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Live Music: Culture Minister agrees reform

Lisa Carter
Live Music: Culture Minister agrees reform

UK Culture Minister John Penrose has announced plans for a wholesale deregulation of entertainment licensing in the UK.

Musicians putting on small scale entertainment will no longer need to apply for costly and burdensome licences under proposals in a consultation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Since the introduction of the Licensing Act in 2003, live music in small venues saw a decline as regulations, bureaucracy and cost put musicians and their venues off holding small scale events.

In statement Penrose said: "Current entertainment licensing rules are a mess. Pointless bureaucracy and licence fees imposed on community groups trying to put on simple amateur productions and fund-raising events, sap energy and deaden people's desire to get involved.

The Government's Red Tape Challenge is leading to deregulation across all sectors of the economy – and in this case it will make it easier for new talent to get started and help pubs to diversify into other activities to help weather the present tough economic climate."

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The Music Industries Association and other music trade bodies have long been campaigning for the deregulation of live music.

"The current bureaucracy has stifled and prevented live music, and we greatly welcome this Government announcement," said the MIA's CEO Paul McManus.

Tags: mia, live music bill

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