Industry welcomes "monumental" Live Music Act

A law passed yesterday (8 March) to reduce restrictions on live music in small venues has been welcomed by venues, entertainers and the UK music industry.

Industry welcomes "monumental" Live Music Act
Industry welcomes "monumental" Live Music Act

The Live Music Act means venues in England and Wales with a capacity of under a 200 people will no longer need local authority permission to hold performances of live amplified music between the hours of 8am-11pm. It also removes audience limitations for performances of unamplified live music. 

Jo Dipple, chief executive of music industry body UK Music, said the act was the result of "dogged commitment to musicians" from Lord Clement-Jones who introduced the bill to the House of Lords, and MP Don Foster who promoted it in the House of Commons.

She said: "For a private members’ bill to receive royal assent is a monumental achievement, even more so for one that is introduced in the House of Lords. This has happened only five times in the past decade.

"The global success of our industry is dependent on a flourishing network of small venues, where tomorrow’s headliners can learn their craft and develop their career."

She added: "Allowing these venues the freedom to host live music is a huge boost for British artists and means more opportunities for developing talent, as well as enriching our local communities and the economy overall."  

Paul L Martin, founder of entertainment agency Excess All Areas told Event: "For a while now, live musicians, singers and cabaret artistes have feared that some of the best small venues would be discouraged from having entertainment by the red tape and costs that the previous permits would create.

"The cabaret scene in particular is almost always in an intimate space of less than 200 and so we in the scene are all very pleased to hear this news. I believe this will help our long heritage of live entertainment and marvellous performers in this country to flourish even further and help generate more revenue for venues too."

Singer and actor Gary Albert Hughes, who will soon perform at small venue Battersea Barge, said: "The Live Music Act is an incredible step forward for the UK's live music scene. A lot of exciting young performers use these smaller music venues as they prefer a more intimate personal setting to communicate with their audience. They are serious music venues in their own right as well as places where musicians, singers and actors such as myself learn our craft and hone our skills."

Jonathan Allen, owner of venue Brixton Jamm, said: "Anything that lessens the bureaucracy that people need to go through to stagelive music events is a good thing."

Kat Zaripova, marketing coordinator at Hard Rock Café London, which recently held an Absolute Radio session with band The Fray, said: "Live music is already in our total license so this won’t affect us directly, but as a potential venue to hold live music events we think it’s a brilliant act to have been passed. It means that more venues can now participate and show the world the amazing live music that goes on."

The act is likely to come into force by autumn 2012.

Is there too much red-tape around staging live music? What difference will the act make to venues you work with? To leave a comment register and let us know your thoughts.

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