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Government launches yet another consultation on gig licensing rules

By | Published on Friday 9 September 2011

Houses Of Parliament

The government is having another consultation on the 2003 Licensing Act.

You know, the one we all know has made it difficult for pubs and clubs to stage small-scale music events, thus depriving grass roots musicians of a platform for playing live, issues which Lord Tim Clement-Jones has already addressed in his Live Music Bill. His proposals would basically remove the need to fill out complicated licensing paperwork for those staging certain smaller gigs, paperwork which puts many pub owners off staging any music at all.

Tourism & Heritage Minister John Penrose has commissioned the latest consultation, which will no doubt prove vital in, erm, confirming what everybody already knows. Oh, and in devising solutions, erm, exactly like those Clement-Jones has already devised. Still, keeps civil servants in work.

Presumably as frustrated as the rest of us about the continued delays on this, but trying his best to remain upbeat, UK Music’s Feargal Sharkey told The Guardian: “We’re optimistic that this will be positive news for the industry, and especially for emerging talent. I’d wager that all of this week’s Mercury Prize nominees started their careers playing in pubs or clubs. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait for the actual detail of the consultation, and under what specific circumstances the requirement for a music licence would be removed”.