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Licensing: Music

Volume 692: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether the Musicians Union’s 2006 survey “State of the Nation” is an adequate guide to assessing the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on the performance of live music. [HL3890]

The findings of the Musicians Union’s “State of the Nation” survey are yet to be published. In assessing the impact of the Licensing Act on live music, we will look at a range of evidence, and the views of the Musicians Union’s members will provide a valuable contribution.

DCMS set up the Live Music Forum to help to monitor the impact of the Licensing Act on live music. It has been working with, and drawing on evidence from, a range of stakeholders, including the Musicians Union. In addition, DCMS has commissioned its own research to assess the Act’s impact in this area, details of which are available on the DCMS website: www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Research. This research is also available in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many incidents of busking have been prohibited since the Licensing Act 2003 came into force. [HL3892]

We do not hold this information. However, in most circumstances, busking, in the sense in which the word is normally used, will not be licensable. This is because busking is usually “incidental” to other activities, such as shopping, or the premises where the music is played will not have been provided for busking to take place. There may, however, be instances that fall outside this, and other laws and by-laws may apply.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will clarify the distinction between licensable public performances and exempt private performances of live music under the Licensing Act 2003. [HL3893]

Schedule 1 to the Licensing Act 2003 provides the full definition of “regulated entertainment”, for which an authorisation is required: www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30017--k.htm#sch 1.

In summary, performances of live music require an authorisation under the Licensing Act 2003 if they are provided to any extent for members of the public, in order to entertain them, and where the premises at which the live music is provided has been made available for that purpose. Section 173 lists places that are exempt from the requirements of the 2003 Act regardless of whether a performance is for the public or a private event.

A private event with live music will become licensable only where a charge is made by the event organisers or managers to an audience for whom the entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, being provided with a view to making a profit.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the 2003 Act sets out certain exemptions in relation to regulated entertainment, including both public and private performances.

The 2003 Act devolved the administration of the licensing regime to licensing authorities. Any person who is uncertain whether or not any particular performance would constitute a licensable activity should seek the advice of their local licensing authority as part of planning their event.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What take-up by licensed premises there has been of the provisions set out in Section 177 of the Licensing Act 2003; and what action the Government have taken to promote the use of Section 177 with licensing authorities. [HL3924]

We do not hold this information. Sections 5.4 to 5.7 of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport's revised Guidance to Licensing Authorities provides advice about the application of Section 177 of the Licensing Act 2003.