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Your views wanted by UK Government

The Shambles 19 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM
fi_in_nz 19 Apr 06 - 03:52 PM
ET 19 Apr 06 - 04:29 PM
The Badger 19 Apr 06 - 08:37 PM
TheBigPinkLad 19 Apr 06 - 08:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Apr 06 - 09:35 PM
Paul Burke 20 Apr 06 - 03:37 AM
ET 20 Apr 06 - 03:44 AM
Ross 20 Apr 06 - 04:05 AM
Scrump 20 Apr 06 - 04:19 AM
Ross 20 Apr 06 - 04:54 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Apr 06 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Stephen Kellett 20 Apr 06 - 06:38 AM
manitas_at_work 20 Apr 06 - 07:16 AM
Mo the caller 20 Apr 06 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Sh 20 Apr 06 - 08:00 AM
jojofolkagogo 20 Apr 06 - 09:08 AM
ET 20 Apr 06 - 11:33 AM
pavane 21 Apr 06 - 02:50 AM
Folkiedave 21 Apr 06 - 03:08 AM
The Shambles 21 Apr 06 - 01:56 PM
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Subject: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM

My name is Feargal Sharkey and I am Chairman of the Live Music Forum.

The Live Music Forum was set-up by the Government back in 2004 to monitor the impact of the new Licensing laws on live music. We have also been asked to put together some ideas on what the Forum thinks everyone can be doing to help ensure that live music continues to grow, prosper and develop.

To do this we've been talking to all kinds of people throughout the music industry, venues owners, promoters, booking agents, record companies and music publishers for example. Now while all of this is incredibly important the most important part of all is missing, That's where you come in. The simple truth is none of this can happen if there are not people out there standing on stages, playing music, going to gigs, enjoying the whole experience that is live music.

What I would like to hear about is you. Do you play, are you in a band or group, do you have somewhere to rehearse, what's it like, where do you play (pubs, clubs, mate's dad's garage), do you get paid, have you ever tried putting on your own gigs, how do you advertise you gigs, do you get to play outside your local area, do you use the internet to try and promote yourself, does it work?

I also want to hear what you think if you are not a musician or performer but like going to gigs. How often would you go, what kind of acts do you go and see, where, what's the best gig you've ever been to, what's the local transport like, what about ticket prices, do you buy ticket from internet ticket shops or auction sites, what could be done to make the whole thing easier or better for you?

All in all I'm happy to talk about pretty much any aspect of live music. Unfortunately I can't tell you why your record wasn't Number 1 last-week (maybe it just wasn't good enough), or why your not already confirmed to headline Glastonbury next year (see first point), but if you've got an idea, no matter how big, small or outrageous, but one that you think might make it easier for you to get a gig or go see a gig that's I want to hear about.

Now it's your turn.

Feargal.


The message board is at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio1/F2675886?thread=2701326


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: fi_in_nz
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 03:52 PM

I don't get it Shambles, if they want our views on the new licensing laws I'm sure there are plenty of people willing to give their ha'p'worth, but why do they want to know how we advertise our wares, where we rehearse etc. What bearing does this have on govt, or are they about to stop us advertising gigs, and stopping me use my basement to sing in?? F


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: ET
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 04:29 PM

I share the concerns of Fi here. I have expressed my views forcibly to the Government on a number of occasions and they say "we must agree to differ". I did not agree to differ, although I certainly do. I wonder if there is something else behind this?


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: The Badger
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 08:37 PM

They want to know so that they can monitor and control a percentage of the population that might meet together and express non-CONFORMITY views in words and song. Regulation and control is the key.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 08:42 PM

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar - Freud


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 09:35 PM

As part of the process of getting the Licensing Act through the Government had to make a few concessions. One was to agree that there should be some kind of review of how the music part of it was working, with the half-promise that changes could be introduced to ensiure that live music would be helped rather than damaged by the new legislation.

I'm sceptical about how far they are going to deliver, but I think it is important that people should do whatever they can to ensure that this kind of information is put forward, especially about any ways in which live music is being damaged, or threatened with damage, by the new set-up.

Sitting on our hands and grumbling to each other is no way to respond to this situation. We aren't dealing with a monolith - there are friends of our music inside the system, or more or less inside the system, and Feargal Sharkey is one of them.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Paul Burke
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 03:37 AM

I looked at the site. The discussion forum seems to be entirely about pop band performances. There's no structure that would allow distinctions to be made between different social structures; as far as I can make out, they have no concept of any other kind of music.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: ET
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 03:44 AM

Top of the Pops may be illegal. Nanny knows best. On the Today programme this morning was a feature about Hammersmith and Fulham Council telling the BBC that Top of the Pops, featuring a live audience, needed a licence under the 2003 Act. The BBC does not have one and mention was made of £20,000 and or 6 months! Jimmy Saville and others spoke of young people rising like corks in water to support this long standing institution and of the Nanny State gone mad!!!

This is the sort of thing I will raise with Fergal once I have suceeded in becoming registered - its quite a process.   I agree that internal grumblings between musicians gets nowhere but neither does a direct approach to DCMS - I am simple regarded I think as a trouble maker who will not comply! "We must agree to differ" - seems to be the end of futher discussion.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Ross
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 04:05 AM

Government & Regulation - it's all about making money

They find out possible opportunities

If there's a money pot - tax it


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 04:19 AM

If only it was just about the money, although that's a big part of it. If it moves, tax it. If it doesn't move - tax it as well.

It's also about the insidious control of every aspect of our daily lives, whether in public or in private. ID cards and the Licencing Act are just the beginning.

Posing as the benign-sounding "Nanny State", the government is really the Orwellian Big Brother. He's here now and he's watching our every move.

Hi there BB - hope you're enjoying the discussions.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Ross
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 04:54 AM

That's based on the pretext/assumption that the Government cares about ordinary people

It doesn't

But it cleverly creates the illusion


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 04:55 AM

There are several postings (mine included) about non-electric music once you get beyond the first page.

Rehearsal is possibly relevant in that if you read the Act (mainly Sched. 1) carefully it is well possible to argue that a rehearsal room that is charged for needs a licence, at least in certain cases.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: GUEST,Stephen Kellett
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 06:38 AM

And ... "... what could be done to make the whole thing easier or better for you?" ...

Make it so that pub sessions do not require a licence. That will prevent things like the closure of the music session in village (Sutton, Ely, Cambridgeshire), which happened recently. On the one hand you have a department promoting culture and on the other you have a department actively hindering a key part of any culture (its musical heritage). Regardless of whether the minister likes the music he/she has to promote they should promote it not deride it.

You don't need nonesense such as no drums or a ban on amplification. All you need is a simple statement of X decibels must not be exceeded between the hours of A and B. You get to set A, B and X. These may different for different times of day and for different venues. A pub in the middle of nowhere wouldn't need a limit on A, B or X as they couldn't possibly disturb anyone whereas a pub in a sidestreet of a housing estate may be treated more strictly.

You'd probably need to state that it must be a free session, that is no paid musicians and no entrance fee otherwise some politician with a point to make will claim the White Stripes or The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will play my at local pub (nevermind that such gigs could be prevented by the police claiming the attendance for a White Stripes gig could create a safety/security hazard due to numbers).

If you don't need a license for a pub full of drunken football fans (that is clearly unsafe on capacity grounds) why should you need a license for ten people armed with mandolins and whistles, most of whom won't drink more than 2 or 3 pints all night? One if clearly a much greater public nuisance risk than the other and yet that one is the one receiving the more lax licensing attention. The solution is not to tighten up on the football fans.

This is not hard to do, or to get right. The fact it is so wrong at the moment is hard to believe.

Stephen Kellett.
snail@objmedia.demon.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 07:16 AM

"most of whom won't drink more than 2 or 3 pints all night?"

Such temperance!


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 07:55 AM

"All you need is a simple statement of X decibels must not be exceeded between the hours of A and B."
How do you set this without some sort of licence?
BTW I'm very much in favour of pub sessions and against regulation (unless I lived next door)


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: GUEST,Sh
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 08:00 AM

Easy. The decibel level and acceptable hours are set for ALL activities at ALL locations in the area. After all, it's not less of a nuisance if it comes from a church or a shop rather than a pub, or from a darts match or christening rather than a band is it?

That gives the locals some kind of control- they can ask for reassessment of their area by the local authorities if there's too much noise going on.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 09:08 AM

Well, my pen'orf for what its worth

BADGER : Yes, they want to CONTROL us,

KEVIN McGrath: Yes, grumbling gets us not very far, but I think in reality the DAMAGE has already been done, they did not want to listen to us BEFORE the act was passed (remember the comment by the MP saying "I cant think of anything worse than sitting in a pub listening to folk music" and we all know he's NEVER been to one ...)

and ROSS: I agree wholeheartedly, if they (govt) can find a way to tax something THEY WILL !!!

and lastly, Richard Bridge DOES live next door to a folk club !!!!!

I THINK WE SHOULD ALL BE EXTREMELY WARY OF GIVING THIS SHARK ANY INFO ...

Jo-Jo
(JOJOFOLKAGOGO@YAHOO.COM)


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: ET
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 11:33 AM

Interesting. Many folkies have posted their views on the BBC site. I have e-mailed the forum thus Dear Fergal

"I have read all the BBC postings with interest. The simplest amendement to the Act by the Minister would solve all for traditional musicians - just add the word "amplified" to "live music" as a defined term requiring a licence.

I have suggested this to Jame Parnell on many occasions, to no effect. If the Live Music Forum could pursuade the Minister to this effect, it, and you, would become hero to hundreds of thousands of musicians who play for the pleasure, not for money."


I am not however optomistic. Should any locally councillor seeking election seek your views ask him what he knows about this. The answer is likely to be nowt.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: pavane
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 02:50 AM

I expressed my views several times in writing to my MP (Peter Hain), who passed them on to Kim Howells - who of course sent back the standard reply about how much better the new system(?) would be.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 03:08 AM

You don't need nonesense such as no drums or a ban on amplification. All you need is a simple statement of X decibels must not be exceeded between the hours of A and B. You get to set A, B and X. These may different for different times of day and for different venues. A pub in the middle of nowhere wouldn't need a limit on A, B or X as they couldn't possibly disturb anyone whereas a pub in a sidestreet of a housing estate may be treated more strictly.

"All you need is a simple statement of X decibels must not be exceeded between the hours of A and B."
How do you set this without some sort of licence?.


"Unamplified music does not need a licence and may continue in the absence of complaints". Simple and straightforward.

We tend to forget - this nonsense does NOT apply north of the border with Scotland. There, unless it is the main business of the place, music can take place. Good enough for Scotland apparently but not for England.


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Subject: RE: Your views wanted by UK Government
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 01:56 PM

The latest from Mr Sharkey.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry for the delay, have been very busy the last couple of days and didn't get the time I though I might have to reply.

Anyway, to try and give you a flavour of what we have been doing, please bear in-mind that the Forum will be issuing its final report later this year where we will go into this in more detail so this is very much a quick synopsis and by no means a complete account.

The Live Music Forum was given a number of tasks, including;

"Monitor the impact of the new licensing laws on live music."

This work has been going on for sometime but particularly since last February when the new regulations began to come into effect. For example, we've been polling Local Authorities pretty much every week on what number of applications they have received, how many for live music, how many venues not previously licensed for live music are now applying for a license. What percentage of applications were been automatically granted a license and how many are having to appear before a Licensing Committee because an objection had been raised. Going through every single decisions made by Licensing Committees to monitor what conditions and what type of conditions are been attached to licenses, if indeed any. So far we've completed work on about 150 LAs.

We are about to start some national research (over the next couple of months) into what happened to premises as they progressed through the new application and licensing system, especially smaller venues which provide live music.

We spent a lot of time working with LAs as they drafted their licensing policies which set out how they would apply the new rules at a local level, that's somewhere in the region of 375 Local Authorities. I guess you could check your LAs Licensing Policy Statement to see of that effort was effective.

Spent a lot of time working with booking agents, concert promoters, festival organisers, venue owners, licensing trade etc finding out what issues they had experienced with the new system, helping and advising them, were we could, in getting through the new process.

Working with a number of trade and arts based organisations in doing their own research with their membership to gauge what impact of the new regulations has, if any.

This kind of work will continue right through the summer until we publish our final report, along with any findings and recommendations the Forum might have about the impact of the new legislation. At which point he LIve Music Forum will disband.

"Promote live music generally."

A few highlights,

Helped put together the first ever Brit Award for Live Music, thanks again for all at the BPI for the support and help.

Helped with the forth coming televised Vodaphone Live Music Awards, see your screens in the autumn.

Helped find some seed funding for a scheme in the North West were school children get to start their own promotions company in local schools, they have to organise, book and perform at 3 different gigs.

Helped open the rehearsal room scheme in Wrexham and a similar scheme in South London which the Forum will go into more detail about later this year. We are current trying to scale up the rehearsal room scheme to a regional level.

Have been working with LAs to license their own property and land for live music, for example LIverpool are in the process of licensing all public spaces for live music, Brighton have adopted a similar policy, currently there is a list been complied of every single public space that has been licensed for live music in England and Wales which will be available online.

Have given hundreds of media interviews, speeches and briefings trying to raise the profile and support for live music.

Just commissioned some work on the economic impact of live music on local economies.

Apart from putting together our final impact report we are also putting together a report on what the Forum feels everyone, national government, local government, the licensing trade, music industry and society at large can do to help ensure that live music continues to thrive prosper and develop. As part of that we held a very long consultation late last year which if it helps included direct input from over 50 organisations like Jazz Services for example.

In-fact this thread and the debate next week are part of that process. We wanted to hear what musicians, performers and audiences thought might be done to help them.
I hope that gives you a feel for what has been going on but as I said it's not by any means the full picture.

We are always open to ideas so if you feel that there is something that perhaps we should be doing that we're not or something we should be doing a little differently please feel free. You can email me directly at;

LiveMusicForum@culture.gsi.gov.uk


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