Live Music Act could give pubs a boost


Pubs will be able to stage live music from this week, without the need for a licence.

The Live Music Act 2012, which came into effect on October 1, effectively does away with the need for a live music licence for smaller premises, including pubs, restaurants, hotels and the like.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, such places had to seek a live music licence as part of their other licenses from the local authority, or – if they wanted to stage a one-off performance – seek a temporary event notice. This proved even more onerous than the law preceding it, which had at least allowed up to two musicians to perform in pubs or bars without need for a licence. In practice, many small premises  simply did not bother with the bureaucracy of getting a live music licence.

A survey, for the campaign group UK Music, found that only 51 per cent of small premises had a live music licence, 3 per cent had sought temporary event notices but 46 per cent had no licence for live music.

The Live Music Act now allows premises licensed to serve alcohol to put on live music for audiences of up to 200 (even larger audiences if the music is not amplified) between the hours of 8am and 11pm without need for a specific music licence.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said:

“This is a very welcome change, as live music is hugely important to pubs and musicians, many of whom begin performing in their local pub.

“Ever since the two-in-a-bar rule was lost in the Licensing Act 2003, the BBPA has been pressing for change. I would urge local authorities to remove any unnecessary conditions on live music in pubs.

”We need to reduce the red tape burden, as pubs are at the heart of local communities, vital for economic recovery and creating local jobs.”

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