Live Music Forum's Hamish Birchall on proposed changes
Live music campaigners have today handed in a 17,000-strong petition to the Prime Minister calling for changes to "exempt grassroots live music from this draconian licensing regime".
Campaigners were joined by Lord Clement-Jones, who yesterday presented a revised Private Members Bill on Live Music to House of Lords, Tory Peer and musician Lord Colwyn, and Tory MP John Whittingdale who headed up the Culture Select Committee, which recommended changes to help live music last year.
The petition said: "The Local Government Association has clamped down hard on anything emanating from a musical instrument, while issuing misleading live music statistics of it's own, falsely claiming last year that 80% of all licensed premises were authorised to stage live music.
"In reality about 73% of all premises are no longer authorised to play live music."
Lord Clement-Jones Live Music Bill carries three revisions from its previous incarnation.
It is now calling for:
• A licence exemption for live music to apply to an audience of 200, rather than just venues with a capacity of less than 200
• The proposed changes to apply to every place that qualifies as a work place including schools, restaurants and cafes
• A licence exemption for all unamplified music, regardless of the number of musicians — previously the bill had been calling for an exemption for two musicians playing unamplified music.