consistent. The contexts in which I recall his use of advertising was mostly likely concerned with advertising with a view to attracting an audience and at least on most occassions a paying audience. But he never said that in so few words.

Most importantly, as Shambles pointed out, those who are sriting about advetising are not writing in about the content of the act.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 02:02 PM

Advertising has little if anything to do with the act itself. Richard Bridge might be able to confirm this, but I believe the operative word to be "organised".

For a session to be impromptu, there must be no organiser, no as it were guiding intelligence. Just a bunch of people meeting by chance, and starting a session.

It would be difficult to defend, on the basis that arriving with instruments would imply intention to perform, hence some degree of prior organisation.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 02:11 PM

One thing is certain. The courts will not accept that that paragraph can possibly have no meaning so some live music must be exempt as a result of it.

That bit at least must be good news? Perhaps it is something that we can build on?

It was argued in parliament that buying and selling alcohol was the primary activity in a pub bar and hence that there are at least some circumstances where music is incidental to that purpose and so exempt. That would seem to cover most pub bar sessions where the musicians mainly pay for the pleasure of being there by consuming large quatities of the landlirds ale, at their own expense.

The important issues at the moment are not whether that interpretation is true. They are, whether people will put themselves into a position where they may have to employ thath defence and whether local authorities will take action in such circumstances in the knowledge that the defence will be employed.


I see what is being said here - but it is surely the other way around?
No defence ever needs to be mounted if local authorities do not - in effect - go on the attack against sessions etc. For there will not be same financial reasons and drive than as present for LAs to insist on entertainment permission in pubs - as the revenue coming from the Premises Licence will be the same to them - whether this permission is in place or not.

So a more accomodating interpretation from them towards any live music in premises where permission is not in place - by considering it as incidental - may now find more favour? Hopefully more than some of the more draconian and unhelpful interpretations that we have seen from many of them under current legislation in order to force licensees to apply and which have made life so difficult for sessions etc.

As stated - the 'incidental' exemption must be seen to apply to some live music and it may as well be of some benefit to all of us - rather than none - so in the short term at least - a more relaxed approach that may involve them in less work should be welcome to our LAs - as the officers involved will be busy enough - without having to look for more work.

I am meeting with the leader of my local authority this week and I shall be making that point to him. If licensees can be assured in advance by our LAs that sessions etc - can take place and be considered as exempt by being incidental - it should be possible for these activities to take place in the majority of premises without entertainment permission.

If this can be managed - there may also be some hope that other events could also take place? Or am I being far too optimistic?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 03:00 PM

I think Shambles has thought this through well and it may be the saviour of session. Under the old legislation I was present when some dragon from the local authority turned up to stop a session by saying even though there was no one in the pub but her, she was being entertained and so a PEL was needed. The next week we turned up with the BBC and she failed to show, but had a go at the licensee later.

Under new legislation there is no need to entertain - only to be incidental.   A local authority in East Yorks has already said informally that it thinks no licence is needed if not advertised and not played to an audience.....if this view is uniform and publicsed may give courage to licensees.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 03:11 PM

I hope this is not too optimistic but it can be pointed out to LAs that they are not charged under the Act to prevent all live music and defend their actions in the courts - they are only charged to ensure the Act's main objectives.

If they can ensure the Act's main objectives without preventing traditional pub activities and the public's freedom of musical expression - life will be a lot easier for all parties.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 03:44 PM

There's nothing about "impromptu" in the act, unless I'm mistaken. (And it's a word which could mean a whole range of different things in any case, rather like its sister "spontaneous".)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 04:45 PM

Although the word impromtu does not appear in the act, the inference is clear, that if the music is seen to be designed to bring in more patrons to purchase the drinks on sale, it cannot be described as incidental to the pub's business, but would constitute a part of said business.

This is a legal minefield, and it should be remembered that L.A.s will be under pressure to enforce the letter of the act, which will only be fully determined after some very expensive court appearances.

Bear in mind also that anyone challenging the law in court is unlikely to be able to match the array of barristers and Q.C.s the authorities will field in response.

Judges do seem to find in favour of the litigant with the higher profile representation.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:06 PM

Although the word impromtu does not appear in the act, the inference is clear, that if the music is seen to be designed to bring in more patrons to purchase the drinks on sale, it cannot be described as incidental to the pub's business, but would constitute a part of said business.

It is fact that as the exemption for live (and recorded) music is now set in the words of the Act - so it is more than inference that there must be some form of live music that IS considered to be incidental and exempt. LAs will have to enforce this letter of the law also and not been seen to be trying to turn all (or any) live music into Regulated Entertainment. any attempt to do this will be contrary to their requirement under the Act and the guidance.

For the statutory guidance to the Act - makes it clear that if any applicant is unsure what may be incidental live music - they are to consult their local Licensing Authority for the details. One can see why LAs may prefer to wait for some court rulings to determine this and only then act in concert - but the Act requires each one to make the first moves.

If they don't first do this locally - there will nothing for the courts to test.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:16 PM

We seem to be getting a breakout of realism at last in this thread. Let's have a bit more. A few posts ago Don suggested that the "organiser" is the person at risk - this is not an original suggestion - Don is mentioned only because he is the latest to introduce it.

The organiser is only mentioned in one small part of the Act. This is exclusively concerned with entertainment that is closed to members of the (general) public and is not organised for a "qualifying club" such as a working men's club. It then says that no licence is required provided the premises owner and the organiser are not taking a personal profit out of the admission fees. There is nothing in the act related to an organiser of anything in a publicly accessible location.

The phrase "personal Profit" is not used. The phrases are "with a view to profit" and "by or on behalf ofany person concerned in the organisation or management of that entertainment". It is clear that the organiser (or premises provider) must be receiving the income as an individual for the entertainment to be regulated entertainment.

To spike another previous red herring it is explicitly stated that selection of the program content or control of the manner of performance and the provision of personal equipment does not make one an organiser.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:28 PM

There is something not quite right in your inyerpretation Richard.

It has already been stated that the act does not exempt charity events, where no individual is profitting. These still require licensing under the new act.

Also, with respect, the act does mention liability for providing facilities for live music on premises not licensed for it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:38 PM

Neither is any mention made of individuals. A charity event is run "with a view to a profit". That's the whole point of fund-raising events.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:00 PM

Perhaps it is also time to suggest that the Act's exemption for 'incidental' live and recorded music exists on its own and is not related to the references by Ministers etc - to music that is spontaneous or impromptu. Two words that don't really get anyone very far.

For any live music to be considered 'incidental' and exempt - (and some must be by our LAs) - it probably follows that it can be regular and does not have to be either spontaneous or impromptu.

The push for us to urge our local licensees to apply for entertainment permission was understandable. However, the deadline is now so close it is probably time for us to accept that we can do little more in that direction.

I would suggest as well as using our MPs at national level - that that it is now time for us to concentrate our attention on our local Licensing Authorities and our elected local councillors to try and ensure that they do not (wrongly) see their role under the Act - is for them to (continue) to prevent live music.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:02 PM

What's going to happen is that where landlords decide to allow music its going to happen, and where they don't (or where they are instructed by their bosses in the chain), it won't. If there's a complaint (for example from a neighbouring pub) and the council decides to lean on the landlord, the landlord will give way.

So there won't be many actual court cases at all. The law matters insofar as it will have an impact on which way councils decide to jump, when some kind of complaint is lodged. And there is plenty of leeway fro them to interpret it either way, more especially since it won't in practice be tested in court except in very occasional cases. Which means it will be quite some time before any case law has built up.

In the meantime I suspect it won't feel very different from what it does now. But I'd hope there might be a few more places, pubs and non-pubs which will have got their heads round applying for a licence to cover live music.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:27 PM

We will be into a totally different situation with LAs than we are now and should not assume anything - good or not so good.

The reality will be - as I see it - is is that after this round of applications - if you find a pub where the licensees are willing to hold a session etc but where they feel the LA will take action to prevent it without entertainment permission - neither party has much to lose but to honestly ask the local authority - if the type of activity planned can take place and be considered by them as exempt (as incidental). That is exactly the position dealt with in the guidance in repect of this exemption.

The LA must then provide an answer and are in a difficult position - re the Human Rights Act - if they are seen to have prevented the public's right of musical free expression - where there were no grounds to do so.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 01:52 AM

Continuing realism.

Let's nail "profit". There is only one use of the word profit in the Act and it states unequivocally that the individual organiser or premises provider is making a charge for a PRIVATE occasion and with a view to profit. The word has no reference in any case where the public as such has a right of access. Most charity events are open to the public because it is the public's money that is wanted for the charity so are not covered by this clause.

Turning to the private events to which the paragraph applies - these are concerned only with members-only events - such as are currently held by many folk-clubs so as to avoid the need for a PEL. The organiser currently makes a charge for admission which is used to cover the running costs of the club which are mainly used for b the cost of hiring the artists not for the organiser's personal profit. The context permits these arrangements to continue provided the consideration (i.e. door money) is not collected for profit. In this conerxt it has nothing to do with charities as such although there is nothing to prevent a part of the consideration being passed on to a charity.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 06:06 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

In last Tuesday's Jeremy Vine interview on BBC Radio 2 (19 July 2005), licensing minister James Purnell casually dismissed the emailed claims of one listener, Susan Mallett, concerning, among other things, nursing homes cancelling musicians because they fear this will require a licence.

In fact, Susan Mallett's fears are well founded. The minister either displayed a woeful lack of knowledge about the legislation for which he is now responsible, or he intentionally avoided the difficulty.

For years I have been performing in hospitals for a small fee. The gigs are organised by a number of charities. The hospital makes a contribution to the musicians' fees direct to the charity involved. To the best of my knowledge, none of these performances has ever been caught by entertainment licensing because they were considered private. Most private gigs were exempt under the old regime. The new Act fundamentally changes this, however, extending entertainment licensing across many private performances that have never been caught before (private members clubs, for example).

A couple of weeks ago I had confirmation from my local authority, Camden, that my hospital performances will be licensable under the new regime (see copy email exchange below).

A Temporary Event Notice, which is what Camden recommends, is arguably not going to break the bank at £21. But applications must be submitted on prescribed forms simultaneously to the police and local authority at least 10 working days before the event. Only the police can object on crime prevention grounds.

This does mean, however, that organising such gigs after 24 November would be considered by Camden at least as a potential criminal offence, punishable by fines up to £20,000 and six months in prison.

~ ~ ~

-----Original Message-----
From: HB [mailto:drum.pro@virgin.net]
Sent: 06 July 2005 15:15
To: Shaw, Oliver
Subject: Licensing - live music

Oliver

I have another question which I believe you may be able to answer.

I perform about once a month with my jazz trio in hospitals and care homes across London. These events are organised jointly by a charity with which I am registered as a performer, and the hospital or care home concerned. I am paid, albeit a reduced fee. The hospital makes a substantial contribution to that fee directly to the organising charity. The events are advertised within the hospital or care home, and relatives and friends of the patients can attend.

Under the old regime the charity considered that most of these performances were private and therefore exempt. What is Camden's view of such performances under the new Licensing Act?

I look forward to a swift reply.

Many thanks in advance.

Hamish Birchall

------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: Shaw, Oliver
To: 'HB'
Cc: Leonard, Stephen
Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2005 5:20 PM
Subject: RE: Licensing - live music


Dear Hamish,

Just to get back to you regarding a few of your queries today. Firstly, you asked about the charity performances below. Our view is that the below performances would require a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) if there are less that 500 people present at the event (and less than 12 per year). If there are more than 500 people, the event would require a premises licence. We expect regulations on TENs are released shortly.

You asked about the proportion of Camden bars/restaurants/hotels etc which do not hold a PEL but which have applied to vary their 'premises licence' to host live music. As I explained, we are not in a position to extrapolate that sort of information at this stage. In order to run those sorts of reports, we would need to get a programmer to design, test and run the customised report. Naturally, our commitment to work with the Live Music Forum to asses the impact of the Act on live music and dancing still stands, however this is something that we wont be in the position to look at until post transition.

Similarly, the same applies for your query to Amy regarding the percentage of pubs and clubs applications received to date. This query too would require a customised report to be set up by a programmer. Naturally, you'll appreciate that even if figures could be provided, numbers of applications are arriving at such a high volume at the moment that they would very soon be out of date.

Regards
Oliver Shaw
Licensing Policy Officer
Camden Council
Ph. 0207 974 5940
oliver.shaw@camden.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 06:49 AM

I have seen some of the Licesing Policy Documents from local authorities and some make good statements about promotion of culture and music. It might depend on the usual tussle between officers and elected members how much notice of this is taken.

In the Times today is an article on the salaries of Cheife Executives of Local Authorities and a sidlelong glance at appointments of eg Director of Cultural Services at Ealing £81,000 and assistant CEO (Cultural Services) at Manachester on £80,000.

Culture ought to be prominent on these sorts of salaries - even local authority offices ought to have a glimmer of culture that is live music!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 07:25 AM

Here is an e-mail I have sent to the Minister. No doubt will be intercepted by a Civil Servant........


One of the (I hope) unintentional consequences of music licensing under Schedule 1 of the 2003 Act is that entertainment given (often freely or at very reduced fees) by musicians for the elderly or sick in hospitals and old folks homes, needs a licence. (either a full premise licence or a limited number of Temporary Event Notices at £21 per time).   You said on Radio that this seems wrong - it is wrong, shamefully wrong. But old folks homes and hospitals are not going to take a risk on £20,000 & /or 6 months and are cancelling these visits, to the detriment of the old and sick. The reason for needing a licence, it is supposed, is that members of the public (relatives) may be entertained.

I am sure that if this is known to the general public they would be horrified.   If it is an unintended consequence you could probably sort it by use of Ministerial powers created under the Act.

Perhaps you will do so.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Cobble
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 07:47 AM

How many of you voted for this party at the last general election, you knew what was going on. Typical labour tax grabs, nanny state and worst of all the biggest shower of liars in parliaments history. They are deaf to anything you want, you should know feathering the nest is the only thing they want, jobs for the boys.

                         Cobble.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:15 AM

Here is an e-mail I have sent to the Minister. No doubt will be intercepted by a Civil Servant........

If you want a reply - the best way is to write and ask your MP to write to the Minister concerned and ask your question for you. In the case of the 'jamming OK' statement - it may be a good idea if the Minister could be made to repeat or clarify such a statement in the Commons.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 11:33 AM

The Act is a muddle. However, the principal relevant offence is in S 136 (1) - either carrying on a licensable activity, or knowingly permitting (you don't have to know its wrong, only that it's going on).

There are some defences in S 136 (2) and eg a person does not commit an offence if his ONLY involvement is to perform live music.

But in Sch. 1, para 1 (6) a person is not to be taken as being "concerned in the organisation or management of entertainment" ONLY if he
(a) chooses the music
(b) determines the manner in whch HE performs or plays it (so a bandleader or choreographer is not safe); or
(c) provides any facilities forthe purposes of HIS performance (so a man who lends another a guitar is not safe)

This does however assume that Sch 1. Para 1(6) informs the construction of S 136 and that is not really what Sch 1 Para 1(6) is for: it is mainly there to help (if that is the right word) figure out when private events are for consideration or profit. I think the courts will probably try to read the Act as a coherent whole (fat chance), so I reckon that that para will determine that a person is involved in organisation or management so that in such a case his involvement will not be ONLY as a performer for the purposes of S 136(2).

Is that clear? (Hollow laugh)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 12:12 PM

Richard,

You say "ONLY if he" the act "is not concerned in the organisation or management of the entertainment by reason only that he does one or more of the following- " So he is not involved in the organisation if he does none of those things. He must be involved in the organisation to a greater extend than the three exceptions.

You are correct that it is there only for the the private events for consideration or profit. I can see no way in which it can moderate any other part of the act even if the courts tried to make it do so.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 03:07 PM

Something is wrong with your second line of text. What should it say?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 03:11 PM

Good point about e-mails. I have now written to my MP (who is David Davis, Deupty Tory Leader, whom I have contacted before, asking him to tackle Purnell and DCMS.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 04:31 PM

Richard

I agree that the some of the sense of what I wrote was well hidden. Try this expanded wording:

"So he is not involved in the organisation if he does only those organisational aspects and even more so if he does none of those things nor any other organisational aspects. He must be involved in the organisation to a greater extend than the three exceptions."


The essence of what I was saying is that there is a world of difference between "only if he" and "if he only". The latter is the sense of the detailed wording. He is not a culpable organiser if the only organising he does is in the three exceptions.

The only offence in that situation is making a profit from organising the private entertainment, otherwise the entertainment is exempt from licencing and so no licence is required.

I don't doubt that you understand that and I am sure that you were not intending to mislead - but we have readers who would not have read it the way that you intended.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: PennyBlack
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 06:47 PM

This may or may not be a good idea (after playing and supping for 4 hours it makes sense to us)

We are contacting our local councils and asking them their stand on and implementation in regards to the new licence and its effect on live music e.g. acoustic and amplified sessions, amplified Morris accompaniment to Morris (and similar traditional) dance, Busking, open air music and charity collection, etc.

If they reply we will be putting their reply verbatim, on the Fylde Folk Forum web site, for reference, if everyone did the same in their areas, we would all have a better idea what we can do all over the country (I'm sure a thread could be dedicated to it here on Mudcat likewise on the Fylde Folk Forum) or even a website set up just for this purpose.

Let's get it all in writing, it doesn't matter what is said by the likes of James Purnell, and Kim Howell on air as they either don't know what they are talking about or just lie.

just a thought,

PB


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 04:31 AM

I am responding to Richard P's comments concerning potential culpability of musicians under the new Act.

When I am contacted by the charity that sets up hospital and nursing home performances, it is my responsibility to organise the other musicians in order to make up the trio or quartet that has been requested. That means phoning the other musicians, booking them if they are available, telling them where and when to turn up, and afterwards forwarding their fees. I also have to liaise with the hospital in advance of the performance, checking musicians' access and other logistical details.

This activity on my part clearly falls outside the potential culpability exemptions in Schedule 1, para 1(6). Significantly, such activity is the norm for any musician/bandleader when approached by an entertainment agent, or directly by a potential customer, intent on organising a professional performance.

Significantly also, where private events are concerned, ANYONE concerned in the organisation or management of the entertainment who makes a charge (with a view to profit) is caught, provided the charge is paid by or on behalf of some of those for whom the entertainment, or entertainment facilities are provided.

No distinction is made between agents, bandleaders, marquee hirers, DJs, dance floor providers etc etc: if any one of these were to make a charge in this context, they are caught.

In the past, Richard, you have been something of an apologist for the new Licensing Act.

Do you personally believe the criminalisation of private hospital gigs, or indeed the vast swathe of hitherto private and exempt performances, is justified? If yes, I am sure all your readers would be eager to understand why.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 04:45 AM

I think this is yet another part of this Act which is outrageous. I have written to my MP about it and suggest all Catters in England do the same.   It would make good anit-publicity.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 04:49 AM

Richard

I think I agree in part.

The saving in para 1(6) applies so that if a person merely
(a) chooses music; or
(b) determines the way in which HE performs or plays; or
(c) provides any facilities for HIS performance

then doing that thing does not make him "concerned in the management or organisation".

However, where we part company is that if that saving does not apply, eg if a person tells another player how to play, or lends another player an instrument, it seems to me that that person is not to be treated as "concerned in the management" etc.

Obviously then the entertainment, even if not for the public or in a members club, becomes regulated entertainment if that person is also paid (Para 4).

So who now commits an offence?

See S 136 (1) - any person carrying on a licensable activity without a licence commits an offence. By S 1(1) a "licensable activity" includes the provision of regualted entertainment, and our hypothetical person clearly does that.

Is he then, saved by S.136 (2)?   Well, is "his only invovlement" that he "performs live music"? We know the answer to that. He is, for the reasons above, "concerned in the management" (certainly if the event is private but regulated). So he commits an offence - if the event is private but regulated.

Could he possibly be guilty if the event were private but regulated, but not commit an offence if it were public or in a member's club?. That would be hte sort of constructional anomaly the courts would surely find anathema.

I therefore adhere to my original construction of the provisions, subject to the exact location (to which you point) in that construction, of the workd "ONLY".


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 01:37 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The Department for Culture has told me that James Purnell is to speak at the Musicians' Union 31st Biennial Delegate Conference at Sparsholt, near Winchester, this Wednesday 27 July 2005.

Copies of his speech, to be 'checked against delivery', should be available from DCMS on the day. No doubt he will talk about how much money the government is putting into music education, the Miliband Music Manifesto, the government's commitment to the music industry, his commitment to live music etc etc...

If there are any MU delegates out there prepared keep entertainment licensing centre stage, here are some questions they might put to the minister:

Any broadcast entertainment in bars or anywhere else is exempt from the new Licensing Act. The government has said that, as far as big screen sport in bars is concerned, if there are crime, noise or disorder problems then the bar's licence can be reviewed. Can you explain why the same approach cannot be taken with live music in bars?

The DCMS website claims that the two in a bar rule 'fails to protect local residents from noise nuisance'. What evidence does your department have that one or two musicians have caused a significant noise problem in the 44-year history of this entertainment licensing exemption?

Do you think it reasonable that the playing of recorded music on jukeboxes and other recorded sound systems should be automatically allowed to carry forward on converting an alcohol licence, provided the equipment is already in situ, but live music by even one musician should be illegal unless licensed?

On various BBC radio interviews you have said that once the new licence is obtained, people will never need to apply for a licence again. Can you confirm that if a bar has specified solo or duos only on two or three days of the week on its premises licence application, and this has been authorised, then the licensee would have to re-apply to vary the licence in order to increase the number of performers, or days on which performances could be provided?

In your interview with Jeremy Vine on Radio 2, Tuesday 19 July, you said you 'where there is evidence of real problems' for live music as a result of the new Licensing Act you were 'committed to act'. By November local authorities should be able to say what proportion of all bars, pubs and restaurants have been granted a live music authorisation on their premises licence. What proportion would you expect to have got that authorisation by then, and what would you consider an unacceptably low proportion and evidence of a real problem?

Since the Act gives the Secretary of State power, by order, to change, add or remove descriptions of entertainment, would there be any reason to delay amendment of the Act immediately if the level of live music authorisations were unacceptably low?

Was it the government's intention that performances in hospitals and care homes where relatives and friends can attend, organised for a fee by various charities, should be caught by the Act?

On You and Yours, BBC R4 01 July, you said 'under the current regime there are all sorts of anomalies'. Under the new regime one musician performing in a restaurant not licensed for live music will be potentially a criminal offence for the licensee - but music or sport broadcast on a big screen with a powerful PA is exempt; a concert in a school is likely to be illegal unless licensed, but exempt if performed in a church, royal palace or military base; unamplified musicians accompanying Morris dancers will be exempt, but without the dancers illegal unless licensed; any band can perform on the back of a moving lorry and that is exempt. Do you not consider these to be anomalies?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 02:00 PM

Roger, in light of the fact that a musician playing for a Morris side becomes illegal if he continues to play when the dancers take a break, perhaps our knowledgable minister would like to explain the situation pertaining when your moving lorry gets stuck in a traffic jam, and is forced to stop.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 02:01 PM

100

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM

Roger, in light of the fact that a musician playing for a Morris side becomes illegal if he continues to play when the dancers take a break, perhaps our knowledgable minister would like to explain the situation pertaining when your moving lorry gets stuck in a traffic jam, and is forced to stop.

We can always ask him but the answer is pretty simple Don.

The Morris side always keep a lorry with its engine running out side the pub - ready for the musicians to jump on and drive around the block - while the Morris dancers take a break.

And the musicians on the moving lorry always make sure that they have altenative acoustic instruments and a Morris side - ready to dance - when the lorry is forced to stop.

Not too sure if amplified music for Morris - played from a moving vehicle is exempt - it certainly does not sound very safe - but safety does not seem to matter..............


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 03:20 PM

Richard,

Before we get carried away with thiw latest fantasy, could you explain the difference in law between stopped and parked to Don and others.

Hamish,

Of course I could not think that the situation that you describe is in any wy reasonable. On the other hand I cannot conceive of anyone ever considering it reasonable. The central conundrum is how the organiser of the event is defined. The various exclusions were clearly intended to safeguard the musicians if they turned up, played and received their fee for doing so. I don't think that you have established that the act has failed in that intent, but accept that there might be some doubt until it is tested in the courts. Whether or no the law finale produced achieved that level of protection, the intent of all members of both houses in debate was that it should be that protective and the ministerial advice given fomally with the benefit of parliamentary draftsmen rather than ad hoc on radio was that it was sufficiently protective.

I fear that the case you quoted to your local authority read to me as if there was an opportunity for a section of the public to attend so that although it was in a hospital the gig could properly be interpreted as being regulated entertainment in which case the Local Authorities answer was to be expected.

If the outside attendees can be categorised as attendees whose qualification is not as members of the public per se - relatives of residents would and friends of residents probably should qualify - then it would be potentially exempt (which was your implication). If you posed this more restricted concert to the Local Authority you would possibly get their answer to the situation which you appeared to be seeking to investigate. It might be the same answer. If it is it would also possibly be the wrong answer in law - but it would clarify where the local licencing officers (who are the real potential villains in all this) stand.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 07:41 PM

Having thought about the difference between parking and stopping, I can think of some clear examples of each, but not a litmus test difference. Indeed surely parking is inherently temporary. What is "permanent parking" - does it involve an unconditional intent to abandon? How long is "permanent", in this context?

Bearing in mind S 34 CDPA, I'm not sure I want to get into the effect that relationship between inmates and visitors has on well-wishing performances either.

I think your second paragraph is aimed at me rather than at Hamish. I do not accept your thesis. Rather, I think the intention of the government was to make the minimum amendments to escape without too much loss of political capital. Perhaps you can refer me to any extracts of Hansard to support your view.

I regret to say that I think the villains are threefold. First there are the draftsmen and those instructing them, who did not bother to find out much about music in the real world before indulging their prejudices. Then there are the civil servants who set about defending themselves rather than getting to the bottom of potential problems. Thirdly there are the politicians and civil servants who regard amending a bill after it has been published, even in the light of rational fears, as a sign of weakness to be resisted by the application of yah-boo politics - and who rely on briefings rather than the words of the Bill/Act to discover its meaning.

Local politicians are not the villians yet. We shall have to wait and see about them, although I fear the worst.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 03:28 AM

Excellent questions for Purnell at MU conference this Wednesday. Would be interested in his replies (or evasions). Bit like an interview with Ronald Regan with Rowan Atkinson as the US Civil Servant behind him suppling the answers.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 04:36 AM

Richard,

Starting with your last point. Of course the local politicians are not the villains yet under this Act. However, I cannot help feeling that a large part of the controversy around this act arises from the local politicians record on the previous acts particualrly PEL. In many LAs the licensing was typified by extortionate fees and onerous conditions and the same people are expected by many to be equally officious under the new act.

As to the rest of the email. Ministers are very resistant to amendments, particularly in the commons where both sides concentrate on name-calling rather than constructive attempts to explore detail and produce an improved compromise. I see no benefit in spending a lot of time going over parliamentary processes of two years ago. However let me quote one example that did happen, which is the clause referring to Morris Dancing. It is oddly worded and may or may not have the exact effect that anyone wanted but it is an amendment which was accepted by all sides of the argument. What I cannot recall, and again see no benefit in investigating, is whether after the first adoption it was rewritten by the draftsmen and replaced as an uncontested further amendment but almost all amendments that do not originate with the draftsmen are.

The Lords is very different. Hardly any amendments are pressed to a vote indeed most are stated at the start to be "probing" amendments seeking verbal clarification from the minister and never intended to be voted. At the next stage the government often propose an amendment which makes improvements in that area, which is carried without debate. The other feature of the Lords handling of amendments which is surprising, is that they are often proposed purely to elicit a verbal clarification from the minister, which is then regarded by all sides as having sttled the issue. There is a caveat to that, in so far as I noticed it on a subsequent Education Bill in particular where the actual implementation is more easily subject to Government oversite than is licensing so it may not have occurred on the Licensing Act.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 04:55 AM

Thank you Richard P. I largely agree. In this case you suggested that there had been ministerial statements that clarified. I think I did read most of the Hansards at the time and found (generally) no such, so I would still be interested to know the sources to which you refer.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 04:58 AM

Ver very long post - sorry about this, but no convenient website to put it on to make a link to.

The Performer Lawyer Group has just made the following press release: -


PERFORMER-LAWYER GROUP
care of: - MacDonald Bridge, Solicitors
Forge House, High Street, Lower Stoke, Nr. Rochester, Kent ME3 9RD
Tel: 01634 27 27 20 Fax: 01634 27 27 21 Email: McLaw @btinternet.com

PRESS RELEASE 26/07/05:        THE CRIMINALISATION OF LIVE MUSIC
The Performer - Lawyer Group are lawyers who themselves perform: mostly music or drama. The group was formed in 2003 by solicitor and folk musician Richard McD. Bridge to lobby about the irrational terms of the Licensing Bill.

LICENSING ACT HOSTILE TO LIVE MUSIC
The Licensing Act 2003 is a major piece of legislation. It will regulate "licensable activities" from November 2005. It is largely about alcohol, pubs, clubs and drinking hours, which are controversial enough. Its over-sweeping approach is unhelpful to amateur dramatics, circuses and possibly even darts matches. But for musicians its impact on live music is an unprincipled disaster. It makes crimes out of many things that were not. It does so without regard to the cultural importance of live music and performance. The government deviously says nothing is regulated now that was not regulated before. In reality, music-making is now regulated in much wider circumstances.

Until now a public entertainment licence ("PEL") was usually needed if an entertainment was public. Some private events needed licences under the Private Places of Entertainment Act 1967. Now a licence will be needed in members clubs and at many more private events. Many more outside events will need licences. Hundreds of musicians earn their livings playing in pubs under an exemption for up to two musicians, called the "two-in-a-bar-rule". This rule exempted pubs from PELs if they had up to two live musicians, or recorded music. They will lose the benefit of that exemption for live music – but not for recorded music (see below). The government says this is necessary in case the White Stripes (a very popular American two-piece group) play at an English pub. How likely is that? Did Chicory Tip ever cause pub riots?

IRRATIONALITY
The Government gives two main reasons – safety, and public order (including noise nuisance). Neither stands up, there is no coherent rationale, and the Act is peppered with flaws. In 2003 the Association of Chief Police Officers told ministers: "Live music always acts as a magnet in whatever community it is being played. It brings people from outside that community and having no connection locally behave in a way that is inappropriate and disorderly." This betrays prejudice as well as bad grammar.

There is a welter of legislation covering safety and noise, so the new controls add nothing significant. Ironically, for this very reason, local authorities are now told in government guidance that the licences they issue must not duplicate other regulation. There are existing powers both to "stop now" and to confiscate equipment. Most capriciously, however, the Act regulates live music, but exempts broadcasts of any kind. So too in most pubs recorded music will escape (see below), even if all three are amplified on the same systems.

The Act regulates a string quartet in the local library at an open night, a jazz band at a village fete, pub sessions playing folk music, a singalong at a pub piano, a carol concert in a shopping centre, and even (according to some licensing authorities) some benevolent performances at old folks' homes or in hospitals. Is this rational? The Act also covers commercial dance halls and rap or death metal concerts, etc. Are these really the same?

BIAS AGAINST LIVE MUSIC
The Act treats recorded music and broadcasts especially favourably. The replay of anything lawfully broadcast is not regulated (Schedule 1 paragraph 8). Pubs that could play recorded music under the "two-in-a-bar-rule" will still (under the transitional provisions) be entitled to a licence to replay recorded music. Recorded music under that rule is an "existing licensable activity" as defined in paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 8. These are usually called "grandfathered rights". If a grandfathered right is specified in a licence application under paragraph 2(4)(a) of the Schedule, then it MUST be included in the licence that MUST be granted under Paragraph 4(2) unless the police show it would make crime likely ((Paragraph 3(3)). Then these things will be permitted, no matter how loud, no matter how unruly the audience is likely to be.

Coming back to the "White Stripes", live music under the "two-in-a-bar-rule" is specifically excluded from being a grandfathered right by paragraph 1(2)(a) of Schedule 8 – but not recorded music, no matter who plays it, whether that DJ is as famous as the White Stripes or not.

The error here is two-fold. As any frequenter of music can tell you, there is less trouble where music is the priority rather than alcohol and romance. Further, the creative is discriminated against in favour of the consumption of manufactured output. The two-faced government advances the "White Stripes" argument against live performers in pubs – but ignores the equivalent possibilities, indeed probabilities, for recorded music. Some local authorities claim DJ "performers" will need licences, too, but for the reasons above this seems unlikely in most pubs, and the government has shown no intention anywhere in the Act to regulate DJs as performers.

REGULATION BY FEAR
The Act requires the owner of premises (indoor or out, including village halls, scout huts, etc) or the organiser to get a licence from the local authority for an event, even a charitable event if a charge is made. If there is no permanent licence he may give a "temporary event notice" for the event, limited to 12 per year (of course subject to a fee). Some fees have increased enormously.

Absence of a necessary licence is an offence. There are some exemptions for mere performers, but they are a mess, almost certainly as far as licensable private events are concerned, and probably therefore licensable public or club events. If one member of a band or troupe arranges or choreographs the performance of another, the first commits an offence but the second not. A conductor may be liable but the band not. If one member of a band lends another an instrument, he commits an offence but the borrower not. Extraordinarily, these things can turn an otherwise unlicensable private event into a licensable one. The penalty under the Act for music without a licence is £20,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. So, seeing the complicated provisions in the Act, no one will take a risk and for example musicians playing at hospitals or old folks' homes are being cancelled because of fear of needing a licence (whether one is actually needed or not).

IRRATIONAL EXEMPTION STRUCTURE
There are some exemptions – as well as those mentioned above – and some obviously needed are missing. The exemptions are ill thought out. Below are some examples.

"Incidental" music (live or recorded) is exempt if incidental to some other licensed activity. The Government refused to define "incidental". Ministers have said that if an event is advertised, or if anyone is paying much attention to it, it cannot be incidental, but this is not based on any words in the Act.

Morris dancing with acoustic music is exempt. This was a sop to get Lib Dem peers on-side in the Parliamentary debate. When the dancing stops and it therefore gets quieter and safer the acoustic music must stop unless licensed!

There is no other recognition of the importance of our culture or folklore – which must make England almost unique among the countries of the world, and arguably is contrary to our obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) that we ratified in 1976.

There is no general exemption for unamplified music. The government says this is necessary in case a troupe of bagpipers or Japanese drummers decide to play in a pub. How likely is that? Is it more or less likely than loud recorded music, or broadcasts?

There is no general exemption for "spontaneous" music. The government has repeatedly said that such music is not regulated. They say that "jamming" is not regulated. They have never pointed to any words in the Act to justify such a statement. The statements are probably wrong.

Places of public worship and religious meetings are exempt but not church halls. Church and village halls may benefit from reduced or zero fees if they get (if they can get) a licence.

There is a distinct possibility that rehearsal rooms may in some circumstances need licences. It turns on detailed wording that ought to have been clarified and was not.

CONCLUSION
The Government keeps saying that it supports live music and the Licensing Minister says the Act will make more opportunities for live music. The truth is that the universal requirement of a licence to make music (except in limited circumstances in private), backed with swingeing penalties for anyone who makes premises or facilities available for music, will kill the roots of live music and stifle the creativity of musicians young and old. Meanwhile, we all hear disaffected youth complain "there is nothing to do". Where will the music industry find real musicians (as distinct from clones made in a televised factory) when there is nowhere for performers to hone their skills?

This is now an Act. The Minister says the Government will review the legislation if it does not do what is intended. The Act contains power for the minister to amend many parts of it without a full and time-consuming parliamentary process. Urgent pressure is needed. That review and amendment could and should take place now to save live music from extermination.





BELOW: a selection of recent public ministerial statements, with the reasons they are wrong.


James Purnell: BBC Radio 4 - You & Yours – Friday 1st July 2005

Purnell: 'It's, you know, it is a seven page form for most people.'
FALSE because: The vast majority of pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels do not hold a public entertainment licence. So applying for live music now or in the future will mean filling out at least 15 pages of application forms –even for solo or duo performances, plus plans etc – see below.


James Purnell/John Humphrys: BBC Radio 4 - Today – Wed 29 June 2005:

Purnell: 'Now as long as they tick the box which says we want to put on an entertainment they won't have to pay any more and it is a much much easier system.'
FALSE because: A typical bar or restaurant will pay considerably more if they 'tick the box' for live music, and the application process is more complex than the old licensing regime. Ticking the box immediately incurs the cost of publicly advertising the application, often over £200. There is also the cost of having new 1:100 scale plans made of the premises. Then there are potential knock-on costs of possible legal representation if there are local objections, or objections from 'relevant authorities' that have to be dealt with by a public hearing. There are more potential costs incurred if typical local authority conditions are imposed, such as installing CCTV, crush rails, double glazing, air conditioning, new lavatories or wiring, or providing registered bouncers. If the applicant considers such conditions unreasonable, there is the cost of appealing to the magistrates' courts. But he may never get that far – a live music application will fail if the local authority doesn't get round to processing it within two months. Under the old regime there was no such 'time out' limit. Plans were not required if merely renewing an entertainment licence, and the scale was at the applicant's discretion. Nor were applicants required in advance to set out a weekly performance timetable, citing whether the music is amplified or not. For bars and restaurants a completed entertainment licence application was not usually more than 4 sides of A4. Under the new regime it is more likely to run to 15 pages or more. Under the old regime it went to 6 different authorities, not 8 as under the new regime. So it is much easier not to 'tick the box' for live music, particularly since jukeboxes automatically carry forward, if they are already in situ, and big screen broadcast entertainment is exempt.

John Humphrys: Forever? I mean they tick the box and that's it?
James Purnell: That's exactly right. They never have to apply for a licence again.
FALSE because: It is not "exactly right". It is not even close in most cases. Live music applicants must set out on the form the days and times during day when performances are being proposed. Many licensees will be wary of applying for live music 24/7. Local residents and the local authority would almost certainly object. Most applicants will compromise, applying for live music on a few days a week, perhaps just continuing the solo/duo acts they were automatically allowed in the past. Assuming such an application is eventually authorised, it will be a criminal offence for the licensee to put on live music on days and times not specified on the original application (except possibly under a temporary licence). If they had applied to continue solo or duo acts only, they would not be free to put on bands of three or more performers. In order to change or increase the live music, a new 'variation' application would have to be made, plus the licence fee, advertising costs, and potential for all the knock-on costs set out above.


James Purnell: BBC Radio 4 - YOU & YOURS – Friday 01 July 2005

James Purnell: '…but you know just generally it makes it easier for people to put on live music…'
FALSE because: As above:

James Purnell: '…And in effect people transferring the licences that they had previously into the new Act and that does mean, er, filling in a form and providing some information. Er, you know, the light at the end of that tunnel is that they can then know that they'll never have to apply for a licence again….'
FALSE because: As above:

James Purnell: '…Well, the general point is, yes we do recognise that there is a burden, and people getting their applications in at this stage. But once they've done so they will then never have to apply for a licence again.'
FALSE because: As above:

James Purnell: 'And under the current regime there are all sorts of anomalies and all sorts of antiquated rules which do mean that, day to day, people facing restrictions.' – [the implication is that these will be removed]
FALSE because: The new Act creates even more anomalies: one musician performing in a restaurant not licensed for live music is potentially a criminal offence for the licensee, but music or sport broadcast on big screens and a powerful PA is exempt; a concert in a church, royal palace, or military base is exempt, but illegal unless licensed in a school; acoustic music with Morris or similar dancing is exempt, but without the dancers illegal unless licensed; a performance in an unlicensed village hall is illegal, but legal if the musicians performed on the back of a moving lorry. Two famous musicians need regulation but one famous DJ does not (probably).

James Purnell: 'But if they do go out and get a licence we feel that it will be easier for them to operate because they will be able to put on whatever events they want to after that and they will never have to reapply for that licence.'
FALSE because: As above:


Jeremy Vine/James Purnell: - BBC Radio 2 – Tuesday 19 July 2005

James Purnell: 'If you're applying for an alcohol licence in effect you only have to tick one extra box and, er, you can then get a public entertainment licence.'
FALSE because: As above:

James Purnell: 'So, actually most people only have to fill in the 7 pages.'
FALSE because: As above. For most people it will be 15 pages, scale plans, fees, advertising costs, and capital costs and running costs, etc.

James Purnell: 'The the principle I think is fairly clear which is if it's an entertainment, where you're advertising it, people are coming along, paying, expecting to see live music that will require a licence as it does now. '
FALSE because: If live performance is 'to any extent' public it is illegal unless licensed irrespective of whether people pay to attend, whether it is advertised, and irrespective of whether alcohol is sold. If it was "as it does now" then the Act would effect no changes about live music. Certain venues are exempt from entertainment licensing: places of public religious worship, royal palaces, military bases and defined areas within designated ports or airports. The new Act also for the first time captures many private events that used to be exempt, such as charity fund-raising performances, or live music at private members clubs.

James Purnell: 'If it's just people singing along or jamming then it's not, then it doesn't require a licence.'
FALSE because: There is no such exemption. There is no exemption for spontaneity. Schedule 1 paragraph 2(1) is perfectly clear. A performance of live music, if there is an audience (or spectators), and if the purposes include (ie to any extent) entertaining that audience then that is entertainment and so regulated like other entertainment.

James Purnell: '… it's perhaps not surprising that people are worried about the burden they're going through now. What I would say is that the light at the end of that tunnel is they will have, they will never have to apply for it again.'
FALSE because: - See above

James Purnell: 'We think it will be good for live music'                        WHY?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 07:59 AM

I have sent this to BBC Look North, a local commercial radio station and local press in East Yorks. Could I suggest all with a vested interest copy this to your local media?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 08:15 AM

If anyone wants copies with layout etc, I will happily email them, if they PM me with their email addresses. Or email me using my email address in the release.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:12 PM

These are the words of the Act (as regards the 'incidental exemption).

Schedule 1
PROVISION OF REGULATED ENTERTAINMENT
Part 2
EXEMPTIONS


7 The provision of entertainment consisting of the performance of live music or the playing of recorded music is not to regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purpose of this Act to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not itself-

(a) a description of entertainment falling within paragraph 2, or
(b) the provision of entertainment facilities.

This is the guidance.

The Statutory Guidance

Incidental music

5.18


The incidental performance of live music and incidental playing of recorded music may not be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment activities under the 2003 Act in certain circumstances. This is where they are incidental another activity which is itself not entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilities. This exemption does not extend to the provision of other forms of regulated entertainment. Whether or not music of this kind is "incidental" to other activities is expected to be judged on a case by case basis and there is no definition in the 2003 Act. It will ultimately be for the courts to decide whether music is "incidental" in the individual circumstances of any case. In the first instance, the operator of the premises concerned must decide whether or not he needs a premises licence.

One factor that is expected to be relevant is "volume". Common sense dictates that live or recorded music played at volumes which predominate over other activities at a venue could rarely be regarded as incidental to those activities. So, for example, a jukebox played in a public house at moderate levels would normally be regarded as incidental to the other activities there, but one played at high volume would not benefit from this exemption.

Stand-up comedy is not regulated entertainment and musical accompaniment incidental to the main performance would not make it a licensable activity. But there are likely to be some circumstances which occupy a greyer area. In case of doubt, operators should seek the advice of the licensing authority. particularly with regard to their policy on enforcement.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:17 PM

so - If I am reading this correctly - If I were to be in a pub and started singing - as long as people pretty much ignored me it would be "incidental" - but if I should have the luck to have people notice my singing and fall silent in order to listen - if would cease to be "incidental" and become "entertainment".


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: JennyO
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:27 PM

But not if you have some Morris Dancers with you, or if you are on the back of a moving truck, MMario :-)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:36 PM



hmmm - does the act specify "palace" or "residence" - and does it specify *WHICH* Royals? King Khandu might be able to pick up a few bucks declaring certain pubs as Royal Palaces...


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:45 PM

Stand-up comedy is not regulated entertainment and musical accompaniment incidental to the main performance would not make it a licensable activity. But there are likely to be some circumstances which occupy a greyer area. In case of doubt, operators should seek the advice of the licensing authority. particularly with regard to their policy on enforcement.

This is good one and follows good sound principles.

Billy Conolly's banjo would not require entertainment permission as part of his stand-up act. It could be amplified and still be exempt as incidental.

A non-amplified banjo player - not doing stand-up - would be illegal.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 02:23 AM

As oft repeated this is Act is a mess. I passed copies of the press release to members of a session last night. They found it hard to believe that the Government could be at all concerned with this trash at a time of terrorism etc - or indeed at any time.

I just think it illustrates a blinkered attitude by musicians to the dangers of legislation of this type - any many, unlike me, make a living from music, in part at least.

One scenario that caused hilarity was this - each year the Lord Mayor of the City I live near has a charity day and has a procession.   In that procession are lorries containing bands, often Afro steel drum bands etc.   Whilst the procession is moving - no licence - but when it stops at traffic lights, no longer a moving vehicle? It would be a brave enforcement officer who lept out and issued proceedings against the organiser - the mayor of his council!

Perhaps those on the back of moving lorries should be Morris Dancers - but they would all fall over when the vehicle stopped at the lights. Would this then become non licenseable comedy?

Am not seeking a serious legal response but just illustrating the nonesense of all this.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 03:49 AM

Stand up comedy is not covered

Everyone says my singing and washboard playing are a joke, so am I covered?

RtS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 06:37 AM

Folk in sessions could go through the sham of learning to tell the occasional joke - for their music to be considered as stand-up and exempt as incidental live music or learn to Morris dance - for their music to be considered under that exemption.

However, I hope that such silliness will not be necessary. The Act does not charge our local authorities to prevent music and now they will have no monetary reason to insist on entertainment permission and any insistence on this - will only involve them in more work.

We can work locally to try and ensure that common sense will prevail and that if the incidental exemption covers anything - it surely can be seen and openly declared in the first instance to cover non- amplified sessions involving a pub's customers?

I fear that if this is not first made clear - there will be little chance in expecting a licensee (without entertainment permission) to take the chance. They would probably be advised to apply anyway - but as (after this first round of applications) a change will now involve them in more licensing costs (as a start).

However, that a certain night is a customers pool night (even according to the guidance - when provided with a view for profit) will not alone - turn this into a sporting event - like a championship competition to entertain an audience - that would become licensable under the Act. So any advertising designating a customers session night should be seen in the same light.

If music and sport are to be seen to be treated equally by our local autorities - incidental live music - should be treated by them - the same as pub games.

Guidance

5.15 Pub games.

Games commonly played in pubs and social and youth clubs like pool, darts, table tennis and billards may fall within the definition of indoor sports in Schedule 2, but normally they would not be played for the entertainment od spectators but for the private enjoyment of the participants. As such, they would not normally constitute the provision of public entertainment, and the facilites provided (even if a pub provides them with a view to profit) do not fall within the limited list of entertainment facilities in that Schedule (see paragraph 5.11 above). It is only when such games take place in the presence of an audience and are provided to, at least in part, entertain that audience, for example, a darts championship competition, that the activity would become licensable.
   

The point surely must be recognised that under current legislation - a licensee would not think to first ask the local authority if they could hold, designate and advertise a customers darts night and no local authority would object - if they did.

Many things have changed under the new Act - we must ensure that the traditional thinking of our licensing officers changes with it too........For I can't really see a local authority insisting that a conventional customers darts night is now licensable. We must try an ensure that that they are consistent and do not insist that any session night (of incidental live music) made by customers is licensable.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:58 AM

There is no doubt. If the purposes include entertaining an audience, the entertainment is caught, see Sch 1 para 2(2).

There are two arguments that might defeat this. The first is "de minimis non curat lex" and as is well known (bad taste comparison follows) it does not defeat a charge or rape so why should it defeat one of providing regulated entertainment without a licence?

The second I am not yet publicising 'cos I think it might work so I don't want our guns spiked before time.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 10:37 AM

There is no doubt. If the purposes include entertaining an audience, the entertainment is caught, see Sch 1 para 2(2).

This may prove to be true but there must still be considerable doubt about how many of these seemingly contradictory aspects will be finally decided and argued in court - if and these aspects ever get to court.

But without being tested or having any court rulings to guide them - all parties - and in particular - Local Authorities must first try to make some practical sense of what the legislation's dafters and Parliament have provided - without being bogged down with details that have no real bearing on the Acts main objectives.

The Act does not (intentionally) charge Local Authorities with preventing live music and pub games.

Richard - I hope that you would agree that darts etc 'normally would not be played for the entertainment of spectators but for the private enjoyment of the participants'? Are you serious suggesting that any Local Authority will NOW consider that because some other customers may be (incidently) entertained by this - they will insist on all such games being considered as licensable?

Are you saying that there is no doubt that Local Authorities will be in breach of the legislation - if they do not insist on preventing 'incidental' live music in sessions etc and these pub games - without entertainment permission (on the grounds that someone other than the particpants may be entertained)?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: PennyBlack
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 02:02 PM

So, for example, a jukebox played in a public house at moderate levels would normally be regarded as incidental to the other activities there, but one played at high volume would not benefit from this exemption

Surely if a "Punter" puts money in the jukebox, it must be entertainment for a profit, it might also incite dancing, and will of course attract the requirement of a PPL.

PB


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 05:07 PM

I have read in one councils policy that "indiental music-for example background music to fashion show" is exempt?

I remain concerned that few pubs have applied for a conversion of their existing licence. In the City I live near 30% have applied. In the hinterland 56% and with less than a week to go.   How does that irritating song go "Its gonna be a dry, dry Christmas without.....(a licence)"


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 05:30 PM

It hasn't recently been said but the guidance on incidental is pretty unhelpfully written.

Surely what it is trying to say is on the lines:

If you, a member of Joe Public, go to a pub where there is no session, you drink and maybe indulge in other activities typical to a pub. If one night there is a session or some other entertainment and it prevents you from indulging in your normal activities in the pub, whether because it is so loud that you can't hear yourself talk or in some other way, then it is not exempt. If you can indulge in all the activities you normally do then it is exempt (even if you prefer to listen to the music instead of doing what you normally do). However if you stop drinking the pub is unlikely to have sessions very often - because whatever you do in a pub the most important thing to the landlord is buying his booze.

What I have written is easy to understand but it is not the language of the law.

It is not often appreciated that the statutory guidance is just as much law as the act itself. It has equal weight in the legal process because it has been published as a statuory instrument, which is the most common method of making law these days. Acts of Parliament almost invaraiably just lay down the context in which statutory instruments fill in the detail. SIs can even reverse the law as passed in the original Act of Parliament.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 05:52 PM

THe Act governs the Guidance, and the last time I had an argument about its status I think I had to concede it was technically not an SI, but I can't remember why not.

Sham, that's exactly what the Act says. One person watching - regulated. THe only way out is for the LA to turn a blind eye, adn you must be the world's expert onteh practical likeliood of that (BG), or for a court to bend the words.

Dancing of course wil lneed a licence, but as the government kept saying technically it won't be a PEL becuase it will be one of thenew licences under the new act.

Also, thanks to Rumgumption, the press release is now on a web page

http://www.rumgumption.com/plg/


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 07:14 PM

Sham, that's exactly what the Act says. One person watching - regulated.

Richard - I doubt it not.

What I asked is do you seriously think that LAs will now consider conventional pub games as Regulated Entertainment because one other person is watching (and may be entertained) and prevent them without entertainment permission? Or be in breach of the legislation - if they do not?

If they do this to sessions etc - perhaps we should all insist that our local authorities are consistent in this approach and apply the same rationale that will also prevent pub games. Ot try to. There may be few session participants - there are a awful lot of darts and pool players - who will I am sure - be overjoyed at this prospect.   

have you asked your LA if this is their intent


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 07:43 PM

I have heard of pubs pulling out of darts leagues for this reason.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:42 AM

Morris dancing or similar was a trick to pull in any folk display dancing. The act also covers dancing on top of May Hill on May 1st, or not according to the script ammendment. Significantly music had to be acoustic to prevent "disco dancing" being argued as Morris.

SO bloody frightened of the football vote are the government that nobody dared include the biggest threat to public disorder, big screen football matches in pubs. Ask the police what they advised the gov.

AND there is a lot of singing at those events. The law is an ass, a very timid ASS.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 11:36 AM

I have heard of pubs pulling out of darts leagues for this reason.

This may be so - it would be good to have some details. But if LAs are not going to insist on enforcing this - they may be pulling out for no good reason.   

I have seen applications for Regulated Entertainment locally that specify time etc. Are licencees expecting to have to limit the playing of darts etc by their customers in these premises to these times and are the LAs going to enforce this and claim they would be in breach of the legislation if they did not?

I have yet to see an Premises Licence application that specifies permission for pub games.

The Licensing Act 2003 does not (intentionally) charge Weymouth and Portland Borough Council or any other local authority with preventing live music in these premises without entertainment permission....It also does not charge them with the prevention of conventional pub games in these premises...The Act certainly does not charge them with protecting customer's conventional pub games whilst preventing all live music made by customers in these premises.

If the local authorities consider that this is an unintentional charge being placed upon them - by the words of the Act - then they must urgently join in with any attempts to change the situation for live music.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:40 PM

Sham, that's exactly what the Act says. One person watching - regulated.

Given the words of the Act - iIt will be fairly easy for LAs to declare all sorts of things as Regulated Entertainment - if they really wish to advise this. But if they do - we must make sure that it will be just there start of their problems. The LAs might then be the main party pushing (with us) for the words of the Act to be changed.

Sensibly the deciding factor whether live music sessions etc and pub games are indeed Regulated Entertainment is not that that any spectators present may be entertained or form an audience - if it does take place. But whether the activity could or would ever take place in the complete absence of any audience.....

If anything could or would still take place in the absence of any audience - it would be a very strange Regulated Entertainment for any licensee to stage.

The common sense bottom line I think is this. Regulated Entertainment is provided by the licensee for profit. In order for this conventional entertainment to be profitable – the licensee rather has to be sure that what they advertise as happening – does in fact happen. The requirements are that the act engaged turns-up on the night and at the right time to star, performs for a certain agreed time and finishes on time. Payment is usually made to ensure the act's commitment.

There can never be the required certainty and commitment for a session to be considered as a Regulated Entertainment and for the licensee to make the necessary investment to enable a session alone as Regulated Entertainment. Firstly there can be no guarantee that any customer will turn up on the night, or at what time or at what time they leave. If they do there is no obligation for them to play for any period. Or indeed no obligation for them to play at all at any time.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 05:48 PM

Certainly under old PEL law I remember a furious argument with a jobsworth from a local authority arguing (and later winning by force) a debate that in a pub with 20 musicians and her, she was being entertained therefore a PEL was needed. Presuambly entertained ment something to her although no one would have thought so from her facial expression.

If the new law deals with regulated entertainment in the same way, then a local authority jobsworth could claim to be that entertained member of the public.

In darts matches there is usually a non participant, being entertained, if thats the meaning given to a a husband/wife, girl/boy friend dragged along to watch in sufference.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 06:16 PM

Right


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 09:04 PM

so if someone stands up between songs & tells a joke, the sesh wil b exempt?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 03:54 AM

I know this is getting to be a big thread but the future of music, musicians and music shops may depend on this legislation and it matters.

I wonder if the Minister is thinking along these lines. In the guidance on the DCMS site is some stuff on re-enactment societies and whether or not they perform plays for an audience (regulated). It goes on to say however "If the re-enactment was staged purely for the enjoyment of those taking part and not for the purpose of entertaining an audience, no licence would be required".

What is the difference between a play and live music for this purpose?    If DCMS meant this and they issued a notice to the trade that "sessions" or "jamming" (defined) did not need a licence, jobs for musicians and music shops might be saved. Some hope?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 04:20 AM

I am responding to Richard P's posting of 25 July about hitherto private and exempt hospital gigs now needing licenses, and the related issue of the potential culpability of bandleaders.

I am glad you do not think it reasonable that the hospital gigs I do should be licensable. You imply that if the local authority could interpret the Act such that relatives and friends who may attend do not count as the public, then perhaps such gigs could be exempt. That may or may not be possible. But in this context, that possibility is irrelevant. Even if friends or relatives were prevented from attending, and the event was as private as it is possible to be in a hospital, it would still be caught.

This is because I make a charge with a view to profit, and my charge is paid (mostly by the hospital) on behalf of at least some of those for whom the entertainment is provided. Look again at paras 1(4) and 1(5) of Schedule 1. I fall within these provisions because I am a person concerned in the organisation and management of the entertainment under 1(4)(a)(i), and my charge is for the provision of a service under 1(5).

As for the potential culpability of band organisers/managers who also perform, something about your tone and language still suggests that you feel musicians should be grateful that 'all members of both houses' offered them some protection if all they do is turn up and play. You forget, or deliberately ignore, that this 'concession' was forced out of the government. The Bill as published rendered ALL musicians open to possible criminal prosecution if they didn't check first that gig venue was appropriately licensed.

Why are you still an apologist for this stupid legislation?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 05:41 AM

I think this legislation is more than stupid. I think it is pernicious. I have yet to understand its point. If it is, as Government says, the cornerstone of its law and order policy, it makes no sense to regulate live music, which causes no law and order issues, and not to regulate live screen football, that does. I have tried repeatedly to get some explanation from Ministers etc to no effect.

I think the only hope left is to get the big players in the music world to give these issues publicity. I know that when I talk to non musicians, who have no axe to grind, they react with disbelief to the controls this legislation imposes on music.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 06:39 AM

Hamish,

Get into the real world. Noone forces a concession from a government with a majority of over 150 except in the last few days ofa parliamentary session - and then only if he ocmmnads a majority vote in the Lords. The most that you get are clarifications to the wording if you convince them that it doesn't mean what they intend.

The point of the post that you rpelied to was not to say that the act is good or bad or even better or worse than you state. It was simply to say that you posed a questsion to the local licencing officer which had to be answered in the way he did rather thant ask a queston that would throw light on how wide or narrow interpretation he would put on what is exempt.

All of your posts have taken a consistent narrow view of the discretion that licencing committees will have. You may be right but you may not no-one will know until at least the end of the year. You may be wrong and you are probably correct for some and worng for others, in which case we will only know how the situation will settle down when a significant court rules on a case. No-one expects to convince you otherwise until a court proves you worng if you are. In the meantime the MU appears to be less pessimistic than you.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 06:44 AM

Richard,

You are correct that the guidance is not strictly an SI - since it has no SI number. It went through the exact procedure applicable to an SI subject to affirmative resolution and had a considerably longer debate in the Commons Standing Committee than most such SIs (but that was under two hours). The joint committee on statutory instruments also considered it and suggested two changes one of which was incorporated and the other was not prior to the two house committees considering it. The lords committee passed it without opposition. The


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 06:53 AM

The previous post was transmitted somehow half way through typing!!

Richard,

You are correct that the guidance is not strictly an SI - since it has no SI number. It went through the exact procedure applicable to an SI subject to affirmative resolution and had a considerably longer debate in the Commons Standing Committee than most such SIs (but that was under two hours). The joint committee on statutory instruments also considered it and suggested two changes one of which was incorporated and the other was not prior to the two house committees considering it. The lords committee passed it without opposition. The Lib Dem and Conservative members voted against the draft in committee but were defeated by the Labour vote. The committee reports were both adopted without debate or dissent.

It's status is defined in section 4 of the Act as of equal weight as the Council's own licencing policy and slightly less than the licencing objectives of:

Prevention of Crime and Disorder,
Public Safety,
Prevention of Public Nuisance and
Protection of Children from Harm.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 08:50 AM

Prevention of Crime and Disorder,
Public Safety,
Prevention of Public Nuisance and
Protection of Children from Harm.


On a general point: A musician reading the words of this Act and those of the Guidance to it and listening to various Government and their 'quango's' claims for how live music is to benefit - could be excused for thinking that the whole thing was designed to make life difficult for live music - and live music alone.

For where certain other aspects are caught by the words of the Act. Attempts are made to free them (but not live music presenting little or no concern to the Act's main objectives). Even, amazingly when live music forms part of these aspect.

I will refer for one example only to the 'incidental' exemption - which to all appearances is a exemption (or a concession) to stand-up comedy where ANY form of live muisic amplified at whatever volume will be exempt - if considered as 'incidental' to the non-licensable but still undeniable performance to an audience for the purposes of entertainming them - that is stand-up.

This is not to attack stand-up - but all of the concerns for a performance of live music must still apply to stand-up comedy. Perfomances of plays are caught by the Act - even with no live music. Even folk arts like mummers plays - with very little if any live music.

There is something that is not right when a stand-up performance can be totally free of licensing restrictions even when live music forms part of it - and the same music (even one non-amplified performer or customer will be subject to it.

This is added to when some stand-up performances are openly racist-sexist etc and now contain foul language as a matter of routine. It seem rather to sum-up our Government's confusion when performance of this is thought to be ensuring public expression (which it is) but when the Act prevents free public musical expression of our cultural traditions (with little or no justification).

If the thinking was as consitent in its aims - as I think all legislation MUST be - the inclusion of any live musical content in stand-up should - following the logic (such as it is) of this Act - be licensable. If this particular performance is to be saved - then let us ensure that all other perfectly safe live music - by changing the (catch-all) words of the Act - not by making it look even more silly, petty and unfair by the introduction of such clumsy exemptions or reassuring Ministerial statements - that have no legal weight.

Perhaps the way forward for those who are concered with the Act's affect on live music - who are really quite few - is not to keep asking for the affect of the words of the Act to be limited and point out where live music is caught by the wide wording? Perhaps the way forward is to insist that these words are followed to the letter and as a result ensure the resulting adverse practical but legal effect on many other groups - like pub games players etc?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 09:00 AM

Act says "have regard" to guidance. You may it seems to me have regard to something yet reach a conclusion that differs.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 09:08 AM

Or not have any real regard for it at all? *Smiles*


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 09:56 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Apparently Purnell improvised his speech at the MU conference, Wednesday 27 July 2005. DCMS has so far not provided me with any further information.

According to one reliable source who was present there were no questions from the floor about two in a bar. The source reported, however, that there were questions about orchestral salaries.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 02:33 PM

The local paper tonight for the area I live in has issued urgent guidance to applicants on how to btain entertainment inclusion in the liquor licence - saying how to apply, how to advertise, how much it costs (£220 plus VAT) and to do it NOW - ends Saturday week (effectively a week today).


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 02:56 PM

The Time Is Now.

http://www.thepublican.com/news/time_to_act/index.html


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 03:03 PM

This could not be more urgent and I urge all who play music in pubs to ask your licensee if he/she has applied for conversion and variation to include music.   There is only one week left. Failure will mean no music after 28th November and probably no beer either.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 30 Jul 05 - 11:07 AM

I was concerned to note that at a pub in which Sessions are regularly held, an application was posted on the window for regulated entertainment "restricted to 2 entertainers". When asked the landlord said "its the Brewery. Don't worry, you can play in the back room in private". The back room is the only way to the toilets!

It shows ignorance of the Act by Brewery and publican. Why restrict yourself to the present regime?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 04:38 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

'Live and kicking - why gig goers have never had it so good. By Alexis Petridis'. So ran the headline on the front of yesterday's Guardian pull-out 'Friday Review', 29 July 2005.

Live and kicking... where have we heard that phrase before? Oh yes, John Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians Union writing in the union's in-house magazine earlier this year. What was the basis for his claim? You've guessed it, the MORI live music survey estimate of 1.7 million live gigs a year; the figure also used by former licensing minister Richard Caborn to claim that live music was 'flourishing' in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business is not live music.

In fact the 1.7 million was an estimate for all venues, over 25% of which were private members clubs, and church and community halls. The Department for Culture also later confirmed that they could not exclude the possibility that specialist music venues had been included in the survey. The survey's estimate for pubs, restaurants and hotels was about 850,000 live gigs, barely half the figure quoted by Caborn and Smith, and the majority of these places had no live music at all. Of those that had some live music, most had fewer than two gigs a month and of these most were probably 'two in a bar' not bands. The picture is further confused by the survey's definition of live music which, with the approval of the Live Music Forum, allowed live/recorded hybrids such as scratch DJs.

But this doesn't stop Petridis. Why should it - he's been talking to Feargal Sharkey. 'Last year, a MORI poll discovered the British public had a far larger appetite for seeing bands live than anyone had previously thought,' enthuses Petridis...'It found that a staggering 1.7m gigs had taken place in England and Wales in the preceding 12 months, and that 47% of pubs, clubs, student unions and restaurants had featured at least one live act in the previous year. The results of the poll even startled the man who had commissioned it: Feargal Sharkey, the former Undertones vocalist who now chairs the government's Live Music Forum. "It was quite astonishing, even for somebody who had been involved in the music industry for 25 years," he says. "I went back to MORI and said, 'Are you sure you've got this right?'".

What is 'staggering' and 'astonishing', surely, is that both Petridis or Sharkey should think it is great that 53% of all venues surveyed had no live music at all. Indeed, the survey found that only 19% of all venues had two or more gigs a month.

But, further on in his article, Petridis cites the survey again: 'As the MORI poll indicated, there are simply more places accommodating live music in Britain than before'. The survey indicates nothing of the kind. How could it, being the first survey of its kind as the DCMS so often points out. In fairness, Petridis does not rely solely on the MORI survey. He talks a lot to Steve Lamacq and a bit to Andrew Harrison of Word magazine. He also thinks the success of this year's Glastonbury, and Live 8, and the fact that a band called Magic Numbers can fill The Forum, are part of the revival of interest in live music.
I have copied the above to the Guardian.

For letters: letters@guardian.co.uk (you must include a full name and address, a reference to the relevant article and a daytime phone number)
For complaints: reader@guardian.co.uk
Guardian journalists' emails usually follow the house format, so this should reach the journalist direct: alexis.petridis@guardian.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 05:25 AM

i>Why restrict yourself to the present regime?

A good question for the Government - (and Feargal Sharkey's Live Music Forum, and the Local Licensing Authority) who claim that the current situation (where less than two performers are exempt) distorts and resticts opportunities for live music and are supposed to have introduced this new legislation to address it.........

But at the same time made the application process in practice - so that a (self) restriction such as in this case and I fear many others, will make application and life easier - for all concerned except for those really concerned for live music.

Any subsequent variation will end-up costing more than an intial application in this form - which at least will enable the same situation as before. Without specifing this - even two performers would be illegal. I suspect this form of application would be advised by the LA as unlikely to result in any local objections and not be delayed by this.   

Do the words on the Act mean that any future darts pool etc matches on these premises - will be limited to 'two entertainers' only and that the LA will be in breach of the legislation if they ever permit any more?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 06:35 AM

The word "entertainers" appears on the window notice and in the advertisment. A darts match of only 2 would be pretty feeble and caselaw says that 2 means 2, not 2 + 2 +2 etc.

Good point. So a darts tournament of two sides of 4 (or whatever they have" would be illegal if the darts players are regarded as "entertainers". If they are not neither would sessions musicians I would have thought. As I say, ignorance by the Brewery and the Landlord. I have seen many other such notices just specifying "regulated entertainment as specified in the application". The advert and the window notice does not detail "what is in the application".   

Incidentally the pub with the "maximum 2 entertainers" is not in a residential area but near a run down wholesale fruit market.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 07:37 AM

Am I correct in assuming this new licensing act only applies to England and Wales and not the UK?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 08:32 AM

Smiles*

Yes that - what you say is true – sorry if this thread title is confusing and incorrect. Please do not blame me.

A change was imposed to the thread's title without my knowledge or permission by some anonymous volunteer – in order to clarify it.

Un the UK          ? (thread title change complaint)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 10:24 AM

Guardian journalists' emails usually follow the house format, so this should reach the journalist direct: alexis.petridis@guardian.co.uk

I did try this - but it came back. Perhaps the others would be a better bet?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 10:35 AM

Link to the Guardian article.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/fridayreview/story/0,,1537784,00.html


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 10:59 AM

Yes, the new law applies only to England and Wales - it doesn't apply in Scotland. (Oh, don't know about N. Ireland)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 11:20 AM

From The Publican
Licensees call for clarification over Scottish hours

Published 29th July 2005

Trade associations across Scotland have joined forces to call on the Scottish Executive to reassure the trade over its new licensing laws.
The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) in partnership with the British Hospitality Association and the Scottish Grocer's Federation have written with their concerns to the Executive's licensing minister, George Lyon, MSP.

They want him to give "reassurances" that all licensed premises will have their existing hours transferred over to the new licensing regime, which is due to come into force in late 2007.
The Scottish Executive has indicated that "grandfather rights" – added in at the last minute in the English reform – are unlikely to be considered under the new system. Scotland's licences will be abolished to be replaced by a premises licence and a personal licence, while permitted hours will also be scrapped to allow licensing boards to set closing times.

In the letter to the minister, the organisations – which represent 7,000 premises across the country – have called on him to minimise the potential cost to businesses of the transition.

They claim uncertainty will risk impacting on the value of licensed premises and will stop investment plans – especially by major UK companies.

"The Scottish Executive should not ignore the fact that there is real concern amongst Scotland's licensed industry about the potential impact of licensing reform," said Patrick Browne, chief executive of the SBPA.

"The fact that three trade bodies covering diverse elements of the trade, accounting for nearly half of all Scotland's licensed premises, have come together to call for guarantees should leave the Executive in no doubt that it needs to respond positively to the licensed industry's concerns."

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said: "We have held early discussions with each of the trade associations about transitional arrangements and grandfather rights because we fully understand that this is a very important issue for the licensed trade.
"Ministers are presently considering their options, but have always made it clear that wholesale grandfather rights in Scotland, on the England and Wales model, would not be acceptable.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 02:28 PM

Scotland.   Hmm. Politians and real life seem to have difficulty in co-existing.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 05:11 AM

Thanks Shambles for the clarification. I live in England and have great difficulty in deciding whether the media is talking about England, Wales or the UK. It makes commenting on various subjects difficult at times.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 11:19 AM

Thanks Jim

My local paper is taking my name in vain.
Dorset Echo 1st August 2005
Licence Chaos


A new system for licensing alcohol sales has been a shambles . The Federation of Small Businesses claims. With just days to go to the August 6 deadline, 58 per cent of the 180,000 licence holders in England and Wales have not submitted renewal applications , the FSB said.

Local figures given in another article are 314 out of 600 in West Dorset and 208 out of 385 in Weymouth and Portland.

I am concerned to see two applications specifying permission for - recorded music and live music by no more than two performers.

One of these in West Dorset holds a monthly singaround and the other in Weymouth is hosting a weekly open mic night. Both of these events are currently not considered to be exempt locally under the 'two-in-a-bar rule' so it is difficult to see how they will be legal after these Premises Licence applications. I am really at a loss as to why the local officers are advising this wording...........

What a mess!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 09:25 PM

The Publican
November 24 confirmed as Licensing Act start
Published 1st August 2005


The government has confirmed that the new licensing laws will come into effect on November 24.

Licensing Minister, James Purnell, has laid an Order in Parliament, officially giving the green light for the new licensing laws to come into force.
James Purnell said: "An estimated 65 per cent of applications are now in. At the end of May we were at five per cent. So while there is still a long way to go, the momentum is clearly building.
"So my message to applicants is simple - get that application in now, there's still time to meet the August 6 deadline.
"There's only a week to go for any business or club to convert their existing licences. Anyone who wants to sell alcohol, put on entertainment or serve hot food after 11pm must get a new licence - or risk prosecution in November."


Ends


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 07:43 AM

See also

Orit: Live music 28 November 2005


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 05:32 AM

This is a response to Richard P's posting of 29 July, principally concerning the licensing of hitherto exempt private hospital gigs and Camden council's confirmation that they are caught by the new Act. My apologies for not responding sooner. I have been away for a few days:

Richard, it is you who - so far - has not engaged with the real world of the Act and private events.

I did not ask Camden a hypothetical question. I explained the full context of the hitherto private and exempt hospital gigs that I have performed regularly for over 10 years.

Once again your reply is defensive of the Act and those charged with enforcing it, but hazy on detail. You assert, again, that the Act allows local authorities discretion in determining whether or not the hospital performances I perform are licensable, but you don't explain where in the words of the Act this discretion resides.

Given your obviously extensive and detailed knowledge of the new licensing legislation, and its supposed rationale, this omission is curious. Isn't it time you proved your 'real world' credentials and explained your reasoning with reference to the undeniably real words of the Act.

In my previous posting I summarised my argument with reference to the relevant provisions. I argued that even if friends and relatives were excluded, and the event was as private as possible in a hospital, the performance is caught because I make a charge with a view to profit, and my charge is paid (mostly by the hospital) on behalf of at least some of those for whom the entertainment is provided. I asked you to look again at paras 1(4) and 1(5) of Schedule 1. I believe that I fall within these provisions because, in booking the other musicians and liaising with the hospital over logistical and performance aspects of the performance, I am undeniably a person concerned in the organisation and management of the entertainment under 1(4)(a)(i), and my charge is for the provision of a service under 1(5).

In this context, where is the discretion allowing local authorities to exempt such an event?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 05:47 AM

I had started a new thread called Obit live music, thinking this one was disappearing. This I posted to Obit.

At the last second of the last hour (ie effectively 24 hours to go) the Confederation of Small Businesses has woken up to the blindingly obvious - that the Licensing Act 2003 imposes a large bureacratic system of form filling and that fees for liquor licences have gone up from £30 for 3 years to several hundred per annum. And that 60,000 premises have yet to register!

Well done. Some folkies have been complaining about this since 2002 (the Bill) but to no avail. Suddendly the Jazz Scene has woken up, together with bits of the licensing trade. Maybe if the classical music world joins in, who knows.   Fergal Sharkey says the only issue is getting the laggards on board. I wonder if he would like to drive his way through 6 day Whitby Folk Festival in 2006 with its premise licences, maypole licences, temporary event notices and fees? Temporary events are limited to 499 people. Who counts? And how far from the event do you count? And is this static people or crowds drifting past an event. Answers on a 20 page form to DCMS please.

The words "blue clicky" will take on a new meaning - clicking the numbers of audience. And how do you get a 6 day festival out of a 3 day limit, then a break. Maybe the music police will raid Glybourne and upset the opera establishment.

Do you get the feeling I feel strongly about all this? I have been in endless, but one way, conversations with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. I fear they do not live on this planet.

Dorset has got it wrong about no more than 2. This is old legislation. Under new - one musician = licence or £20,000 & or 6 months.

On the closedown Saturday night (effectively today) I don't think the Government will give one inch on this. It says it gave six months and for the 60,000 stragglers, - tough.   Its too far from an election for them to care.

Hmm.

PS. Has the Government thought about regulating knitting (dangerous points) or model railways (crashes and derailments, headless and limbless model figures). Think of the fees it could collect. If a Government Minister reads this, I'll draft the legislation for a small fee.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 06:05 AM

Here is a bit more from the Guardian

The BBPA, whose members account for 98% of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two thirds of Britain's 59,000 pubs, said the pub sector was on target to complete the process of licence applications.

"However, real problems remain for other sectors, such as corner shops, restaurants and late night food venues, which have not seen licence applications at the same high rates," Mr Hastings added.

"We have pulled out all the stops to complete the process on time. We've delivered our side, and we are now looking to the local authorities to deliver. We need to work together to ensure a smooth transition in November. Over-zealous town hall bureaucracy and unnecessary hearings could well bring the process grinding to a halt," he said.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 06:38 AM

Hamish,

Let me summarise the questions that I was posing to you:

Did you ask the most appropriate question?

Was the officer correct in his answer to your question?

Would he have given the same answer to a different question?

Would the Local Authority accept guidance from the officer to prosecute in either of those circumstances?

As to your scenario the key questions are whether you are receiving a profit from the activity of being the event organiser in addition to receiving an appropriate fee as a musician, whether it would be tested in court and whether this can be proved to the court's satisfaction.

In most cases as leader of the group of musicians you would receive the total fee for all musicians and would subseqently divide it by some mutually agreed formula.

The act does not even prevent an organiser being paid a wage or salary for undertaking the organisation. Nor does it prevent the hospital from making a profit if it charges for admission. Organisation for individal profit is what makes a private event licensable. i.e. if the additional door money (or some proportion of it) when an extra member of the audience buys a ticket goes into the pocket of the individual organiser, this would be organisation for profit. (It occurs to me that this could raise a question over musicians who are hired for the door money or a proportion thereof at least if they also organise the function. I have not seen anyone raise that aspect before.)

I accept that the act (in common with all others) is confusing and can lead to unsympathetic enforces causing all sorts of problems at least until case law (and possibly future SIs) sort out interpretation. However, much of the input to these threads goes over the top in pessimism. I only seek a more reasonable balance.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 07:26 AM

However, much of the input to these threads goes over the top in pessimism. I only seek a more reasonable balance.

Richard -

Before most of us here fell foul of varous aspects of licensing legislation and at the hands of those who are employed to draft and enforce it - we too were optimists. *Smiles*


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 08:35 AM

Responding to Richard P's posting of today, Fri 05 Aug 2005, continuing the dialogue about hitherto exempt hospital performances deemed licensable by Camden under the new regime.

I have explained my role as organiser and performer, that I am paid a fee for this, and the hospital contributes substantially to that fee on behalf of those for whom the entertainment is provided. Remember also that the charity, also 'concerned in the organisation' of the event, is also paid by the hospital. All this was set out clearly for Camden to consider.

Your speculations about whether the local authority might actually prosecute are not really relevant. What is relevant is that Camden deems such events will from 24 November become illegal unless licensed. Do you really think that a hospital on being informed that this is the case would defy the local authority? This is not pessimism: it is the 'real world'. From past experience, London's interpretation of the legislation tends to be adopted nationally.

You go on to make more assertions about the Act without explaining how you arrive at your conclusions.

I would ask you again to answer my previous question of today: where in my analysis do you see discretion available to the local authority?

Lastly, are you Richard Patrick, webmaster for Faversham Folk Club?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 09:15 AM

I dont think I am going over the top in pessimissm about the new actnew act because of past experience of a local authority. For about 10 years a session attracting maybe 20 musicians was held in a local pub. Often we were the only ones in the pub, except an old deaf chap who watched TV in another room with the sound off.

All was well. No trouble. Odd bum note but!

Then along comes Jobsworth for the Council, who at the end of the night said she had been listening, she was entertained and the Pub needed a PEL. The landlord then closed the pub on Tuesdays and opened it as a private members club for musicians who signed in. The musicians contacted the BBC and they turned up the following Tuesday. Local authority informed but they did not turn up.   The following day, Wednesday, there rolled up a food inspector, a building inspector and an electrical inspector. Building inspector found nothing, food inspector had nothing to inspect as the pub did not sell food. But electrical inspector found some regulatory problem and imposed a closeure order of some sort. The pub shut for a week, the landlord gave in and sold up, and new landlord, whose previous occupation I think was a funeral director, refused admission to musicians who moved on.

So this is why I don't believe a word about "light touch notices". Local authorities do not do "light touches". And I know of councillors who say they can't wait to get their hands on licensing!!!!

Couple local authorities with a Department of Fun (dcms) who refuse to listen to anything, and you may be able to see why I am not hopeful.   

If I am wrong, all to the good.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 04:05 PM

And it made the main news tonight. Time is up for licensees at midnight tomorrow. Odd that its a Saturday. I don't know of any local authority that works on Saturdays. Typical cock up.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 06:49 PM

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1722639,00.html


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 11:05 AM

Today is the last day. I gather some Local Authorities are staying open today. Tough for those in areas where they are not. Also applications by post postmarked today are acceptable in some (all?) authorities.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 02:34 PM

Steven Morris
Saturday August 6, 2005
The Guardian

One in four of all businesses that sell alcohol are expected to have failed to apply for new licences before the deadline to do so passes at midnight today.

Trade organisations said businesses who had not sent their applications could face crippling losses or ruin and criticised the government for how it had introduced the system. Yesterday saw a desperate scramble by licensees to fill in application forms and get them to town halls in time.

Some local authorities, which are taking over licensing responsibilities from magistrates, were planning to open this morning to take in last-minute applications.

But almost 50,000 businesses, ranging from late-night cafes to village halls and even police clubs, had not yet applied for the new licences.

Representatives of small businesses called for ministers to put back the deadline and launch a fresh publicity drive to make sure all licensees understood what was expected.

Ben Pinnington, of the Forum of Private Businesses, said: "This is a real mess. The message that all premises who sell booze need to reapply for their licences hasn't got out to the small business people. Sorting it out could force some businesses under."

Ironically the new system has generated massive publicity because it will give pubs the opportunity to open 24 hours a day. However the need for all premises to apply for new licenses, even if they do not wish to change their terms, has clearly not got through.

By yesterday, the government said 90% of pubs had applied for the new licences but across the board only 75% of premises with a licence at the moment had done so.

In some areas the figures are even worse. Westminster city council, for example, said yesterday it had received only 1,626 of the 3,600 applications it had expected. As of Thursday, four councils in Somerset had received only half of the applications. In Sheffield about 70% of those who needed new licences had applied.

The new licences do not come into force until November. However, after today's deadline, licensees will have to begin from scratch to prove their premises are suitable for the sale of alcohol. Many might find that more stringent conditions will be imposed than they have at present. A concern is that many will think it not worth their while to sell alcohol.

Jim Hunter, licensing manager of Taunton Deane borough council in Somerset and the national vice chairman of the Institute of Licensing, said transferring the responsibilities for licensing to local authorities was a sound idea. But he said the system had been "rushed in" and the process - especially the application forms which run to more than 20 pages - too complicated.

Mr Hunter, whose authority had received 90% of applications, said small convenience stores, take-aways and village halls were among those who had not applied. In other areas he had heard of police clubs which had not realised they needed a new licence.

Craig Baylis, a lawyer who specialises in licensing with the City firm Berwin Leighton Painser described the system as "over-bureaucratic". He said he had one form returned because though it had been filled in in black ink as required, it had been signed with blue ink.

The licensing minister, James Purnell, said he was pleased that so many pubs had applied but admitted: "We will have to redouble our efforts when it comes to kebab shops, late night cafes and so on."


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 02:54 PM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4736039.stm


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 04:25 AM

The Lib Dem Culture Secretary, Don Foster asked if DCMS are to extend the time limits.   The answer, of course, is "neit".

Interesting that many businesses that have been left behind are those run by ethnic minorities (Kebab Houses, Ethnic Restaurants) etc. Could this leave DCMS open to an allegation of racism, being in mind the complexity of the application form? (even to those well versed in English and to solicitors).


According to the Times many locals are objecting to pubs that have been alleged to be a source of binge drinking.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 05:06 AM

James Purnell, said he was pleased that so many pubs had applied but admitted: "We will have to redouble our efforts when it comes to kebab shops, late night cafes and so on."

That should make an interesting letter. "We have decided to change the laws so that the licence you hold for the business you run is no longer valid. As you did not apply to have your kebab shop licence renewed - perhaps because almost all the press releases concentrated on alcohol and 24 hour drinking you failed to realise it affected you - you now have no automatic right for your business to continue after November this year. However, if you fill in all the paperwork properly we might let you continue if no-one objects too much.

Yours sincerely,
Your caring Government."


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:13 AM

Reliance on the courts to interpret this act in an even handed and rational way is the thing that worries me most, for the following reasons.

1. Licensees are most unlikely to initiate proceedings to fight against adverse LA decisions, because of the battery of high profile barristers and QCs likely to be fielded (at council tax payers' expense) by said authorities. It is a fact that decisions tend to favour the side with the best (i.e. most expensive) representation.

2. Licensees will fight shy of putting themselves in the way of prosecution by LAs to prove a point, given the dire penalty faced on conviction.

3. If a licensee should feel strongly enough to fight in court, it should be remember that it was just such a court which established that "two in a bar" meant two in a whole session, rather than a number of pairs performing sequentially. This decision, IMHO, was totally irrational in that the latter served the stated purpose of the law as well as the former, and I find it very hard to believe that future decisions will be any more rational.

We have heard much about how many licensees have submitted applications, but we should remember that these figures refer to liquor sales applications, whether or no live music accompanies same.

I would expect that many applicants have not ticked the box, this being the easiest way for a licensee to avoid the additional hassle of becoming involved in the inevitable round of argument and counter argument which will attend on establishing what this law really means.

Oh, by the way, would someone who knows him please tell that prat Sharkey the facts of life.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 05:11 PM

RP - your reference to "organised for profit" seems to me irreconcileable with Sch 1 Para 1 (4) of the Act.

"For consideration", there, clearly includes a fixed payment (a "charge") to a bandleader see Para 1 (4) (a) (i) and para 1(6) (been here on para 1(6) before).

The bandleader (like the other members of a band) plays with a view to profit if there is a prospect of the chearge exceeding the expense to which the band is put.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:27 PM

As suggested earlier, it would be necessary to be able to read and write before Mr Sharkey could be taught the facts of life I think.

Closing day was Saturday night. Adverts are still appearing for variations to premise licences and many locally state "to include regulated entertainment as specified in the application".

Of course without seeing the application its is not possible to say what is sought - it might just be darts, or as in the case of one music application, restricted to 2 entertainers.

I think the proverbial will not hit the fan full on until after the 28th November 2005.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Tradsinger
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:33 PM

I don't see what the fuss is all about. It's quite simple. Basically playing music is a criminal act unless you are jamming or unless it is a spontaneous outbreak of singing Happy Birthday or of Morris Dancing. Unless of course the premises are licensed but only if the applicant has applied by 6 August unless he runs a Kebab shop or wants to put on music on a moving vehicle. This of course becomes illegal if the Kebab shop stops for a traffic light or if the music is played in an unlicensed Kebab shop, or if you are morris dancing in said location. Village halls are exempt, unless of course it is folk music, in which case it becomes a criminal offence anyway. The licence is just a simple ticket in the box (plus 26 pages of paperwork and a several grand refit as the presence of musicians will render the premises unsafe, but it's quite acceptable for wide screen TV to be shown in unsafe premises.) The much-reviled "2-in-a-bar" rule has gone and has been replaced by the much simpler "none-in-a-bar" rule, but only on certain specified nights and only if the audience does not move in time with the music and only so long as you are on a moving vehicle.
So the new act will lead to an explosion of live music, unless it is folk music, of course, which will continue to be criminalised.

A question – what was the government on when it dreamt this one up?

The above is of course tongue in cheek, but written to show what a nonsense this piece of legislation is.

Baaah

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:48 PM

Right on the mark, Gwilym

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:33 AM

Except that in truth there is no exception for jamming or spontaneous outbreaks.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:14 AM

And now the judges have described this act as near lunacy ( as has the Daily Mail) - not to do with music unfortunately but to do with binge drinking and extended hours.

And grave doubts have been cast on the ability of local authorities to cope with the administation.   What a surprise.   Perhaps they will take on hundreds of new staff and double council tax.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:35 AM

And now the goverment is consulting on Temporary event notices - see
www.culture.gov.uk and look to alcohol and licensing.    This is VERY IMPORTANT for festivals etc.   Please look at it and comment by e-mail.   I know the government's record is one of ignoring opinion and ploughing ahead but it does invite consultation and gives an e-mail address.

The government waffles about a light touch regulation because of the limitations on a temporary event notice - A TEN.   These are 5 notices unless a premise licence holder (50), 12 events per year per place, 96 hours max (how can a five day festival survive) and not more than 500 attenders - who counts - passing traffic etc.   The government accepts that non commercial operations are affected - mentions music clubs such as folk clubs, free canivals and free festivals.

The government accepts that music ranges from heavy amplified rock to folk music and chamber music and seeks views, it says, on increasing the limits, reducing the limits etc. All set out in a long acrobat document.

I have made my own views known on folk festivals.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:24 PM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4138826.stm


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:43 PM

The conditions regarding "associates" look pretty scary. If you don't hold a personal licence the allowance of 5 temporary licences isn't just for you, it includes any applications made by parents, grandparents, siblings, children or grandchildren.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:20 AM

It might sound a desperate measure but perhaps a letter to our MPs asking them to 'pray' for us - might be a positive move. 'Praying' is explained here.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1730344,00.html

The following extract is from the above front page article in The Times 11 August 2005.

PLANS to allow round-the-clock drinking face a last-minute revolt from MPs who fear that the proposals will increase violent crime.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joined forces yesterday to demand that the Government delay the most sweeping changes to the licensing laws for 90 years.

They will use a little-known parliamentary process called prayingin an attempt to wring concessions from the Government. The rebellion comes after comments by judges in England and Wales that the new laws could bring an increase in drink-fuelled violence and worse.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 02:56 PM

All this is very late. The Government claimed it had the polie on board, and Howells quoted the Association of Chief Police Officers that "live music inevitably brings people from out of the area and that means trouble". Having recently been to a local art gallery open night with a string quartet, there were certainly people from out of area but I didn't see much sign of trouble, even with wine around. I don't think dinner jackets and cocktail dresses go with brawling somehow.

Nonetheless my local authority in East Yorkshire bragged tonight that 98% of licenses were in for conversion.

I really do not like any of the stuff about Temporary Event notices and "light touch" - it looks as light as an elephant to me - and could be very difficult for festivals. Does anyone, including the Government, have a clue how you count an audience of 499 if you are a folk band playing in a field at a festival. If someone counted 499 do you have to wait until one leaves until another one comes in. And how far do you count- the whole field or the street outside.

What lunacy this is.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM

A little more to add to the current Minister's 'jamming OK' statements and to suggest why those who brief him (the same as those who briefed his predecessors) may consider how these statements could be supported under the words of the Act.

Guidance

Commons - Standing Committee 1 April 2003


Jim Knight: I would not have become interested in the subject if it were not for Roger Gall, a constituent of mine, who lives on Portland, where there is a folk jamming session on a Friday night in a pub called the Cone House Inn. It became known that the landlord was comfortable with people coming along on a Friday night and playing their music. These sessions were not advertised. Such an event, which is not advertised or actively encouraged, may be a passive part of the atmosphere of the pub, and it may begin to build up business and become a substantial attraction and profit maker for the publican. Would the Minister regard such an activity as one that should be regulated under the Bill?

Dr. Howells: It seems that that is largely a spontaneous activity, to which people turn up occasionally, and it seems also that the word has spread that people can hear some nice music. However, as the hon. Gentleman says, the licensee does not spend money on advertising. If it is clear that music is being played in the corner of the pub, that would be incidental in my book. I do not know whether that gives him any comfort.
Often, if it is intended that the everyday meaning of a term be used in legislation, it must be judged commensurate to the circumstances of each case. I know that that has drawn some guffaws from Opposition Members, but I hope that the combination of the term ''incidental'' and the explanation that I have tried to give, taken together with the guidance that the Department will issue, will be sufficient to ensure that licensing authorities give due consideration to whatever music is being performed.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 04:36 PM

I had read this during the debate but unfortunately Kim Howells opinion, even backed up by his book, would not define "incidental" in court, and in any event, as often said, which landlord is going to risk this against unlimited ratepayer funded local authority action?

Howells refused point blank to define "incidental" in the act, either out of malice or because it was beyond him, and it is left to the courts to define.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 06:51 PM

I really really wanted to leave the interaction of the Human Rights Act with the meaning of "incidental" (and with the meaning of the epxression "morris dancing or dancing of a similar nature") until we saw the whites of the eyes of the enemy.

When you have a malicious opponent (and I am in no doubt about that) it is better to take them by surprise than to expose your arguments in advance. However, it seems that our cover is blown on this.

I think these particular pieces of obfuscatory wording may prove to be the soft underbelly of the forces of repression, in the circs.

But be alert (or be several lerts): Falconer has been saying today in the context of alleged terrorism that he will introduce legislation to compel the courts to have regard to national security as well as human rights ( on top of the existing express wording in the convention, Peleon, Ossa, Wot?) and given the record of the government so far who is to say that he will not slip in something that attempts to alter the balance of Articles 10 and 11 in this context "by a sidewind"?

Lawyers will be reminded that UK governments have gone out of their ways to try to preserve the technicaities of UK legislative freedom in the face of diplomatic conventions, in those examples beloved of examiners - the European COmmunities Act and the Human Rights Act.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 07:07 PM

Eric -

With all due respect - before the courts can be asked to decide anything finally - our local authorities have to decide what they consider to be 'a performance of live music that is incidental etc'.

Otherwise there will never be any court decisions.

The legal status of these various Minister's statements may be legally questionable - but they may prove useful for us to persuade our local authorities to adopt a definition that may be of some practical use. For like or lump it - the exemption is in the words of the Act - so our LAs MUST find the performance of some live music incidental.

The guidance accepts 'grey areas' and advises applicants to consult with their LA and their policy on enforcement. We must ensure that we and our local councillors make this local policy and that it is not left to licensing officers.

Given that practically any live music anywhere is subject - there is no need to find a licensee brave enough to test it but there may even be one or two that may be prepared to ask their LA if a session etc could be exempt as incidental. Showing them Dr Howell's words - may place the LA in a position where they have to take him by these words and their intent? It would surely be a factor?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 07:25 PM

Roger,

It seems reasonable to you, and indeed to me, that such persuasion would be effective.

Responding reasonably to reasoned argument has not historically been an attribute of either national, or local government.

By all means let us try to establish what the attitude of our LA would be, with regard to THEIR definition of what is acceptable as incidental.

If the response varies from one area to another, we shall simply see Westminster step in to tighten up, because "the law must be the same for all", and they will insist on the strictest definition, because that's what they always do.

I see no mileage in the "incidental" clause, because music will always draw in drinkers, and that makes it "for profit to the landlord", and therefore licensable.

Let's pray that the rising opposition will scupper the whole act. That would at least give us time to prepare for another round in the fight.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 07:27 PM

Mary Rose - was our local folk columnist in the Gloucester Citizen till they revamped the whats-on pages e-mailed me with this - any ideas?

Hi chums

One last chance to stop the Act on 24th November, and Save Our Sessions!

Ask your MP to "pray" for you!
Proposal of extended licensing hours and possible 24 hour drinking has invoked the ancient and rarely used parliamentary proceedure known as "praying" - the thing MPs do when all else has failed.

Our MPs have very little time to make their pleas to the Gov. after end of recess, and stop the Act being enforced by 24/11...if enough of them "pray" more committees and EDMs will swing into action, and the whole thing will have to be looked at again.

WRITE TO YOUR MP NOW! http://www.writetothem.com/

Remember, if this Act is enforced, it's "Goodbye" to many informal sessions, village hall barn dances, Harvest Homes, Wassails...a whole way of life for the Folkie becomes unlawful at a stroke.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 02:41 AM

I see no mileage in the "incidental" clause, because music will always draw in drinkers, and that makes it "for profit to the landlord", and therefore licensable.

Don - It is all that I see that we have to try but perhaps you and Richard P should thrash this (for profit) issue out?

Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: RichardP - PM
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 01:52 AM

Continuing realism.

Let's nail "profit". There is only one use of the word profit in the Act and it states unequivocally that the individual organiser or premises provider is making a charge for a PRIVATE occasion and with a view to profit. The word has no reference in any case where the public as such has a right of access. Most charity events are open to the public because it is the public's money that is wanted for the charity so are not covered by this clause.


----------------------------------------------------

Cafes and other places - not serving alcohol - under the Act - will have to apply for Premises Licence entertainment permission - if they wish to provide Regulated Entertainment. If their normal business (and opening hours) does not require anything that IS licensable - the claim can surely be made that any live music in these premises - is incidental to something that is not in itself licensable?

There is an exemption in the words of the Act for a performance of live music that is etc etc. There is NOT for pub games. However, the Guidance (following) tries to exempt the entertainment facilities involved here - like pool tables and dart boards - by stating (even if a pub provides them with a view to profit) they will not be licensable etc. A priciple that would seem to apply ( seemingly only because DCMS wish it to) to Billy Connolly's stage and PA for the incidental live music for his (exempt) stand-up act.   

One does get more than the impression of an unfair playing field.

Guidance

5.15 Pub games.


Games commonly played in pubs and social and youth clubs like pool, darts, table tennis and billards may fall within the definition of indoor sports in Schedule 2, but normally they would not be played for the entertainment od spectators but for the private enjoyment of the participants. As such, they would not normally constitute the provision of public entertainment, and the facilites provided (even if a pub provides them with a view to profit) do not fall within the limited list of entertainment facilities in that Schedule (see paragraph 5.11 above). It is only when such games take place in the presence of an audience and are provided to, at least in part, entertain that audience, for example, a darts championship competition, that the activity would become licensable.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 03:45 AM

I take all this on board. I am not sure that local authorities have a track record of liberal interpretation, but by all means have a go. I have received a reply from my MP (Conservative Shadow Leader, David Davis, who has been supportive but...) He seeks the views of James Purnell on the press release and many other issues.

At Robin Cook's funeral yesterday his son quoted from his book about Ya Boo politics, that an attempt to amend an act containing a spelling error was rejected by the Government, seemingly because it came from a Lib Dem MP, not on merit!! A reflection of the shocking state of politics in the UK.

The invitation to consult on Temporary Event notices on DCMS website www.culture.gov.uk is interesting. It acknowledges the sweeping controls and that it will affect all from Classics in the Park, to the local folk club. It wants to know if the regulations are too repressive or to liberal. Hmm.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 05:33 AM

There is this EDM. I can't see one for live muisc concerns.......http://www.parliament.uk/about_commons/early_day_motions.cfm

10 EFFECT OF LICENSING ON SPORTS CLUBS 17:5:05
Hugh Robertson
Tim Loughton
Mr John Randall
Dr Julian Lewis
Nick Harvey
Mr David Heath
* 88
Mr John Horam Mr Christopher Fraser Mr Laurence Robertson
Jeremy Wright Mr John Hayes Andrew Selous
Mr Adam Holloway Mr Peter Ainsworth
    That this House notes the considerable increase in fees faced by many sports and community clubs as a result of the Licensing Act 2003; recalls that the Central Council for Physical Recreation concluded that these new fees were `set to devastate grassroots sport'; and urges the Government to uphold the Prime Minister's recent commitment to ensure that sports and community clubs are not disproportionately affected.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 06:45 AM

Perhaps Mudcat members who are constituents of those MPs should contact them, pointing out the tilt of the playing field with respect to live music, especially unamplified folk which is not operated with a view to profit, but simply to cover expenses.

It would be a good start if they could raise an EDM on this.

They might also express disquiet at the exclusion of the EFDSS from all discussion prior to the passing of this act.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 11:43 AM

Dorset Echo August 19 2005

A Portland pub was granted new opening hours despite objections from elderly people living nearby.

>snip<

Reports of objections from two residents were to leaving noisily late at night but not to music (or darts).

Committee chairman Coun Mike Goodman said the committee intended to grant the new hours but with conditions and restraints. He said these would include no live music beyond 11pm except on some Bank Holidays, no recorded music later than midnight, no indoor sports such as darts beyond 11pm, an exit notice asking customers to leave quietly, doors and windows to be closed by 11pm and a record of complaints and any action taken. There will be a 21 day period for any appeal to be lodged.

There is no evidence given for why the committee consider that recorded music is safe to continue for an hour longer than live music and darts. And as the public objections were not to any of these factors – why they were imposed at all – when the main cause of noisy late night exits – drinking – can continue until 1am.

According to the guidance – if not the words of the Act – darts etc are only regulated entertainment when provided for spectators at a Championship match. If darts under normal circumstances is not a Regulated Entertainment – how can my LA legally impose any conditions on it – as part of this application?

It rather looks as if our Las are going to follow the words of the Act – rather than the guidance. Can they legally place conditions on when normal indoor sports have to finish or impose distinctions between live and recorded music?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 12:05 PM

What size is the Pub I wonder? Can it hold 200 people? If not then can they impose these conditions in contravension of section 177 of the act regarding live acoustic music?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 02:04 PM

It is a smallish pub so it probably would hold less than 200. I do not know if a safe capacity was imposed - or if it was - what it was set for.

Under S 177 the conditions other than those for for 'public safety' and/or 'the prevention of crime and disorder' will be suspended for umamplified live music.

I am not sure on what part of the main objectives of the Act these conditions were imposed. Protecting children from harm maybe? I suspect the Council will claim that it was for public safety or prevention of crime - but how they would detail and evidence this - would be interesting - especially as the police and fire service were consulted and were happy with the application as it stood.

But if these conditions could be suspended - it would look as if non-amplified music - that no one in a crowded pub will be able to hear - will be able to carry on in this pub until whenever - if it were ever likely to be staged...Still home early for the poor old darts players......


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 05:49 PM

I heard on TV yesterday that a cafe owner in Eastbourne has been told that she will need a license for her radio, in case punters should sing along with the music she plays.

Light touch?
Duh!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 06:26 PM

Well I'll bee - - - - 200!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 06:48 PM

I still think the council is wrong on this one. Subsection (4) applies to live unamplified music (I've highlighted it in italics). I also do not believe that the conditions for 'public safety' and/or 'the prevention of crime and disorder' apply between the hours of 8am and Midnight for live unamplified music. I believe that the Council are in contravention of the act on this one.
=================================================================
177    Dancing and live music in certain small premises

      (1) Subsection (2) applies where-

(a) a premises licence authorises-
(i) the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, and
(ii) the provision of music entertainment, and
(b) the premises-
(i) are used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, and
(ii) have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons.
      (2) At any time when-

(a) the premises-
(i) are open for the purposes of being used for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, and
(ii) are being used for the provision of music entertainment, and
(b) subsection (4) does not apply,
any licensing authority imposed condition of the premises licence which relates to the provision of music entertainment does not have effect, in relation to the provision of that entertainment, unless it falls within subsection (5) or (6).

      (3) Subsection (4) applies where-

(a) a premises licence authorises the provision of music entertainment, and
(b) the premises have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons.
      (4) At any time between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight when the premises-

(a) are being used for the provision of music entertainment which consists of-
(i) the performance of unamplified, live music, or
(ii) facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment within sub-paragraph (i), but
(b) are not being used for the provision of any other description of regulated entertainment,
any licensing authority imposed condition of the premises licence which relates to the provision of the music entertainment does not have effect, in relation to the provision of that entertainment, unless it falls within subsection (6).


      (5) A condition falls within this subsection if the premises licence specifies that the licensing authority which granted the licence considers the imposition of the condition necessary on one or both of the following grounds-

(a) the prevention of crime and disorder,
(b) public safety.
      (6) A condition falls within this subsection if, on a review of the premises licence-

(a) it is altered so as to include a statement that this section does not apply to it, or
(b) it is added to the licence and includes such a statement.
================================================================

Subsection (6)(b) does not apply as this is not a review of the premises license.

What are your thoughts and how do you read this one?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 06:08 AM

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1746998,00.html


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: AlexB
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM

I have always found myself weak at reading and understanding legislation- it is all gobbledy-gook to me. Could someone explain to me in plain English the Licencing Act, particularly the points about live music and its affect on sessions and other folk events please?

Could someone also explain the Temporary Events notices stuff that they are now consulting on?

In both cases I cannot really come up with arguments if I cannot understand what they are going on about. Am I the only person who cannot read them or do they just write these things incomprehensibly on purpose?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 12:03 PM

It is impossible to accurately rephrase any Act in plain English, because everything hinges on the exact words used and the context in which they were used. Any rephrasing is necessarily an interpretation, and that may not be the interpretion the courts use.

However, it is possible to give a general flavour of an Act, as long as it understood that that is all it is. So here is my stab at the music aspect of the Act. There are similar issues surrounding sports and plays.

So, broadly, almost every performance of live music where someone is entertained, anywhere apart from a few special places, will need a licence from November and generally there will be a fee. In some cases, such as church halls, it will need a licence even though no fee is payable. What constitutes an audience and entertainment is unknown at this point. For example, a session in which most of the time everyone plays, but occasionally one person plays solo is unclear: the silent 'players' might constitute an audience.

The licence can be permanently associated with a place (like a pub), or it can be a temporary licence for some occasion, such as a garden party. There are limits on how many temporary licences can be applied for and on the duration of the event being licenced.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 04:16 AM

Shambles quoted :-

"Committee chairman Coun Mike Goodman said the committee intended to grant the new hours but with conditions and restraints. He said these would include no live music beyond 11pm except on some Bank Holidays, no recorded music later than midnight, no indoor sports such as darts beyond 11pm, an exit notice asking customers to leave quietly, doors and windows to be closed by 11pm and a record of complaints and any action taken. There will be a 21 day period for any appeal to be lodged."

The Act plainly states that if the premises is licensed for 200 people or less and it has live unamplified music between the hours of 8am and midnight, any licensing authority imposed condition of the premises licence which relates to the provision of the music entertainment does not have effect.

So in this case, if the council grants a premises license which includes music entertainment, and the premises is licensed for 200 people or less, then the council CANNOT impose any conditions for live unamplified music between the hours of 8am and midnight - therefore in this case their condition of no live music beyond 11pm CANNOT apply to live unamplified music, including a jam session of course. The act is clear and uneqivocal on this.

Of course for amplified music in the same premises it is slightly different. Here regard has to be given to :
a) the prevention of crime and disorder,
(b) public safety.

Now, whether noise emminating from a premises can be regarded as a cause of public danger, or a cause of crime and disorder is something the licensing body may want to use, but I think a case can be put up that this is not so and could be used in an appeal.

The main point of all this is that if the premises is licensed for less than 200 people, and that license incudes the provision of music entertainment, and that entertainment is purely unamplified, and it's between 8am and midnight, then the licensing body cannot impose any conditions FULL STOP.

John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,NIckp cookieless
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 04:43 PM

Interestingly the pub straight across the road from me (40 - 50 feet?) and fond of a Friday night band (some of them should be banned!) has applied to extend its hours by one but fortunately left the music hours the same (11:30 finish). But they've added music in the garden on Sundays from 3 to 6. Ho hum... but!! ... now they will have to switch off the jukebox repeater speakers in the garden that twitter all the time. Its a good trade!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 05:13 AM

This morning - 29 August 2005 - there was a very intersting follow-up to BBC Radio 4's Today recent feature on the Government Minister's claims for live music under the new Licensing Act 2003 - made on this programme (and elsewhere). You can hear it on the following site - with the reference - 0718.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 08:58 AM

BBC R4 'Today' - Monday 29 August 2005 - 7.19-7.25am

Two-in-a-bar: new licence - more cost - less live music

EDWARD STOURTON:
... the time's 19 minutes past 7. The Conservatives are accusing the government of ignoring warnings from their own advisers about what the new Licensing Act will mean for small venues. Shadow culture secretary Theresa May has told this programme that the minsiter responsible, James Purnell, tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes by repeatedly saying the new legislation would simplify the system and cost small venues less. But minutes released in the spring by the Live Music Forum, which advises the government, expressed concerns about the application process and lawyers' expenses. Nicola Stanbridge reports.

[jazz guitar plays]

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: The Gardeners' Arms in south London hasn't needed a public entertainment licence to put on up to two musicians, like this duo 'Monkfish', using what is known as the 'two in a bar rule'. But under the new Licensing Act it does. So, landlord Chris Compton filled in his forms by the August 6th deadline, he says costly and complex, and to no avail.

CHRIS COMPTON: There's a cost to admin etc etc. To put an advert in the paper which is in excess of three to four hundred pounds, take advice from lawyers, and have done to actually get the procedure working and then we had to take a lawyer then to the council.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: So sub total how much have you spent?

CHRIS COMPTON: £2,500. We've got less now than we started with under the old licensing laws. We got turned down on the 12 o'clock extension, but we've always been able to have 'two in a bar' as regards music. We've now been refused that 'two in the bar' unless we put a sound limiter in which will cost us in excess of another £2,000 on top of the additional cost of licensing to have live music.

[music fades]

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: But the new Licensing Act has been consistently described by the minister responsible, James Purnell, as less costly and 'easier'.

JAMES PURNELL [recorded clip from Today 29 June 2005]: Lots of pubs who wanted to play music before if they went to their local authority were finding that they were having unreasonable conditions and they were being charged thousands of pounds. Now as long as they tick the box which says we want to put on an entertainment, they won't have to pay any more and it is a much much easier system.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: Now Minutes from May this year, just released by the Live Music Forum, the government advisory group, reveal that the Department for Culture Media and Sport was warned that smaller venues were having problems getting their applications in.

VOICE READS: 'Agenda Item 5: Forum members were concerned about the low rates of applications received to date, as outlined in a report from the Local Government Association. Smaller venues were finding the application process complex and expensive. The Department for Culture Media and Sport recognised these concerned and were working hard to target the industry.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: But the Conservatives' culture secretary Theresa May says the government ignored warnings.

THERESA MAY: These minutes are extremely important. We see James Purnell, the minister, consistently er saying to people that the process was easier, that it was cheaper, er, and that all it was was a matter of filling in a few boxes. I think it is very serious that the minister has given the public a completely misleading impression of this particular piece of law. It appears now from these minutes his department has known that it was much more complex than that. It was much more costly. Frankly he has been trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: The lawyer Piers Warne from leading licensing solicitors Joelson Wilson describes how the government has underestimated costs and complexities for smaller venues.

PIERS WARNE: Just even if they do it on their own, fees for drawing up plans have got to be somewhere around £400 to £800, and from what I've heard through the industry, advertising the application for a variation could be up to £600. And there's the additional costs of obtaining certification, possibly £2,000 if you are instructing solicitors. And that doesn't include obviously if you then have to go to a hearing, or actually deal with representations, so the costs could certainly spiral I see up to £5,000. And more, obviously, if we're having to appeal decisions that the committees are making. The fee reviews at the moment are actually going ahead and inevitably I think it means a rise in fees.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: Tory culture secretary Theresa May backs this position.

THERESA MAY: Well I fear that there will be more complexities in the future and increasing costs. We already know that many people are finding that when they renew their licence each year it's going to cost them more than it has done in the past. The minister has ignored not only the Live Music Forum and the, er, the publicans and the industry generally, he's ignoring village halls up and down the country. Everybody who's been raising their voice against this has simply been brushed to one side in this rather patronising manner by the minister. And he uses this phrase constantly about 'box ticking' and how easy these forms are.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: The Department for Culture Media and Sport were unable to put anyone forward to be interviewed on this subject. Instead in a statement they said:

VOICE READS: 'The minutes show that DCMS shared concerns about the low level of applications back in May when the meeting in question took place. A publicity campaign was launched to address the problem and we estimate that 82% of applications are now in. The minister has always acknowledged that the new licensing application process may seem daunting to some people. We estimate that overall the industry will save around £2billion over the next ten years as a result of the reforms.'

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: But for the Gardeners' Arms, landlord Chris Compton goes from paying £10 a year to just under £300 a year for his new licence. A process that's possibly brought about the end of live music in his pub.

[background jazz guitar]

CHRIS COMPTON: At this moment in time we'll trade on without the live music. But it will hamper our business. I think at the end of the day the licensing law just is an ass, and it hasn't taken into account the old traditions, i.e. the musicians. And what are they gonna do - 'two in a bar' - they're gonna be, they're gonna be crucified. I think that, er, the government generally didn't listen to us in the industry. The government did not listen to us at all.

[music ends]

JIM NAUGHTIE: Nicola Stanbridge at the Gardners' Arms in south west London. 25 past 7 and...

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 12:03 PM

Funny how the Tories didn't give a shit about music when it was being debated. My MP couldn't even be arsed to reply to my letter about it.

Actually the problems the interviewee was experiencing were partly from the local authority "gold plating" the conditions for the licence. No mention of which party was concerned with that!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 12:26 PM

Not music related, but a good example of this 'light touch' regulation in action. According to today's Guardian:

A kebab shop is hiring bouncers to keep the piece. Efes Kebab and Burger House in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, had to employ door staff after the council made this a condition of its extended opening hours.

(These days, of course, you can't just have your heaviest relative as a bouncer - they have to be registered ... by the council, I believe.)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 02:15 PM

It has always been sad that this issue was divided on party lines and it has been one of the main reasons why improving it has been do difficult.

Of course the various Ministers has attempted to pull the wool over our eyes - instead of seriously addressing the problems - sadly the opposition would have done pretty much the same.

The incompentance of the DCMS is largely to blame - the issue was far too big and important for them to handle.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 06:20 PM

The following was published in the Dorset Echo 25 August 2005.
letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

Council has saved us from late night darts.

Protection from noisy darts at last!

I am sure the conditions placed upon the Licensing application reported in The Dorset Echo on Friday August 19 will be of great comfort to the two Portland residents whose objections and concerns about noisy late night exits from the pub concerned were detailed.

They will welcome the news that Weymouth and Portland's licensing committee has ensured in these conditions that these objectors will be saved from the serious dangers emanating from any form of indoor sports like darts or pool which will now have to finish at 11pm.

Perhaps being disturbed by late cries of 'One Hundred and Eighty' emanating from the pub will be a concern no longer?

I sure that they will also be pleased that these conditions ensure that any live music will cease at 11pm and that the committee has also ensured that it will only be recorded music that will be disturbing them up to 12pm.

For we all know recorded music to be a far less harmful form of music-making.

Despite the objections - the application for the extra drinking hours were granted as requested which should not come as a surprise as it was reported that there were no objections from the police, environmental health offices or Dorset Fire and Rescue Services.

These bodies did not object to the application as it stood. So it will be interesting to hear from our licensing committee on which of the four main objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 prompted them to set the conditions upon the difference between live and recorded music and when darts games must finish.

The Statutory Guidance to the new Licensing Act 2003 states that darts /pool etc may be classed as indoor sports and therefore Regulated Entertainment - but not (even when provided for profit) if they were for the private enjoyment of the participants and not for the entertainment of spectators.

As the reference in the Echo's report is to darts as 'indoor sports' - does this mean that our licensing committee will now consider all darts/pool in the borough to be Regulated Entertainment and illegal in any pub without specific permission under a Premises Licence? If so does it state this in the Local Licensing Policy?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 30 Aug 05 - 04:15 AM

The Minister now says that there will be an urgent review of this wretched act following concerns of just about everyone, except the Government, on the effect of extended drinking. I wonder if that review will extend to the dead hand of legislation on live music. Only if there is enough fuss I think.

On the Tories view of this, I am not sure, although my local MP David Davies has been supportive. It was the Lib Dem Piers however, that gave in on this, after being conned by the Government with its Morris Excemption. I remember the Lib Dems gave in at the last minute saying the government had done enough by removing the need for licensing acoustic music (not realising that this only applied to music backing Morris Dancing0   

There is a detailed critique of this act in the current edition of Criminal Law Review, seeting out the many vagaries and complications of this act, but it is heavy reading. I have sent copies to the Lawyers/Musicians Group.

This Act was supposed to be a peice of deregulation, not adding complexities and criminality as it has done.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Aug 05 - 10:45 AM

This Act was supposed to be a peice of deregulation, not adding complexities and criminality as it has done.

Can we really expect to see the enforcement of conditions like ensuring the playing of darts stops at 11pm? And if we can't - what is the point of imposing such blatent sillyness?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM

John, I thought I understood those provisions - at least both Robin Bynoe and I expressed incredulity at how unhelpful they were - but in th light of what you say I am going to need to re-read them when sober!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 07:23 AM

I wish you luck, Richard. I came to the conclusion that one could only understand them WHEN drunk..........or mad.

I further concluded that the draftsmen were drunk, mad, or both.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Hopfolk
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 07:32 AM

This legislation only affects people who are being paid to perform/ticketed events doesn't it?

The law cannot control groups of people singing or playing their instruments for their OWN amusement in a private place (pub).

Sad thing is that the fear of prosecution will scare people off.

Cheers

John


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 07:45 AM

There seems to be some confused idea that they ARE their own audience, as far as I can follow what's happening, CamoJohn...


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: DMcG
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 08:43 AM

This legislation only affects people who are being paid to perform/ticketed events doesn't it?
No.


The law cannot control groups of people singing or playing their instruments for their OWN amusement in a private place (pub).

I'm afraid it can, though as you say it is largely going to to be the landlords fearing for their livelihood that will have the most effect.

As to the sate of the law, I can put it no better than Gilbert and Sullivan did in the Mikado:




MIK:
I forget the punishment for compassing the death of the Heir Apparent.
KO., POOH, and PITTI:
Punishment. (They drop down on their knees again.) Something lingering, with boiling oil in it, I fancy.
MIK:
Yes. Something lingering, with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Something of that sort. I think boiling oil occurs in it, but I'm not sure. I know it's something humorous, but lingering, with either boiling oil or melted lead. Come, come, don't fret--I'm not a bit angry.
KO:
(in abject terror). If your Majesty will accept our assurance, we had no idea----
MIK:
Of course----
PITTI:
I knew nothing about it.
POOH:
I wasn't there.
MIK:
That's the pathetic part of it. Unfortunately, the fool of an Act says "compassing the death of the Heir Apparent." There's not a word about a mistake----
KO., PITTI., and POOH:
No!
MIK:
Or not knowing----
KO:
No!
MIK:
Or having no notion----
PITTI:
No!
MIK:
Or not being there----
POOH:
No!
MIK:
There should be, of course---
KO., PITTI., and POOH:
Yes!
MIK:
But there isn't.
KO., PITTI., and POOH:
Oh!
MIK:
That's the slovenly way in which these Acts are always drawn. However, cheer up, it'll be all right. I'll have it altered next session.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 08:49 AM

The main point of all this is that if the premises is licensed for less than 200 people, and that license incudes the provision of music entertainment, and that entertainment is purely unamplified, and it's between 8am and midnight, then the licensing body cannot impose any conditions FULL STOP.
John Barden


john - I think they can impose conditions and in my LA's case – they have. But there does remain is some doubt in this local example - on the size of the premises or if a capacity has been imposed.

But assuming an imposed limit of less than 200 in this case - I think The question is - if S177 suspends these conditions or if they have any 'effect'. This is not quite the same thing - as saying the LA is not able to impose any conditions because of S177.

b) are not being used for the provision of any other description of regulated entertainment,
any licensing authority imposed condition of the premises licence which relates to the provision of the music entertainment does not have effect, in relation to the provision of that entertainment, unless it falls within subsection (6)
.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 11:01 AM

Roger - I see where you're coming from, and they can of course impose conditions. However, it is clearly the case that these conditions do not have 'effect' with regard to live acoustic music if, as section 177 subsection (4) states, the premises license is for 200 people or less and that license includes the provision of music, and if it's between the hours of 08:00 and 24:00.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:20 AM

Licensing chiefs have admitted that neighbouring pubs are being given different closing times under new laws coming into force in November.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4292810.stm

I have the past 5 years been trying to reach agreement with my local authority - Weymouth and Portland Borough Council in Dorset - to a change on what the local definition of the word 'performer' is.

The legal advice I have received is that although the word appears in S 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 - this current licensing legislation itself does not define this word. Also that as there is no case law that has legally determined what a 'performer' is. In the absence of this. - I am advised (via a ministerial answer given in the House of Lords) that the definition of this word is a matter for the Local Licensing authority to first decide and then - if this definition is legally challenged - a matter for the courts to finally decide.

With the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003 - which does not use the word 'performer'- I had thought that this issue of changing the local definition would now be only of academic interest. However, it has come to my notice locally that some Premises Licence applications are in effect imposing their own conditions by only asking for permission for live music with two or less 'performers'. I understand that many of these applications are being made by legal firms on behalf of licensees and owners.

I assume the idea in advising this course of action is in that by not asking for anything more than the premises already can have - there is less chance of the new application being objected to, turned-down or seen to be presenting any grounds for any conditions to be imposed. I am also accepting of course that if no request for live music was made in these application - that none at all would be permitted.

However, I regret that these premises feel they are now being forced to have to self limit the type of live music they could now legally hold. I especially question the wisdom of confining it to words that are not any part of the new legislation. With its much hyped and stated claims to encourage and benefit the type of live music that premises can now hold. For this self-limiting use of the word 'performer' - is now set to re-open all the old arguments about when a pub customer becomes a 'performer'.      

I find myself in the strange position of supporting a local application for the increased opening hours but having to object to this application because of the use and likely acceptance by my council - of these words. Their questionable legality and undesirable limitation to the live music that could now legally be available. This particular pub is small and this would already be a practical limitation. But room for a duo - would likely be enough for a trio - but with this self limiting wording - the addition of one more participant - would mean that the live music would be illegal.

The other issue which may conflict with this self limiting condition in application is S 177 of the new Act. In pubs where there is a safe capacity of less than 200 under a Premises Licence - any conditions placed upon any performance (by any number of participants) of non-amplified live music will be suspended.

Is there anything that a member of the public can do locally - as part of the application process - to prevent the limits of the old legislation being adopted into the new and the use and acceptance of these words again being part of licensing legislation.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 12:00 PM

DCMS press release 23 September 2005

http://tinyurl.com/ddlt2


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 01:50 PM

From the press release.

. The LGA's concerns which helped inform the new package of measures were:

The consultation period to be lengthened from a month to six weeks.
The introduction of more effective methods of consultation, such as a letter drop to affected residents
The presumption to support later opening to be removed from the guidance.
A clear and unambiguous role for elected members to represent their constituents.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 09:55 AM

Just to say I've been watching my local papers and so far resident objections to applications to vary existing licences (usually an extra hour or 2, only a couple of 24 hours)have been overruled by council and applications approved. I don't know how many have "ticked the box" for live music but none of the local music venues seem to be closing and some that didn't offer music are now offering occasional gigs, even jazz and blues ones. I hope other people find this is happening in their area as well. If it is, then our worst fears may have been groundless

RtS
(with fingers crossed)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:14 AM

If it is, then our worst fears may have been groundless.

It is far too early to say much about our worst fears but the legislation was not sold to us as just keeping things as they were.

Licencees and the local officers have been rather too busy with just the Premises Licence side of things to be much concerned with live music.

Much of the improvement that you seem to see for live music - I suggest comes more from the uncertainty of this current transition period. For none of the new applications have yet to take effect and as before - so much will be down to local enforcement of music issues.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 01:26 PM

I agree its to early to breath any sighs of relief - if you breath too hard you may need a licence.

Following the expulsion of the 82 year old from the Labour Party Conference there has been much verbage about control freaks and Kenneth Clarke on question time says if Blair is a control freak, you ain't seen nothing yet, when Brown becomes PM.

I wonder if the provisions about music are based around the need to control. Maybe. But Billy Bragg set up a musicians "set" to oppose Mrs Thatcher. I wonder if he and friends are happy with the current legislation?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 09:27 AM

London company bosses reject new licensing rules
The Publican
Published 17th October 2005
Fewer than one in ten company directors in the capital expect the incoming licensing regime to benefit their businesses.

To a survey conducted by the London Chamber of Commerce concerning the likely impact of the government's new licensing laws, half the 165 respondents said they expected no benefit, while 42 per cent said the legislation would actively harm their operations' prospects.

Three quarters of executives said they felt the relaxed regime would lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour, while nearly two thirds believe attacks on business properties will rise in number.
Eighty five per cent said they felt the changes would pile pressure on police resources.

Businesses throughout London and the south east "did not buy into the argument that the new regime will lead to a more relaxed drinking culture," the LCC said.

LCC president Michael Cassidy said the new laws were a "leap in the dark" and were bound to have unintended consequences.
"The government must think it can correct any excesses by police action or later modifications to the rules. Business opinion, judging by our survey, is very sceptical," he added.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 03:49 AM

Seems to me the only body that wants this is the Government, via DCMS and Ministers.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 07:42 AM

We should of course support all existing pub sessions by all means but let us look at the rather confused legal position for starting-up of any new ones under the new legislation.

Firstly - any licensee without entertainment permission would be unlikely to agree to hold a session and a local authority would be most unlikely to consider it as legal.

Even though there is some mileage in considering it as 'a performance of incidental live music' and exempt from the licensing requirement - it is rather unlikely to happen in the first place for this to be tested via the courts.

But even in a pub with entertainment permission - when some pubs only ask for permission for live music for two 'performers' - this would specifically make a session etc with more than two participants illegal.

S 177 of the Licensing Act 2003 means that if a pub has entertainment permission and a safe capacity of less than 200 - any non-amplified music with unlimited participants - (as long as there were not more than 200 of them) - will be free of imposed conditions - except for those based on two of the four main objects of the Act - protecting children from harm and the prevention of crime and disorder.

Effectively that means that although permission is required for non-amplified music - no real condition can be placed upon it. Which does rather question why permission for it should be required in the first place?

It is a bit unclear if all premises with a Premises Licence and a safe capacity of less than 200 - have to specifically request permission for this non-amplified music.

It is also unclear if any conditions like at what time entertainment must end - would be legal if applied by a LA to non-amplified live music in premises with a safe capacity of less than 200.

Unless moves are made to address the current uncertainty about the true legal status of non-amplified sessions etc - this will only get worse. This (and the increased workload) may extend the present 'honeymoon' period for existing sessions and keep them free from some local authority enforcement etc but will hardly encourage new ones to start.

I feel that a patchy situation where (some) Local Authorities concentrate initially on enforcement of the other aspects and turn a blind eye to (some) sessions etc but slowly wake-up to what the words of the Act actually say - will be as unsatisfactory for sessions etc - as this situation has been for them - in the last few years of the current legislation.

The rather silly situation is that if a non-alcohol serving cafe wished to provide non-amplified live music - they would have to apply for a Premises Licence in order to obtain entertainment permission - on which no real conditions could be placed. Considering what a complete waste of everyone's time this would be - the most likely outcome is that no non-amplified live music will take place in such premises. An outcome which is of benefit to no one.

If the words of the legislation can enable non-amplified sessions etc - without making them illegal without special permission -then we have to ensure that this can happen everywhere..

If the words of the legislation mean that sessions etc cannot be enabled and they are illegal without special permission - the words of the legislation will need to be changed.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:17 AM

Roger - I think you may be wrong in part on:-

S 177 of the Licensing Act 2003 means that if a pub has entertainment permission and a safe capacity of less than 200 - any non-amplified music with unlimited participants - (as long as there were not more than 200 of them) - will be free of imposed conditions - except for those based on two of the four main objects of the Act - protecting children from harm and the prevention of crime and disorder.

The point is that the Licensing Authority can impose conditions, but

Subsection (4) applies where-

(a) a premises licence authorises the provision of music entertainment, and
(b) the premises have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons.
      (4) At any time between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight when the premises-

(a) are being used for the provision of music entertainment which consists of-
(i) the performance of unamplified, live music, or
(ii) facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment within sub-paragraph (i), but
(b) are not being used for the provision of any other description of regulated entertainment,
any licensing authority imposed condition of the premises licence which relates to the provision of the music entertainment does not have effect, in relation to the provision of that entertainment, unless it falls within subsection (6).

therefore the 2 provisions 1)protecting children from harm and 2) the prevention of crime and disorder, will not have effect.

Strange, but true I feel.

John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 08:00 AM

John I note from your post that I am certainly wrong in not pointing out that S177 only protects non-amplified live music from conditions - up to midnight. Though quite why it is OK to drink long after midnight but not to make non-amplified music is less than clear.

You may be right about the conditions but these things will only be made clearer if or when they are taken to the courts. I fear that is unlikely that many of the things pertaining to live music in general and in particular to this form of live music - will ever reach the courts.

It could very well be that if and when we could get licensees to take the risk - that enforcement would be unlikely. But this situation is not satifactory for anyone.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 08:57 AM

Roger - I'm in complete agreement with you there as I believe the enforcers will be as ignorant of the law as they have been previously. Suffice to say that I will be carrying a copy of the relevant part of the act to 'fight my end' if any one of them tries to act in an illegal manner, and if they do the will find my complaints to their employers vociferous.
The Act will be with us soon, and I believe we all have a duty to ensure that petty officialdom will not get away with trying to impose the licensing authority conditions that the Act clearly states do not apply.

John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:35 PM

It's a horrifying thought that, in the future, every folkie setting out for a gig might be heard checking that he has all his equipment:-

"Right, guitar, mandolin, capos, tuner, spare strings,..........now where did I put that bloody lawyer?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 06:55 AM

Potential bidders for Premier League broadcasting rights have said they will pull out of talks unless the League's plans for its next auction - due to be presented to the EU tomorrow (Monday) - gives them a way to break Sky's hold on pubs and clubs.

Pubs and clubs pay around £200m a year to Sky to show live football, while Sky has around five million subscribers who pay between £28 and £42.50 a month to watch its sports channels.
- Mail On Sunday

Interesting that you now will need licencing permission and have to pay to ensure that one singer/musician (or indeed to play pool or darts) is safe - but not to show live TV football in pubs to often drunken crowds.

With premises already paying those sums of money to Sky - and presumably TV licenses to our Government - it is no wonder they do not wish to pay for entertainment permission to ensure the safety of the showing of TV sport.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 08:13 AM

The willingness of the lawyer to be tucked in a hip or breast pocket will probably vary according to whose hip or breast pocket it is, Don, so Liza Carthy may do better out of that scenario than you.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 11:28 AM

You may well be right Richard. Mind you don't wind up with Lily Savage tho'.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 04:53 PM

The following was broadcast om West Country live 17 October 2001. The law has now been changed. Will the Local Authority still insist "3 people playing in a pub is a safety hazard"?


Intro

Three people playing in a pub counts as a performance and needs a special licence. But the same pub can attract lots of people with a big screen TV and not need a special licence.The law was drawn up hundreds of years ago and many musicians say its time it was changed

THREE'S A CROWD
Mary Hardiman-Jones
It's a welcome part of the pub scene all over England and Ireland. An informal session with a couple of musicians playing while others enjoy a pint or a pasty. Fine – But if a third or forth musician joins in, you are in a different ballgame.

Peter Gilmour. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

If there are more than two people gathered to have a performance in terms of music, then they are required to have a Public Entertainment Licence.
Now the legislation is hundreds of years old. I've no doubt like most of the legislation in this country, it is well past its sell-bye date. In terms of that it requires a review. But that is the legislation we have to operate under.

Mary Hardiman-Jones
And that applies to other public places, even those without a liquor licence.

Roger Gall. Musician
If three members of the public, on a regular basis sang 'God Save The Queen', they would be classed as performers and would be illegal in premises without a Public Entertainment Licence. If members of the W.I. were to sing 'Jerusalem', it would be exactly the same.

Mary Hardiman-Jones
That licence could cost anything from £200 to £4,000. The 'two in the bar' rule has been challenged all over the country but musicians at this Portland pub have campaigned more widely than most

Roger Gall
When I made this public on the internet, because we can do this now, I managed to get quite a lot of people, I think about 25, that the council counted. Mainly from the USA, who wrote in and said that they were not going to come to where a Local Authority had this oppressive view to their traditional activities.

Peter Gilmour
We have had a number of emails to us from people in America. And I have to say that when I explained to them just how active we are in supporting the arts in Weymouth, when I tell them about the folk festival we are having and the Millennium festival where we'd 40.000 people on the beach. They turn round and say, well done Weymouth, we will actually think about coming to have a look at Weymouth when they get here.

Mary Hardiman-Jones
Until the law is changed, the Local Authority will insist 3 people playing in a pub is a safety hazard.

Brian Flynn. Licensee of the Cove House Inn.
Last year, last December we started with local musicians, who came basically to do a jam session on Thursday nights. Just to entertain themselves basically. When we advertised that, I received a visit from the council, saying that this was actually classed as a musical event, even though there was no money involved. Just doing what they wanted, when they wanted. I was just given a warning and had another visit about a month later saying, get a Public Entertainment Licence, stop the activity or be prosecuted.

Mary Hardiman-Jones
That could mean a £20,000 fine or six months in prison. So this landlord applied for a licence in June and is still waiting.

Brian Flynn. Licensee of the Cove House Inn.
This is a public house, it has to be safe otherwise we wouldn't be allowed to operate. The police, fire brigade, council health people and the environmental health officer, they all visit. They all inspect and obviously if the place wasn't safe they would close it

Peter Gilmour
If an incident did occur an accident and somebody was injured or hurt or killed whatever, you'd be the first people to say to me, you are responsible for enforcing that legislation, why didn't you do it?

Mary Hardiman-Jones

Even a bishop in the House of Lords recently questioned this law and the government, in a White Paper did promise to review it. That would mean reforming the whole of licensing legislation. In the meantime, council's will have to uphold the law and musicians will be discouraged from playing. Unless of course it's solo or a duet.


Live studio interview with Julian Howe. Branch Secretary of Torbay Musicians' Union.
Q ….Have you already been campaigning about this 'two in a bar rule'?

A…..Oh very much so, on a National level especially with other people helping us. We are making a break-though as the last few years we have been able to get to the seat of Government, speak to people and explain the dificulties the existing legislation causes us.

Q…..How important do you think it is to have live music in a pub, for the community and even for the culture?

A…..Not just pubs, the hotels and almost anywhere. It is harmful what is happening now. Only 5% of licensed premises have Public Entertainment Licenses. I really does restrict our ability to perform, not to mention to earn a few bob. A recent Home Office circular did explain how they felt the importance of public entertainment was to a central role in tourism.

Q…..What about Karoke, do you need a licence for that?

A….Yes you do. Strictly speaking, according to the law you should have one for a juke box in a café, but they seem to turn a blind eye to that one. Fortunately some people have had to apply for a licence for one (karoke), and this has enabled bands to go in as well, so there is a little bit of benefit from that.

Q…..Are all councils as strict at enforcing these laws?

A…..There are extremes. For 25 years I worked in a public utility and I know how inconsistent people can be. We have an etreme in Bristol where, not just one person can play but if they play with a backing track, these count as a performer. That is about as crazy as one can get. There are some inconsistencies, I think this is where we are getting through and getting some action at government level. The most inconsistent element is the cost of the licence.

Ends.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 01:53 PM

Some pubs (locally in East Yorks) have become concerned that just selling ale is not as profitable as it once was and are (where they have a licence that allows it) actively courting "sessions". A nice change.

Locally following a football match on big screen in a pub a fight broke out and one man had his nose bitten off!.   But no licensing problem here according to HM Government.

I think there is as little logic in the controls on live music as there is in the "deregulation" of hours, when binge drinking and violence is rising. But Ministers seem adamant.

Many have laboured long and hard against these unnecessary regulations, to no effect and I think we are now stuck with this Act and the commencement date in November.

I note that James Parnell was formerly a "special advisor" before becoming an MP and Minister with licensing responsibility.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 02:07 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

Most bars and restaurants should by now have been granted new premises licences which will come into force on 24 November. However, there is no clear picture of the impact on live music and it looks increasingly as though it may never be possible to make a really accurate assessment.

Some licensing law firms report that the majority of the applications they have processed have been successful in getting authorisations to allow bands, although some of these venues will still be subject to restrictions on the number of gigs a year. On the other hand, Punch Taverns, which operates nearly 7,000 pubs in England and Wales, has simply renewed the 'two in a bar rule' for the bulk of their premises. It is likely that some independently-run pubs will have done the same.

One bar in Hampstead, La Brocca, has dropped its long-running jazz duo gigs as a result of the new regime. Bar owner David Locke applied to have live bands and to open later. The venue had had a few noise complaints in the past, and according to Mr Locke the local authority strongly hinted that if he wanted to be successful in getting permission to open later it might be a good idea to abandon the live music application. He took the advice, and was successful in his application for later opening.

But even where bars have been granted permission to host bands, this does not mean they will provide them. In many cases, the licence will be granted on condition that if they do have live music, they must fit double glazing, hire door supervisers, fit more doors, a noise limiter, and so on. The bar owner will agree in principle, and be granted his or her licence. They are only required to implement the conditions IF they have live music. So, the existence of a live music authorisation on the local authority licensing register will not necessarily mean that live music is being provided.

No doubt the government will make use of this in the weeks to come, claiming this or that percentage of new live music venues have been created by their reforms.

What of the MORI live music survey, touted by the government as the benchmark study? In August DCMS finally conceded that the survey does not reveal the proportion of 'two in a bar' gigs by venue category. So it will be impossible to tell, using this yardstick, whether the situation improves or worsens for live bands in pubs.

You will recall BBC reports earlier this year showing that many smaller businesses found the new licence application process costly and complex. In many cases, the paperwork ran to well over 20 pages, not including new 1:100 scale plans of the premises, all of which had to be copied to 8 different authorities. Licensing minister James Purnell was criticised for claiming that the process was much easier and cheaper.

On 20 October, DCMS announced that Purnell had launched 'a bureaucracy-busting task force' for the culture, media and sport industries at the 4th annual European Tourism Forum in Malta. The press release continued: 'In his speech to fellow EU ministers and representatives from the EU tourism industry, James Purnell said that burdensome regulation is an EU-wide problem – and the UK is taking steps to address it. The move follows Government and industry concern that smaller businesses must not be stifled by red tape and unnecessary regulations.'
Purnell said: "Smaller businesses are the heart of the tourism industry and I want to make sure that anyone thinking of setting up a new business isn't overwhelmed by regulation."

Read the full press release at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/press_notices/archive_2005/dcms140_05.htm?month=October&properties=archive%5F2005%2C%2Fglobal%2Fpress%5Fnotices%2F%2C


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 05:35 PM

Dorset Echo Tuesday 8 November 2005
RED TAPE MAY SCUPPER CHARITY RECORD BREAKER
By Martin Lea

martin.lea@dorsetecho.co.uk

Organisers of a charity concert which aimed to establish a new world record may pull the plug on the gig, blaming council bureaucracy.

Five-piece Weymouth pub band Methane 57 aimed to perform the same song in 30 different venues on Children in Need day on Friday, November 18. But a letter from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has thrown a spanner in the works.

Licensing manager Sue Moore read a Dorset Echo article about the fundraiser and wrote to remind the band they can only perform in bars which have a public entertainment licence. Venues which haven't can only host two musicians under the current rules and Mrs Moore suggested the band slim down to a two-piece if they want to play at these premises.

The letter came as a shock to event organiser and Methane 57 guitarist Pete Smith, who says the direction is unnecessary and has created an embarrassing situation for the band. The concerts, in which the band would perform rocker Bryan Adams' classic anthem Summer of '69' 30 times over 10 hours, take place less than a week before the licensing laws change and the public entertainment licence disappears.

Mr Smith, who is landlord of the Park Hotel in Weymouth, argues the band would only play for three-and-a-half minutes at each venue and the sole aim would be to raise money for charity. He said; Sue Moore has enclosed a list of the places we are allowed to play. With respect to those venues most of them will be empty or closed during the day or are so far out of town that it's not worth going. "We need to be hitting places in the town centre where the punters are going to be. "This is about supporting Children in Need and at the same time raising the profile of the town. "We've got lots of support and I've got 25 people ready to take the day off but I'm thinking of cancelling now. "I would have hoped the council would enter into the spirit of the event rather than going by the letter of the law".

Ms Moore was not available for comment.

I have just heard today that November 18 is also the day set for my meeting with the officers to discuss the local enforcement of the Licensing Act 2003. I had hoped that some of the officer's old way of thinking could be placed behind us.........................


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 07:44 PM

guess we'll all be in the same boat pretty soon!


What's to be done???


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 04:43 AM

You can respond to the Echo's story on the following....

http://www.thisisweymouth.co.uk/dorset/weymouth/news/WEYMOUTH_NEWS_NEWS3.html

Please feel free to do so.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 05:14 AM

Tried to send comment, and the message was rejected, with a flippant reply giving contacts to report to, with a final sentence "If you are a spammer trying to abuse this script, please report yourself to the local police".

Very bloody helpful!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 04:40 PM

letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following from Hamish Birchall.

The BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme should include a piece tomorrow about the 1.7 million live gig estimate as cited by former licensing minister Richard Caborn in support of his claim that live music was 'flourishing' in 'bars, clubs and restaurants' whose main business was not live music. The claim was made by Caborn in the DCMS press release of 25 August 2004 announcing the findings of the MORI live music survey.

The Stage newspaper is also making this front page news (the paper will be available in most areas tomorrow, although I have already seen an early London edition).

The reason for the sudden press interest is that the Market Research Society (MRS), the UK market research watchdog, has upheld a complaint I made back in January this year that Caborn's statement was misleading. This was his opening quote from the original DCMS press release:

"From the Beatles to Blur we have a live music heritage to be proud of. This survey shows that heritage is alive and well with a flourishing music scene - an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music."

The MRS has agreed, as I had argued, that the 1.7 million estimate for the venue categories cited by Caborn was misleading and should have been much lower. This is because the estimate was for the whole survey, not just the sub-set of venues suggested by Caborn. MRS say the live gig estimate for Caborn's 'bars, clubs and restaurants' should be about 1.3 million. However, this is only true if you allow the word 'clubs' to cover two separate and quite distinct venue categories: 'small clubs', and 'members clubs and associations'. The latter are mostly closed to the general public and in any case are exempt from entertainment licensing for live music (until 24 November). Unsurprisingly live music has fared much better in these venues. If you only include 'small clubs', as I did, then my original estimate of about 850,000 live gigs remains valid for 'pubs', 'small clubs' and 'restaurants'.

As a result of their investigation, MRS has imposed a disciplinary action on a MORI employee, requiring the individual concerned to ensure that corrections are made to the press release. In particular, they state that a 'footnote should have been added to the press release along the lines that more than a third of the live staged events were not in the categories displayed on the press release'.

But DCMS has gone about this in a rather strange and disturbing way. It has emerged that some time after 16 February this year, a new bullet point listing venue categories was added to the original press release on the DCMS website and alterations were made to the minister's original quote. There is no indication that any corrections or alterations have been made, or why. The document is presented as if it were the original of 25 August 2004: A new phrase, 'and other venues', has been inserted into Caborn's original quote:http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/press_notices/archive_2004/dcms110_04.htm?month=August&properties=archive%5F2004%2C%2Fglobal%2Fpress%5Fnotices%2Farchive%5F2004%2F%2C


"From the Beatles to Blur we have a live music heritage to be proud of. This survey shows that heritage is alive and well with a flourishing music scene – an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs, restaurants and other venues whose main business isn't putting on live music."

It looks as though history has been quietly rewritten. I believe this raises serious questions about the relationship between DCMS and MORI, not to mention the morality of retrospectively doctoring minister's statements, and wider questions about whether this has been done to other press releases or minister's statements subsequently found to be wrong or misleading. All this is likely to lead to questions being asked in Parliament.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 04:47 PM

The event planned for 18 November that Roger posted about comes under the old legislation. After 24 November they can run it under a Temporary Event Notice.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 05:48 PM

If I hadn't been born when I was - I could well have been born at some other time. But the stubbon fact remains that I was born at that time and the stubbon fact also is that the Chldren in Need night IS set for 18 November.

It would be interesting to establish just how you set about obtaining a TEN for 30 different venues and who would presumambly pay 30 times for the privilege. Just to enable a band to perform a 3 and a half minute song for charity.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: PennyBlack
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 08:08 PM

Shambles - TENs pain in the ar...

Only 5 allowed per year for individual/group/associate

Only 12 per year per location

As yet one of our local councils hasn't taken out any Licences for open areas (Village Sq etc) that have regular entertainment, and they haven't said they will do either. They have also told the local Morris team that uses some small amplifiers - but all the same amplifiers that they will need a licence so will have to apply for TENs each time they dance in the square, as will buskers and other music makers how soon will the 12 TENs be used up ( we estimate next years allocation will have gone by the end of January!)

If you haven't seen the application requirement look Here

and a copy of the draft (but expected) application form, as a PDF file: TEN PDF

only £21 just don't stray from the location!

PB


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 09:20 AM

The radio 4 Today feature is now set for Friday 11 November but you can read the story in The Stage

http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/10371/dcms-issued-misleading-st


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 10:49 AM

I haven't read through all this to check if this has already been said but ... Fergal Sharkey is going to be interviewed by Steve Heap next Sunday morning at the AFO Conference in Telford. Ought to be interesting.

siân


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 05:09 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

See below for a transcript of this morning's BBC R4 Today item about the 1.7 million gig claim for 'bars, clubs and restaurants' found to be misleading by the Market Research Standards Board (MRSB).

A few caveats first, however:

The BBC mistakenly called the MRSB a 'government body' in the opening commentary. The Market Research Society is in fact an independent professional body 'that exists to set and enforce the ethical standards to be observed by research practitioners'. See their website: http://www.mrs.org.uk/

MRSB only has power to discipline its members, who are individual market researchers, not companies or corporations.
A MORI employee was disciplined essentially because MORI has joint responsibility with DCMS for any press releases or publications including the live music survey findings, and the 1.7 million gig claim as it was originally made should not have been published without qualification.

The fact that DCMS later covertly altered the former licensing minister's quote in the 25 August 2004 press release is not made clear in this piece. The MRS confirmed to me yesterday that alteration of the minister's quote was NOT included in their disciplinary action. How it came to be done is now the subject of a further MRSB investigation, following another complaint from me, and is likely to be the subject of Parliamentary questions.

In November 2004 and January 2005, DCMS ministers were questioned in Parliament about the 1.7 million estimate relating to 'bars, clubs and restaurants'. No apologies were offered, despite the fact that in a letter to me dated 10 December 2004 DCMS Licensing Implementation and Communications Manager Jason De Bono wrote: 'I can confirm that the 1.7 million estimate was for the whole sample. The reference to "bars, clubs and restaurants" made by Richard Caborn was shorthand for this - there was of course no intention to mislead.'

I did bring other complaints about the validity of the survey, but the 1.7 million live gig claim was top of my list. The MRSB has not recommended disciplinary action in relation to my other complaints, but nor have they yet explained why they were not upheld.
Within an hour or two of the BBC Today programme, a web cast is usually available. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/
~ ~ ~

TRANSCRIPT OF BBC Today broadcast - Friday 11 November 2005 - 6.51-7.54am approx

DCMS 1.7 million live gig claim for bars, clubs and restaurants was misleading.


EDWARD STOURTON: The time now is 9 minutes to 7. The Market Research Standards Board, the government body which is charged with running checks on the accuracy of market research, has ruled that one of the government's own press releases was misleading. The release dealt with the impact of the new Licensing Act on live music in small venues, the subject of much grumbling among musicians. Nicola Stanbridge reports:

[background jazz fade in]

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: For ten years this little restaurant called La Brocca in Hampstead has had a reputation for live jazz music, acting as a springboard for young musicians. Under the old Licensing Act, two musicians could play without an entertainment licence. Under new rules the venue needs one. But the cost is prohibitive, and La Brocca is closing its doors to musicians, one of many examples this programme has heard of. Its owner is David Locke.

DAVID LOCKE: It's expensive to get a licence, and live music in bars and pubs and restaurants is not profitable. It's a philanthropic thing really to put jazz or folk music in a pub. You know, to have to go to a lot of cost to get a music licence, you know, to do various modifications - all sorts of stuff - just isn't viable and people won't do it because they can't afford to do it.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: This is at odds with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which has always insisted the new Licensing Act is an easy box-ticking way of getting a public entertainment licence, making it much easier to put on music. [jazz fades out] Last August the minister responsible, Richard Caborn, said there was a flourishing music scene: 'an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the last year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music'. That was based on a MORI survey, but musicians disputed the scene was flourishing, insisting it was vulnerable and likely to worsen under the new Licensing Act. One musician, Hamish Birchall, decided to add the sums up for himself.

HAMISH BIRCHALL: It looked as if 1.7 million was rather high for bars, clubs and restaurants. I studied MORI survey's full report and it has a table showing seven different venue categories. You get a figure of about 1.7, 1.8 million for the WHOLE survey, not for a sub-set of three venue categories.

NICOLA STANBRIDGE: Hamish Birchall filed a complaint with the Market Research Standards Board which agreed the statement was indeed misleading. The 1.7 million related to the whole sample surveyed. The Board recommended a footnote be added and disciplinary action. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport did change the press release, broadening the 1.7 million number of gigs to include 'other venues'. In a statement they said this was not a fundamental change, or a change of meaning, and as such there was no need to issue a new press notice. They said they didn't set out to misinterpret the research or mislead the public. And MORI concurred, adding in a statement that the original press release did include an executive summary of the MORI research, and a breakdown of all the venues surveyed, and that other complaints by Mr Birchall were not upheld. The Liberal Democrat Culture spokesman Don Foster says it raises questions about future government statements.

DON FOSTER: The government having been rapped over the knuckles for misleading the public in a press release should at the same time be acknowledging that they made a mistake and should be apologising for doing it. We need to be much more vigilant in the future about what this government is saying, whether it's the Iraq dossier, burying bad news, or whether it's even about the state of live music in this country.

SARAH MONTAGUE: Nicola Stanbridge reporting. The time now 6 minutes to 7.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 05:15 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/index.shtml


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 08:43 PM

Fergal Sharkey is NOT part of the solution. He is part of the PROBLEM.

A professional musician, in it for the money, is unlikely to be trying to benefit the largely amateur folk scene, and in any case his spouting the official government lies is counterproductive to the future of the live music venues destroyed by this inept legislation.

Anything he says is irreparably tainted with the political expediency of a government which cannot be seen to admit it got things wrong, no matter the cost to the culture and heritage of this country.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 12 Nov 05 - 05:03 AM

Congratulations to Hamish on his continued battle on behalf of all musicians against this pernicious legislation. It is a pity that the big guns of the music world forget their roots in pubs and clubs since this is where the attack lies.

It is a feature of this Government that it will never admit that it has got anything wrong.   If it did and corrected things it would carry much more respect.   I find ministers and officials throw up a blanket wall against any objections to its plans - replying with the same old bland and irrelevant replies, calling in aid Government appointees like Fergal Sharkey.   I have spoken to hundreds about the governments regulation of live music and have had a 100% response on the lines of "why. Havn't they got better things to do". The architect of this mess, supposed Jazz lover and self confessed folk music hater, Kim Howells, has long since moved on to some obscured role in the Ministry of Transport leaving behind regulation upon regulation.

I remember in the commons debate, reference to "light touch" and Temporary event notices in the same sentence as Local Authorities. As I said and thought then, local authorities do not do "light touch" hence the restrictions and lengthy form filling for the simplest event. If you want to invite the public into your garden to raise money for charity, you could hire a fire eater, a stunt motor bike rider or Roy Chubby Brown to tell blue jokes without a licence, but hire a string quartet, or a solo singer and you need a Temporary Event Licence for £21 and a degree in form filling.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Nov 05 - 11:31 AM

ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, ET

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Nov 05 - 01:53 PM

...but hire a string quartet, or a solo singer and you need a Temporary Event Licence for £21 and a degree in form filling

Turn your home into a private members club for the day :-)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Nov 05 - 06:39 PM

From November 24th private members clubs fall under the same licensing as all other venues, so that won't work.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 10:41 AM

The ironic thing about our jobsworths attempts to scupper a Children In Need fundraiser (detailed earlier) is that if instead of the band - Bryan Adams were to perform his own song solo at these 30 pubs - it would currently be perfectly legal.

After the law changes on the 24th of this month - it will not be.....

Bryan Adams is himself taking a big part in this years BBC Children in Need appeal and will be playing a concert in Wales. I wonder what he would make of this if he or the BBC organisers could be informed?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: sian, west wales
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 12:31 PM

Well, I've been to Telford to hear Steve Heap quiz Mr Sharkey - SPECIFICALLY on the PEL Act as it applies to FESTIVALS. Here are a few point which stick in the mind/craw (without prejudice and purely as I understand them) (have I now absolved myself of any/all comeback?):

FS reports that many of the current problems are not the fault of the Act but of Licencing Officers/Departments which either do not understand the implementation guidelines or are trying to tag their own agendas on to the law. In the case of the former, he's having all the gang (Local Authority Licencing Officer), or as many as accept the invitation, to Westminster on, I believe, 28 November to a seminar on the subject. As far as the latter goes, any 'inflation' of the requirements, he says, should be reported to his office and they will pursue the matter.

He also felt that they have followed up a great many complaints to find that they are apocryphal and time-wasting. Urban myth territory. Make of it what you will.

He repeatedly came back to how cheap the licence is. I don't dispute this; I do know that it is the COMPLIANCE requirements which break the bank, particularly for small family businesses.

As it was a Festivals-oriented quiz, there was a lot of focus on Temporary Licences rather than the permanent ones, which is more where my interest lies, but some of the info seemed dubious to me. i.e. He claimed that if an event is held in a space (say a street or square) which is unlicenced (say, by the Council) you will be culpable, not the Council. I suspect that if they do nothing to move you on, they also are culpable but that's picking nits, I suppose.

A number of people were concerned that their free community festivals would disappear as they have no income, therefore no way to pay for licences (and complying with regulations). FS felt that streets/areas should be licenced by the Council and the organizers should negotiate free or nominal-fee use of them. He also suggested that you could take out one Temp Lic. on a street and adjoining specified buildings (i.e. pubs) for the duration of your festival. Something doesn't strike me as just right in that ...

Re: his 28 Nov seminar (and I AM going to check if any Welsh Authorities are going or have been invited), it was pointed out that the Licencing Officers never liase with the Arts/Activities/Community Officer within their own councils, and this latter group are as bummed out about this Act as we all are. "Right hand, I'd like you to meet Left hand."

Let me think - what else? Ummm....

Oh - yes. Closed with a particular mention of the 'email that has been doing the rounds'. Hamish's, I guess. He specifically pointed out that all is now well because the Press Release the DCMS sent out has now been 'corrected' and it wasn't a big deal anyway. And that the monitoring group hasn't upheld any of the other claims. So: that's alright then.

He also seems convinced that if DOCUMENTED proof of the Act being disadvantageous can be presented, the government will have a rethink.

Yeh. Sure.

Anyway, that's what I heard and am passing on to you. Please make allowances that perhaps this wee pea brain of mine didn't understand all the complexities that my Lords and Masters at Live Music Forum and the Labour Government are taking forward on my behalf ...

siân


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 04:29 AM

FS reports that many of the current problems are not the fault of the Act but of Licencing Officers/Departments which either do not understand the implementation guidelines or are trying to tag their own agendas on to the law. In the case of the former, he's having all the gang (Local Authority Licencing Officer), or as many as accept the invitation, to Westminster on, I believe, 28 November to a seminar on the subject.

Why does the thought of all the nation's licensing officers gatherered in one spot to tell the DCMS what they want - fill me with so much dread? Especially as this is taking place 4 days AFTER the Act's implementation.

Rather that the DCMS pandering to and risk creating a powerful and negative lobby group - I suggest it would be far better to invite their senior officers instead. They are the ones that have to find a sensible local balance.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 05:01 AM

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=19127&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y

MPs to vote on Licensing Act today

Published 15th November 2005
The Publican


MPs are to vote on a motion in the House of Commons today to delay the start of the Licensing Act.
The motion put forward by the Tory Party aims to stop the implementation of the act on November 24.
Shadow culture secretary Theresa May said: "MPs have a duty to stop these dangerous plans which will fuel even more violence and anti-social behaviour on the streets of Britain."
This vote follows the House of Lords vote yesterday in which peers voted by a majority of 33 to delay the implementation of the new regime "to allow more time to address public concerns about the effects of the proposed changes".
Conservative peer Viscount Astor has tabled a motion to delay the Licensing Act until June 30, 2006, claiming the system is a "total mess".


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 05:11 AM

Pity they didn't notice it was a total mess when they had the opportunity to send it back for revision.

As for the licensing officers seminar, it sort of points up the government's attitude to live music. No mention of getting together people like the MU and EFDSS, to hear their POV.

Bloody typical!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 06:14 AM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4437512.stm


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 06:37 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Yesterday the House of Lords voted to delay the implementation of the Licensing Act until 30 June 2006. The government was defeated by 33 votes. Today there will be a vote in the Commons. However, it is unlikely that there will be a sufficient number of Labour rebels to defeat the government. And even if the vote went against the government, its effect would not be binding - a consequence of procedural rules in this case.

See article in The Publican online:

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=19127&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y

During the debate, Lord Colwyn spoke up for live music, highlighting the unfairness of the new Act in allowing pubs to keep sound systems, while filleting out the automatic entitlement to one or two live musicians.

Responding for the government, Lord Davies of Oldham said:

"In the transitional period there has not been a decrease in the number of venues providing live music. We do not think that the Act is bad for live music. We think that abolishing the "two in a bar" rule increases opportunities. As far as we can see in licence applications, there will be increased opportunities for live music in licensed premises."

Note the contrast between this statement and the government's earlier claims that the Act would lead to 'an explosion' in live music, and Purnell's hype this summer. Oldham's claim that in the transitional period 'there has not been a decrease in the number of venues providing live music' is disingenuous. There was no reason at that stage for any venue to stop live music - the new law doesn't come into force until 24 November, and new licences could not even be granted until two months after August 6th, the end of the transition period.

~ ~ ~

House of Lords - Monday 14 November 2005

Viscount Astor's motion to delay the Act's implementation: "That this House calls upon Her Majesty's Government to withdraw the Licensing Act 2003 (Second Appointed Day) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/2091) and to replace it with an order specifying the second appointed day as 30 June 2006 in order to allow more time to address public concerns about the effects of the proposed changes and for arrangements for any required changes to be completed in an orderly manner."

Live music comment:

Lord Colwyn (Conservative): My Lords, I hope that the House will allow me 60 seconds to say something on behalf of musicians in this country. Every time that I intervened during the passage of the then Bill, the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, chastised me for my continual interventions, and assured me that there was no problem at all and that it was all in my imagination. However, although the Act includes the "playing of recorded music" in the description of regulated entertainment, that is disapplied in the transition to the new regime for existing bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels and any premises that are already licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

Those places will be allowed automatically to keep jukeboxes or other systems for the playing of recorded sound, no matter how powerful the amplification. However, the automatic permission to have one or two live musicians in such venues-amplified or not-will cease. That was the live performer element of the so-called "two in a bar" rule, which since 1961 has been available in those premises as an exception from the general requirement to hold a public entertainment licence for live music.

The DCMS hoped that existing pubs, bars and restaurants would seek authorisation during the transitional period by varying their licence application to include live music, which could be done for one fee. However, that variation is not straightforward. It entails public advertisement at the applicant's expense, and a period for: public consultation; vetting by police, the fire authority, and on grounds of environmental health; planning; and ultimately the approval of the licensing committee of the local authority. If objections are received, whether from local residents or other agencies, a public hearing may be required with the potential for knock-on costs. The Government were warned that the then Bill would do nothing to promote live music. Musicians need venues to play and perform. The Act does nothing to help.

~ ~ ~

Responding for the government:

Lord Davies of Oldham (Labour):
... The noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, raised the issue of live music - an issue on which he was most eloquent during the Bill's passage. Of course I respect his opinion on that. In the transitional period there has not been a decrease in the number of venues providing live music. We do not think that the Act is bad for live music. We think that abolishing the "two in a bar" rule increases opportunities. As far as we can see in licence applications, there will be increased opportunities for live music in licensed premises. However, as I move from the Scylla of the criticism of the noble Lord I land on the Charybdis of the criticism of the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, on the question of noise. But of course we are concerned that the local community will be in a position to make its contribution to the issuing of licences to guarantee that local opinion is taken into account.

I recognise that what we have had this evening is a really rather jolly time in revisiting the Act. However, in the terms of the Motion, there is no intent to stop the second designated day of the Act, because to do so would throw the whole of our licensed premises and the selling of alcohol in this country and the control over selling of alcohol into complete chaos. On that basis, I hope that the House will reject the Motion.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 07:52 AM

A minor correction from Hamish.

Apparently if the Government lost the vote in the Commons tonight on whether to delay the Licensing Act the result may be binding after all. The government could try various tactics to try to delay the vote so that it runs out of time. If they lost, they would probably try to reinstate the 24 November implementation date.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 07:00 AM

The following was posted in another forum I belong to.

Funnily enough I've just talked to a couple of barristers who really
thought that it was unlikely that anyone would try to enforce any law
stopping sessions.


Hmmmm?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 11:27 AM

The bottom line is pretty much the same as now. Any LA wishing to prevent any existing session etc by considering them to be public entertainment (and from 24 November to be Regulated Entertainment) must justify the grounds for their prevention of the participant's right of freedom of expression.

The main difficulty that faces us - is getting a session for the LA to take enforcement action against and to test the whole thing. That is trying to get any licensee to take the risk of holding a session without Premises Licence entertainment permission in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 11:49 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall

In an attempt to discover why, how and when DCMS covertly altered former licensing minister Richard Caborn's original statement concerning the 1.7 million live gig claim, a written question has been put down in the Lords (an amendment will ensure that it is clear that the date of the press release was 25 August 2004). The government has to reply within two weeks:

ENDS

The Question.

The Lord RedesdaleTo ask Her Majestys Government what consultations they held with (a) Market and Opinion Research International, and (b) the Live Music Forum prior to the addition of an extra point under Notes to Editorsand the change to the quotation by the Minister of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport contained in the press release issued by the Department on 25th August, entitled Live Music SceneThe Verdict; who sanctioned those changes; and when they were made.    (HL2339)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 07:03 AM

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2005/11/18/dt1801.xml#head8

The following letter in today's Daily Telegraph

Pub pleasure banned

Sir - The 24-hour Licensing Act will bring to an end another of our innocent freedoms. I do not attend the live music entertainment by talented musicians once a week in the evening at our pub, but many local Suffolk people do.

This autocratic government has put a stop to this enjoyable pastime. A notice in the pub states: "This will be the last music night for the foreseeable future. The main problems are: doors and windows must be kept closed; there is to be a limit to the number of people in the pub; and counting people in and out is too onerous. As a customer would you be happy waiting outside because the number limit had been reached? We are sorry this situation has arisen with this new Act, but we must operate within the new conditions."

Many of our Suffolk country pubs have provided this entertainment by local musicians for many years. It is more than sad that it now has to end.

David Brook, Woodbridge, Suffolk


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 10:46 AM

Roger - how went it today at the meeting??


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 01:35 PM

Sadly the leader of the Council who is in full support was not able to attend. He had fallen off his motorbike and broken his shoulder.

As she was in agreement with this - I decided to go ahead with the meeting. She was not quite as bad as her boss Mr Grainger and her predecessor Mr Locke but it was hardly pushing at an open door. The point I was making is that as the Act required them to first consider some form of performance of live music as incidental and exempt - it might as well be something that was helpful to everyone.

[As the law is set to to come into force in week's time - you may have thought that they would have already been able to define what they considered locally as incidental live music.]

That as there were no court rulings - the Council may as well hold a liberal view under this legislation until any later ruling made this impossible. That it might be useful to consider where any local challenge may come from and that this would more likely to come if the Council were to take a narrow view - especially given some of the various Minister's statements and Number Ten's petition response.

I pointed out that it was one thing for the licensing section to stretch Regulated Entertainment to cover everything and his cat but another to follow this through and find the grounds to take enforcement action to prevent the public's right of freedom of expression. And I referred her to the MU's commissioned QC's opinion on this aspect that was lying unread and gathering dust in the council's files.   

She is going to read my written case and my suggestion for her to ask the licensing and cultural sections to provide her with similar written arguments and revert on the following 4 points and in particular on the specific circumstances of re-starting The New Star sessions under the new law - which the council claimed was prevented under the old legislation.


1.      Perhaps our Licensing Authority can be advised to formally hold and issue a policy that pub sessions are considered locally as incidental live music if or until there is any test in the nation's courts that may decide to the contrary and require a change?

2.      And that any Premises Licence condition that refers to 'performers' does not apply to any unpaid participant? Or preferably that any condition restricting the number or which refers to the word 'performers' is not accepted by this Licensing Authority?

3.      That any imposed condition stating the times that entertainment should cease should be confined only to cases where valid objections have been made to this entertainment and that otherwise these matters are best left to the experts in these matter the licensee?

4.      That a clear statement be issued as to the status of conventional pub games. That if they are not to be considered locally as Regulated Entertainment then no Premises Licence entertainment conditions are to be placed upon them especially when no specific objection has been made to them?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 10:03 AM

One of the points made to me was that the council could do nothing about applications specifying entertainment by two or less performers.

I am sure they can't initially word the application but that does not mean that they have to accept the wording - or do they? If an application was made for permission for 'zottelling' would a LA have to equally just have accept this nonsense and undefined word without question?

What is the legal status of a condition with these words now? Who decides now what a 'performer' is, in the first place? When the words appeared in the legislation - it was the local Licensing Authority, even though it was never tested in cort. Now that these words do not appear in the legislation - who decides what a 'performer' is.

Placing these words in an application and accepting them as worded does seem to alone shoot-down the Government's claims about doing-away with the 'two-in-a-bar-rule' and all the so-called benefits of this move.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 05:36 AM

See also

Humphey Smith is a .........


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 02:39 PM

BBC2's Culture Show is doing a piece on the impact of licensing on a range of entertainments, including live music, 7pm this Thursday, 24 November 2005 (8pm in Scotland).


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 03:23 PM

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=19173&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y> http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=19173&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y

Pubs with licences granted advised to operate without certificates
The Publican
Published 21st November 2005
Licensees who have had their premises licence granted but do not have their certificates are being advised to operate under the new licensing system.

The advice issued by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has been agreed with Commander Chris Allison from the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The advice comes less than a week before the new Licensing Act comes into force as only 20 per cent of licensees have received their licensing certificates.
The Act requires that the premises licence be displayed on the premises at all times.
The BBPA recommends that premises should display a notice to the effect that:
"A licence under the Licensing Act 2003 has been applied for and granted by xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx Council. The premises licence summary will be displayed as soon as it is received from the Council. The Premises Licence Holder is xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx The nominated Designated Premises Supervisor is Mr/Mrs xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx."


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 07:43 PM


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 07:46 PM

Sorry,pressed the wrong button after morris practice.

What the last (empty) message said was......

Interesting that the programme is being shown in Scotland 30 minutes later. The Scots must be p*ss*ng themselves laughing - the Act does not apply there.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 04:35 AM

Yet - I fear that something rather similar is being planned for Scotland's licensing 'reform'.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 05:20 AM

I have a had a good search through the Internet stuff on Licensing (Scotland) and so far have found nothing that mentions regulated entertainment or similar.

For those not familiar with the argument - the licensing law in Scotland has been different since 1976 and for the part about music basically permits any kind of music in a pub without any kind of licence PROVIDED it is not the main business of the premises.

EG - a concert hall would need the equivalent of an entertainment licence - Sandy Bell's (a well-known session pub in Edinburgh) would not.

I do hope the Scots see sense in this matter. Since I am married to a Scot I asked her and she said they would.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 07:25 AM

Reform is government/civil service speak for a 'cock-up'.

The situation in Scotland appears to quite sensible and working well -so there is every reason to expect something to replace it - which will be neither of those things. I hope I am wrong....


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 02:12 AM

As from midnight tonight - according to our Government - all live music is now safe from being distorted by licensing legislation.

Three cheers for our Government....!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 06:49 PM

Cheers!

To our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet!


1,000 premises to open 24hrs.
The Times
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1886891,00.html


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 04:03 AM

A local pub that has had Sessions in the "back" room applied, via the Brewery, for entertainment restricted to 2 performers, whatever they are. When this was pointed out to the landlord he said "oh thats the Brewery wanting no trouble. Don't worry. You can play in private".

Both are misunderstandings of the present law I think. The back room in quesion has a route through to the only ladies toilet in the place so its hardly "private", even if that were allowed.

The Session continues tonight however. I wonder if, like the 2 in the bar rule, enforcement might be patchy or non existant, although enforcement of serving to drunks, children etc will be enforced to make sure that there is not an escalation in violence, so the Govenment can claim "alls well".

Incidentally, I wonder if those playing music and who have to have a domestic pass out, have applied to the domestic authorities for an extension until 4 am?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Hopfolk
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 07:22 AM

I thought this legislation only applied to commercial and/or amplified music anyway. What relevance does that have to a folk Session?

CamoJohn


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Pavane
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 08:14 AM

Oh dear - like most people, you haven't been listening.
It applies to almost ALL music ANYWHERE that there is the slightest risk that there may be members of the public present.

Luckily for everyone, Morris Dancing and Church services are exempt.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 10:16 AM

I thought this legislation only applied to commercial and/or amplified music anyway. What relevance does that have to a folk Session?

I suspect that any existing ones should be able to continue (even without entertainment permission) not because the words of the law make them safe from LA enforcement but because intitially they will be too busy with other more pressing matters.

The problem is presented more to any new folk sessions and I think the answer to this one is possibly for you to try and set-up a new local folk session. Then you can tell us the relevance of the new legislation. I fear that any licensee is only going to agree to your request if they first think it is legal and will not get them into trouble. The test is what they will be advised by the local authority.

If they are advised that it will require a variation on their existing Premises Licence, effectively going though the whole process again and making another payment - I fear the chances of the licensee being prepared to host a folk session will not then be very high.

Perhaps you could ask your LA what they would advise under these circumstances and inform us? The first step is to see what response LAs will make to these 'grey' areas of the new law.

I have made a case to my LA that folk sessions are considered by them as a performance of incidental live music and exempt. I await their rsponse - not with any great optimism.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 10:25 AM

BBC2's Culture Show is doing a piece on the impact of licensing on a range of entertainments, including live music, 7pm this Thursday, 24 November 2005 (8pm in Scotland).


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 11:34 AM

Futher information available on
Gallery of Mudcat Quotations
Giok


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 06:09 PM

Saw the culture show on BBC2 tonight. Not very cheering.

Did not feature any folk sessions, or anything outside London - Naturally!

However they did feature a pub that had Jazz sessions on the two in a bar rule that was going to stop because of the Health & Safety restrictions his local council wanted to impose as a condition of his licence.

Most of the feature was on outdoor entertainment and the problems licencing imposed - having to apply for a licence every time and the costs and time involved.

The government was quoted as saying that they wished to encourage live entertainment - yet their actions seem designed to have the opposite effect.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 02:43 AM

Having said what I have said on enforcement I noted in the news for the first night of "de-regulation" film of "Licensing Enforcement" offices out enforcing and paid for by the new large licensing fees. I think they were after licensees serving drunks and kids but I wonder when they will turn their attention to sessions etc.

As has been made clear by Shambles and many others, any live music, other than acoustic Morris or in Churches in caught by this Act. Any music if the public are present needs a premise licence (premise is any place including a street or field) or a temporary event notice. All cost money and all is very bureacratic!!!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: ET
Date: 27 Nov 05 - 04:13 AM

This was reported in the local paper. I plan to write (again) to the Ministry of Fun (DCMS) on these linces but would appreciate your views?

Licensing Act 2003 Schedule 1

THE ISSUE

Not yet getting much publicity but potentially a source of embarrassment for the Government is the requirement for a licence for all, including acoustic, music, played when the public are present.

AN EXAMPLE

A Northern town council traditionally has a Carole Service in the main square lead by the mayor.   This year the District Council demanded a temporary event notice and £21.   A row and publicity followed. The district council withdrew realising the disastrous effect of trying to prosecute for holding an unlicensed Carol concert. Maximum penalty is £20,000 and or 6 months imprisonment!!!!!

SOLUTION.

Simply listen to the 120,000 musicians who signed an electronic petition. If you cant bring yourself to remove "live music" from the Schedule, use a Ministerial Order to add the word "amplified" to "live music".

THE EFFECT

Would be to free up all classical and traditional music from this bureaucracy and avoid fiascos above. All traditional musicians would be grateful and most are traditional labour voters!

PUBLIC CONSQEUENCES   would be NIL.   There has never been a complaint about acoustic music.   In the debate in Hansard Kim Howells spoke of the volume of music made by Japanese drummers. Until he mentioned them little was known about this. They are not a problem in the UK


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Nov 05 - 12:22 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The government has published a response to Lord Redesdale's question about the retrospective and covert alteration by DCMS of the 1.7m gig claim made by former licensing minister Richard Caborn in the DCMS press release of 25/08/04. A copy of the question and response is appended below.

Responding for the government, Lord Davies confirms that the Live Music Forum (LMF) was not consulted on the press release alteration 'as the change was a minor one, and the executive summary of MORI's report, which had been sent to journalists with the original press release, had already made clear the range of venues covered by the survey.'

Predictably, this is highly misleading, and is no trivial matter. MORI's reputation is involved, for one thing. Further Parliamentary questions will be raised as a result. The credibility of the Live Music Forum is also at stake because of its relationship with DCMS and statements about the survey findings that have been made in the press by LMF chairperson Feargal Sharkey.

Lord Davies' answer is misleading for these reasons:

1. It is absurd to claim the press release alteration was 'minor'. In finding that the original 1.7m claim was misleading, the Market Research Society Board adjusted this estimate downwards by about 25% to 1.3m for the venues cited by Caborn. This is a significant adjustment by any standards, but remains concealed as a result of the alterations made by DCMS. It also seems highly unlikely to me that MORI should request changes to a minister's long-since published words without also requiring that the amended document, particularly on a public website, should clearly indicate that changes have been made and the nature of those changes.

2. Merely listing the 'range of venues' in the executive summary did not provide the data necessary to verify Caborn's 1.7m gig claim for 'bars, clubs and restaurants'. To do this you need the number of venues in each venue category surveyed, the number within each category which actually hosted live music, and the estimated total number of such venues in England and Wales. This data was only published in the full MORI report some time after the publication of the 25/08/04 press release and executive summary. Indeed, despite three subsequent Parliamentary questions (including the most recent), the government has so far avoided publishing gig estimates by venue category. Why? Could it be that to do so would undermine the 'flourishing' claim for live music in bars and restaurants, and hence suggest that licensing had harmed live music in this important area?

3. The phrase 'bars, clubs and restaurants' only occurred in Caborn's original quote. Lord Davies avoids stating this explicitly, the implication being that only the body of the text was changed, rather than a minister's actual words. The MRSB has already confirmed that the disciplinary action they imposed on the MORI member did not include altering the minister's quote.

Even if you don't care much that the estimate of 1.7m live gigs a year was for all venues 'whose main business isn't live music', to claim that this indicates a flourishing live music scene is ridiculous. This figure translates into less than one live gig a month in 151,176 restaurants, hotels, student unions, clubs, members clubs and associations, church and community halls in England and Wales. Remember we're not talking about solely professional or even semi-professional performances; unpaid gigs were included.

~ ~ ~
Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consultations they held with (a) Market and Opinion Research International, and (b) the Live Music Forum prior to the addition of an extra point under "Notes to Editors" and the change to the quotation by the Minister of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport contained in the press release issued by the department on 25 August, entitled Live Music Scene—The Verdict; who sanctioned those changes; and when they were made. [HL2339]

Lord Davies of Oldham: On 10 May 2005, MORI informed the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of a complaint made to the Market Research Society (MRS) by a third party. The complainant argued that DCMS's press release of 25 August 2004, announcing the results of MORI's research into the performance of live music, had contained a misleading statement. The MRS upheld this complaint, and on 27 September 2005 MORI asked DCMS if it would amend its press release by adding the words "and other venues" to the reference to "bars, clubs and restaurants", and by inserting an additional footnote in the "Notes to Editors" to list the range of venues covered by the survey. DCMS officials complied with this request on 21 October. The Live Music Forum was not consulted as the change was a minor one, and the executive summary of MORI's report, which had been sent to journalists with the original press release, had already made clear the range of venues covered by the survey.


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 09:54 AM

Some thoughts on S177 - details of which can be found earlier in this thread. The practical benefit of which was always thought a bit suspect..............

My local has been granted its extended drinking hours but cannot hold any outside amplified music. Presumambly due to local objections.
It can however stage non-amplified music outside but with the condition that this stops at 9pm!

Now if these small premises had a imposed safe capacity limit of less than 200 - effectivly no conditions could legally be place upon non amplified live music up to midnight and a condition such as this one that limited it to a 9pm finish would not be legal.

The vice-chairman of the local Licensing Committee states that the advice he has received means that this condition is legal. If so - I can only assume that the LA had not imposed a safe capacity limit. And without this of course - S177 does not apply......................

I am sure that they are not cynically omitting this safe capacity limit just so they can impose conditions on non amplified live music in these small premises and if they were that our Government would not approve. Or would they?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 10:04 AM

I am sure that they are not cynically omitting this safe capacity limit just so they can impose conditions on non amplified live music in these small premises and if they were that our Government would not approve. Or would they?

The other point is that IF they do impose a safe capacity limit - many of our local authorities may consider that bouncers will have to automatically employed at these small premises to count heads and ensure that the safe limit is not exceeded..............


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM

Sheffield Carols 2005


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 05:27 AM

I was told by a regular in our local (non music) J.D. Wetherspoons in Weymouth that they have just installed two huge flatscreen TVs.

They also handed me the in-house magazine - which had the following article.

MUSIC
hits the right note.

The Tuesday Bell in Lisburn, has brought music to the ears of its customers. The Northern Ireland pub is now showing music videos on plasma screens. It means that all of the company's outlets in the province now play music.

The pub's manager, Alison McClelland, said; "It is great news for our customers, who love their music."


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Hopfolk
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 07:13 AM

That's a bittersweet thing for music-lovers... It's not their music, or live.

PS: keep posting, this thread's almost at 300 :-)


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 08:56 PM

The following letter of mine was published in The Dorset Echo 9 December 2005.

If his comments reported in the Dorset Echo on Monday December 5 are anything to go by, perhaps Weymouth and Portland Borough Council's Licensing Committee Chairman, Mike Goodman would be well suited in Parliament? Referring to the early days of the Licensing Act, he said:. "I don't believe adults should be curtailed and I don't agree with curfews."

It would certainly appear that he and his committee do not agree with curtailing and placing curfews upon extended drinking hours, even when there are direct objections to this from close neighbours. Perhaps if he lived where some of these objectors do he may think differently.

However, in recent reports of licensing applications in these pages, I have see little reluctance on the part of this committee to eagerly curtail adults and place curfews upon some of their activities, even when no public objections are made to activities like playing darts - that are certainly less troublesome than drinking alcohol.

One example was when granting extended drinking hours for The New Inn in Easton. Despite valid local objections to this application. Councillor Goodman's committee placed curfews restricting live music and indoor sports to an 11pm finish (although no public objections or concerns to those activities were reported) but for some reason a curfew of midnight on the playing of recorded music!

I am sure that any neighbour disturbed by loud music from 11pm will take much consolation in that is only recorded music keeping them awake for that extra hour.

Perhaps councillor Goodman would now agree that whatever activities adults choose do on these premises and the times that these activities end are not really the business of his committee - unless there are specific and valid public objections made to these particular activities

Given Councillor Goodman's comments can I ask if we can now expect to see an end to these kind of automatic licensing conditions being imposed upon the activities of adults in applications or variations where there are no specific objections made to them?

And will a review now be undertaken of those curfews and curtailments that his committee has imposed upon these activities to date, in all cases where there were no specific public objections made to them and therefore no grounds under the four main objectives of The Licensing Act 2003 for the Licensing Committee to impose these curfews?

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM

I cant resist this !


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM

300 !!!!!


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 04:28 AM

Wetherspoons and the great TV takeover

Andrew Martin
Monday December 12, 2005
The Guardian

Ten years ago, I walked into a pretty good north London pub, and saw a newly installed and massive TV. A sombre-looking reporter was talking into an outside broadcast camera, saying something like: "We don't as yet know the seriousness of the situation ... All we can do at the moment is wait." I thought the third world war had started, until I read the subtitles rolling along the bottom of the screen: "Groin strain trouble for Shearer."

It was the start of the Sky Sports pub TV revolution. Pubs became like living rooms, with everyone watching TV, and feeling vaguely like a mug for most of the time. The 650 pubs of the Wetherspoon's chain were a rare site of resistance. The company chairman, Tim Martin, was influenced by "The Moon Under Water", an essay of 1946, in which George Orwell described a notional, ideal pub. Some of Orwell's stipulations were pretty marginal (he would prefer the barmaid to call him "dear" rather than "ducky"), but one of the primary requirements was that the pub would always be "quiet enough to talk ... the house possesses neither radio nor piano". Accordingly, Martin kept televisions out of his pubs while everyone else put them in. Until now.
As of this month, Wetherspoon's pubs are being fitted with TVs. Longer drinking hours have brought the change - it was thought in particular that people taking breakfast in the pubs, which now open at eight or nine in the morning, would like to watch TV as they did so. (For my part, I can see that a couple of pints at 8am might complement the bleakness of GMTV rather well, or better still, obliterate it entirely.)
Martin insists that the Orwellian template is being adhered to, as pub managers are supposed to keep the sound turned down. "I was in a pub run by another firm," he says, "and they had tennis on TV with the sound off. I thought: that's quite nice." But the truth is that the staple diet will be 24-hour rolling news, a form where subtitles have circumvented the volume control.
TV is a depressant, generating envy, anxiety and guilt far more frequently than it does pleasure. Certainly the clientele at my local Wetherspoon's looked uncharacteristically glum the other night, the first with the new screens. The usual conversations were on hold, and all eyes were on the box.
TVs are in so many public spaces now that we are being deprived of our right not to watch. The rationale lies in what that sick Vodafone advert calls "making the most of now". It's as though we're all in fear of meeting some hypermodern, ferociously clued-up individual who incredulously demands: "You mean to say it was a full 45 minutes before you realised that Shearer was experiencing groin-strain trouble?"


ENDS


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 06:42 AM

The Shambles wrote:-
I was told by a regular in our local (non music) J.D. Wetherspoons in Weymouth that they have just installed two huge flatscreen TVs.

They also handed me the in-house magazine - which had the following article.

MUSIC
hits the right note.

The Tuesday Bell in Lisburn, has brought music to the ears of its customers. The Northern Ireland pub is now showing music videos on plasma screens. It means that all of the company's outlets in the province now play music.

The pub's manager, Alison McClelland, said; "It is great news for our customers, who love their music."



This is interesting in that I think it becomes a licenced activity under the Licensing Act 2003 as Shedule 1, part 2, section 8 states:-

Use of television or radio receivers

8    The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that it consists of the simultaneous reception and playing of a programme included in a programme service within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42).


So, if they are playing recorded music or video, that must be regarded as a provision of regulated entertainment. Not many Wetherspoon pubs had juke-boxes etc to be able to claim 'Grandfathers rights'.

John Barden


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 08:43 AM

But the pub showing the videos is in Northern Ireland. Does the PEL legislation only apply to England and Wales?


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Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 09:09 AM

I'm confused her about these section 8 provisions: it looks to me like this

  • Live performance in a pub - licence required
  • Live performance broadcast on TV - No licence required
  • Landlord replaying his recording of live performance previously broadcast on TV - licence required
  • TV company replaying its recording of live performance previously broadcast on TV - No licence required
  • Landlord playing commercial recording of live performance previously broadcast on TV - licence required


    Nice to see that they've simplified things so much!!


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    Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
    From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
    Date: 13 Dec 05 - 09:34 AM

    You've got it in one Snuffy. If its not simultaneous broadcast and reception it is there a licenced activity under the Licensing Act 2003.

    As to your observation regarding Northern Ireland, I'm not too sure, but it sure as hell applies to England and Wales, but not Scotland.

    If Wetherspoons do it in England or Wales, then the Premises Licence must include licenced activities
    John Barden


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