Help change the current laws governing the performance of live music by signing the MIA and UK Music's petition.
Working in conjunction with UK Music, the MIA has created the template for a letter that can be sent to the Department for Culture to support proposed changes to the laws governing live music.
The deadline for any final lobbying is December 3rd and the trade is urging all businesses that support the bill to use its specially-created letter to back the bill.
"We have until 3rd December to complete any final lobbying regarding the Live Music Bill," said the MIA. "We are very close to overturning the needless process that is preventing so many small businesses and venues from holding music events. We have worked closely with UK Music and the attached template letter can be used by many of us."
In addition, the UK Music website has additional letters that can be used by musicians and downloaded here. You can download the MIA's letter here or simply cut and paste the text below.
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John Penrose MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Tourism and Heritage), Department for Culture, Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
I am the (please personalise as far as you possibly can) (owner/business manager/entertainment manager) of a small venue (pub, music or record shop, coffee shop (café), school, hospital, restaurant) that would like to offer customers impromptu and occasional live music performances. This letter is to give you my full support and my thanks for trying to remove the performance of live music and the playing of recorded music from the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.
The Licensing Act has become a disincentive for businesses like mine that wish to include musical performances as part of their customer offer. For venues that do not wish to have and do not want to sell alcohol, the Licensing Act demands that we obtain a licence to provide music. This is both costly and confusing.
Worse still, the current provisions of the Act have allowed a totally inaccurate view of music to go unchecked: “According to the DCMS, there are proven links between live music and crime and the Act is there to protect local residents by reducing the number of music events.”
There are no proven links between live music and crime. In your consultation, you make it absolutely clear, using the football as a benchmark, that if events where 5,000 people or fewer are present were removed from the requirements of the Licensing Act, the necessary protection to address noise, crime, disorder, and public safety would continue because there is a range of robust legislation already in place, including Health and Safety at Work, Fire Order, Noise Nuisance, and Environmental Protection.
Additionally, a licence will still be required for events at which alcohol is sold, where the risks to the public are higher, ensuring that controls still remain.
Responsible businesses like mine understand this distinction and of course, should any of the four objectives of the Act become threatened by activity at my venue, then I would understand and welcome oversight from the correct authorities.
Please continue with your efforts on this issue and I wish you much luck.