Lords debate Live Music Bill

Last Friday the House of Lords staged a very important gig: the second reading of the ‘Live Music Bill’.

This is a private members Bill introduced by Lord Clement-Jones (right) who was supported wholeheartedly by Michael Grade (Lord Grade of Yarmouth) and Baroness (Joan) Bakewell.

The Bill aims to remove the problems caused by the 2003 Licensing Act which put bureaucracy in the way of making music.

Before 2003 a premises could have couple of musicians playing to a small audience and it didn’t matter: after 2003 the premises needed a license.

As Lord Grade eloquently put it, “Under the current Act, without a licence, you can tune up and get banged up.”

The absurdity of the act was also highlighted by Lord Redesdale, who told the House that you could broadcast on a pub’s big screen, three people playing music in the house next door, but that trio could not perform live in the pub.

The problems were so widespread that the Conservative and Liberal Democrats agreed to change this act when they formed the government.

As Lord Clement-Jones told me: “It would be a huge let down if they don’t follow through their pledge, in the coalition agreement, to cut red tape from live music bill.”

During the debate the Government gave its backing and Clement-Jones believes: “They are doing serious things in relation to the bill.”

As he was responsible for piloting the Tobacco Advertising and Sponsorship Bill through the House this could easily be his encore.

Read the full debate at www.publications.parliament.uk

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