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MU Gives Evidence on Licensing Act

Government opposes Licensing Act proposal to acknowledge cultural benefit of live music – MU responds.

Recently the MU along with Music Venue Trust and Live Nation gave oral evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee as part of an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Licensing Act. They spoke about the difficulties faced by music venues as a result of the Act, despite some deregulation achieved through the Live Music Act in 2012 and 2015.

During the evidence session the MU stated that live music should not be licensed in the same way as public spaces which sell alcohol without live music. All three organisations called for a fifth licensing objective to be added to the Act as to recognise the cultural importance of live music venues and the benefit they provides for communities through an amendment addressing the 'provision of social or cultural activities'.

The evidence was discussed in a session at the House of Lords the following day, although the amendment to the Act proposed by Lib Dem Peer Tim Clement Jones was opposed by Baroness Carolyn Chisholm, spokesperson for the Government. Chisholm stated that “Requiring licensing ​authorities to consider the provision of social or cultural activities would run in contradiction to the other licensing objectives, all of which are aimed at harm reduction”.

Acting Live Performance Official Alex Mann, who spoke at the evidence session on behalf of the MU said:

"We are very disappointed with this decision taken by the Government following the Lords inquiry into the Licensing Act. By simply saying that the existing legislation is good enough is not helpful to the grass roots music sector. The MU, Live Nation and MVT clearly spelled out the Act's failure to recognise the artistic and cultural impact of live music as well as the need to present a licensing pillar that is both positive and supportive of the live performance sector. We will continue to work with UK Music, MVT and Live Nation in support of this important issue"


Published: 19/12/2016

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