25/09/17: UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has warmly welcomed Sadiq Khan’s decision to order a review of the Met Police’s Form 696.
The move by the Mayor of London followed a long campaign by UK Music for the controversial risk assessment form to be scrapped after performers and promoters claimed it unfairly discriminated against events featuring some music genres like grime, garage and bashment.
Use of the form is voluntary and is aimed at ensuring public safety. However, completing the form has been a licensing condition in some cases and can be a requirement for some events and venues.
The announcement of a review came after UK Music joined a meeting of the London Music Board and the Met Police to consider safety at live music events in the capital.
The Form assumes that music is a public order issue and potentially harmful. Following pressure from UK Music, an earlier review of Form 696 abolished an element that requested details of the ethnicity of performers to be provided.
The current wording of the Form recommends that it should be completed if an event “predominantly features DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track”.
Campaigners have insisted that the existence of Form 696 has deterred some organisers from staging events, dealing a blow to the capital’s music scene.
Digital Minister Matt Hancock, who has been at the forefront of calls for reform, praised the review but urged the Mayor to move quickly on the issue.
Welcoming the Mayor’s decision to order a review, Michael Dugher said:
“It's great news that Mayor Sadiq Khan has listened to Londoners and responded to campaigners. This long overdue review offers a welcome opportunity to end the damage caused to our music scene by Form 696, while making sure live music events in London are safe for all to enjoy.
“One of our first campaigns after UK Music was formed in 2008 was to call for Form 696 to be scrapped. The Form wrongly makes performing music a crime and disorder issue. Performers rightly feel it discriminates unfairly against certain types of music like grime and it flies in the face of efforts to make our vibrant music scene even more diverse."
“There is now a real opportunity in London to ensure performers, promoters and the police work together. UK Music will engage positively with this review.”