Currently, under the terms of the Licensing Act, venues in England that wish to host live music performances must apply for and purchase a special licence.
However, campaigners (including the Klaxons, below) are backing the new proposals contained within the Clement-Jones Live Music Bill, which recommends that venues with a capacity of under 200 people should be exempt from the rules and regulations contained within the Act.
The House of Lords has set aside March 4th for the second reading of the Bill.
It presents an opportunity for the government to get on board to support an exception in the Licensing Act to allow pubs and clubs to host small scale gigs without having to apply for a licence.
And the MIA claims that the issues delve right to the heart of the government’s much-hyped Big Society initiative.
The organisations explained that live music is a key community function that brings people together.
As such, smaller venues, with a capacity of under 200, can play an important role within communities and helping them put on live music is a great demonstration of the Big Society in action.
Paul McManus, chief executive officer of the MIA, explained: “While it is encouraging that the Bill will be debated, the fact that it remains unclear whether the government will provide the necessary support is of concern.
“Clear data has been presented that shows nearly 75 per cent of stakeholders, including councils, licensees and venue owners in favour of a change in the law to allow an exemption for small venues.”
He continued: “Many of these venues both want and need to provide live music, both to generate revenue and to provide diversity in entertainment for their customers.”
Read the full Bill here.