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Musicians' Union delighted at the scrapping of the discriminatory Form 696

Laura  Barnes
Musicians' Union delighted at the scrapping of the discriminatory Form 696

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is announced its delight that the concerns raised by itself and number of industry bodies and musicians have been listened to with regards to London’s controversial Form 696.

The Metropolitan Police has decided to scrap Form 696, which has been heavily criticised for stifling London’s grime and garage scenes.

The risk assessment form was established in 2005 in response to club shootings and gang violence, and must be completed and submitted 14 days in advance of an event by promoters and licensees in 21 London boroughs.

It asks for a description of the style of music to be performed and the target audience. The original form asked for details of ethnic groups likely to attend the performance, but that version was revised to omit those parameters in December 2008. Form 696 will now be replaced by a voluntary system.
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The MU said it was concerned to hear that urban music across the capital was in many cases being stifled by the use of Form 696, especially where live performances incorporated DJs in genres such as grime.

British Underground’s Makeda Bennet undertook extensive research into the use of the form and subsequent restrictions on live music events involving DJs. An argument was presented to then Culture minister Matt Hancock at the DCMS, which in turn was handed over to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Dave Webster, MU National Organiser for Live Performance, said: “This news is most welcome and we are grateful to all stakeholders who have listened and responded.

“It is very good news that following meetings with the Metropolitan Police and the London Music Board, the Met chose to scrap the use of the form, and is developing more inclusive ways of ensuring safe gigs for everybody such as promoter forums and more integrated liaison with local councils and venue owners.”

Crispin Parry, CEO of British Underground, added: “Well done to the Met Police for scrapping this discriminatory form. There was a powerful lobby of artists, government and music industry wanting to make this change and it’s good to see us working together to achieve such a great result.”

Tags: musicians' union , mu , london , live music , form 696

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