March 4th will see the Live Music Bill finally debated in the House of Lords, remarkably making it the first time that the House of Lords has discussed the Bill, which aims to free up live music from unnecessary bureaucracy.
The Live Music Bill will make it easier for musicians to perform. It will allow small venues such as schools, colleges and village halls to hold concerts without needing a costly licence if there is an audience of fewer than 200 people. Other measures in the Bill will make it easier for venues with an existing licence – such as pubs – to put on live music events without restrictions.
"Live musicians performing in small venues across the country have been hit hard by the licensing restrictions of the 2003 Act," said Lord Clement-Jones, the Liberal Democrat peer introducing the Bill. "Bureaucracy, and the simple cost of applying for a licence to play have put many small venues off putting events on altogether.
"This Bill – backed by the MIA and other music organisations – will ensure that live music can take place in small venues and create the ‘explosion’ of performances we were promised in 2003. It will be of major benefit to Britain’s talented musicians and the many millions of people who enjoy live music."
Paul McManus, the chief executive of the MIA, urged peers to back the Bill.
"We offer our full support to Lord Clement-Jones on these vital amendments," he said. "Live music is the lifeblood of the music industry and small venues are often the first chance a young or new musician gets to perform and we must do all we can to ensure government legislation does not frustrate this."
For more information on this press release or the MIA in general, please contact McManus here.