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MIA calls for licensing reforms

Leading music organisations have expressed their anger at the government’s failure to reform the licensing act as popular UK venues are forced to close.
Music Industries Association (MIA) has claimed that live music is being damaged under the current guidelines and called for changes to be made immediately.
Under the Licensing Act 2003, every venue that puts on live music, no matter what its size, is forced to go through a licensing process that the majority see as bureaucratic, expensive and complicated.
To this end, the previous government launched a consultation to see if venues with a 100-person capacity would be able to host live music events without the need to apply for a license.
According to campaigners, if the government introduced an exemption it could help to save venues a considerable sum of cash every year, as well as stopping many from closing down.
However, despite a pledge from the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to continue looking into reforming the Act, there has been little progress.
In total, eight consultations have been held on the subject, as well as two government research projects and a Parliamentary Select Committee.
Paul McManus, chief executive of the MIA, said that the changes must be made quickly to prevent further damage to the industry.
“Live music is the lifeblood of the music industry, and small venues are often the first chance a young or new musician gets to perform and we must do all we can to ensure government legislation does not frustrate this,” he added.
His comments come after UK Music released the results of a recent survey which highlighted support for the reforms.
The body found that 74 per cent of respondents to the study were in favour of some sort of exemption for small music venues.

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