DCMS Consultation on the Licensing Act 2003
UK Music supports the intention of the Government to deregulate Schedule One of the Licensing Act 2003 and remove the requirement to notify responsible authorities of a music event (live or recorded) of under 5,000 people.
The unintended consequence of the Licensing Act 2003 has been to add a costly layer of bureaucracy to the organisation and management of music events. The Act has actively deterred businesses, charities, hospitals, schools and communities from putting on performances of music either to generate revenue or to add to the cultural output of their environment.
We agree wholeheartedly with the Minister that the current legislation lies in contradiction to the aspirations of the Big Society. If Schedule One and the restrictions on entertainment are left in tact then the disincentive won’t just create economic harm but it will damage the cultural heart of our nation.
As the consultation suggests using football as an example, if events where under 5,000 people are present are removed from the requirements of the Licensing Act, the necessary protection to address noise, crime, disorder, and public safety will continue because there is a range of robust legislation already in place, including Health and Safety at Work, Fire Order, Noise Nuisance, and Environmental Protection.
UK Music would go as far to suggest that current provisions of the Licensing Act undermine the authority of the legislation listed above.
Additionally, as the consultation repeats over and over, a licence will still be required for events at which alcohol is sold, where the risks to the public are higher, ensuring that controls that are activated by need of the Licensing Act still remain.
We thank the Minister for recognising some of the more improbable consequences of the existing provisions in the Licensing Act and for establishing this consultation process. Exempting audiences of less than 5,000 would maximise the benefits to the community and to business without compromising the licensing objectives of the Act.
We have only answered questions that are relevant to our sector.
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