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Live Music Act becomes law: a great day for live music says Don Foster

by Steve Beasant on 1 October, 2012

The Live Music Act, which deregulates entertainment licensing in the UK, became law today.

The change in law, which will see venues in the UK with a capacity of under 200 people no longer needing a licence for live music, is part of a government move to free businesses from red tape, which ministers say will give them more freedom to grow.

The change was introduced through a private member’s bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Don Foster, in order to strip back some of the bureaucracy imposed on gigs by the 2003 Licensing Act. The Lib Dem MP steered the Live Music Bill through the House of Commons on behalf of his Lib Dem colleague, Lord Clement Jones, and is a rare example of a House of Lords Private Member’s Bill making it into law.

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, and means many venues will no longer need to pay for a licence to host live music between 08:00 and 23:00.

Don Foster stated: “This is a great day for live music. The Act will help cut the excessive red tape that currently surrounds the entertainment industry, and reverse the adverse effects of the 2003 Licensing Act.” He went on to state that “hopefully this Act will build on future entertainment law, and enable live music, artists and amateur arts groups throughout the UK to flourish”.

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