Venues in England and Wales with a capacity of under 200 people no longer need a licence for live music, as long as it is not late at night. The change in law is part of a government move to free businesses from a little of the mass of red tape. Live unamplified music can also now be played in any location, regardless of the audience size, under the act.
However, the government has made it clear there would be no changes on the rules controlling gatherings of more than 5,000 people, boxing and wrestling, and events such as lap-dancing clubs classed as sexual entertainment.
Musicians and business owners have welcomed the change, which will allow live music to be played between the hours of 08:00 and 23:00. Jazz musician Buster Birch described the change as a huge thing , adding that live music is very important for our society and our culture .
UK Music, which represents the music industry, estimates that the Live Music Act could enable 13,000 more venues to start holding live music events.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said:
From today businesses are freed from the red tape that holds them back.
He described the previous rules that affected pub gigs and small live performances as over-the-top bureaucracy that stifles community groups and pubs.
We’ve set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations. I’m determined to slim down regulation and make Britain an easier place to start and run a business.
The change was introduced through a private member’s bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat Don Foster. The success is a relatively rare example of a House of Lords private member’s bill making it into law.