The UK Government plans to amend the Live Music Act so that venues with a capacity of up to 500 will no longer need a license.
The proposal comes as part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) consultation on entertainment regulation. Currently, only venues that hold less than 200 people are exempt from licensing.
The DCMS also proposes to treat recorded music in the same way as live music by introducing a 500 audience limit in order for venues playing recorded music to stay license free. A 08:00-23:00 time limit will remain in place for both live and recorded music venues situated outside the regulation bracket.
The Live Forum's Phil Little told MI Pro sister title Music Week: “The Live Music Forum campaigned for almost twenty years to bring about these changes and they are more than we hoped for.
“However, it is plain that much of the damage to the scene has already been done. Without an improvement in audience attendance across the board we have an awful long way to go to match the vibrance of live music performance in previous decades.”