London mayor Sadiq Khan scraps ‘racist’ live music form

Form 696 has been heavily criticised for discriminating against grime and rap artists.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced today (November 10) that he is scrapping Form 696.

The form was introduced by the Metropolitan Police in 2005 after a spate of nightclub shootings, and promoters and licensees had to hand over names, stage names and contact details of all artists and promoters involved in the events.

The form was criticised for being racist after it asked about the musical genre and the ethnicity of the audience, and these questions were subsequently removed in 2009.

The police say that “there is no doubt that over the last decade a number of serious incidents have been prevented” because of Form 696, however the grime community still felt that they were being unfairly targeted by the police, which prompted a review of the controversial form earlier this year.

“I called for a review of Form 696 earlier this year because of concerns raised by promoters and artists in the capital that this process was unfairly affecting specific communities and music genres,” Sadiq Khan said in a statement today.

“By bringing together the Met and representatives from across the city’s legendary grassroots music industry, we have shown why having a Night Czar is so important for London.

“This decision will help London’s night-time economy thrive, ensure the capital is a welcoming place for artists and DJs of all music genres and that Londoners are able to enjoy live music safely.”

A ‘new voluntary partnership approach for venues and promoters across London’ will replace the form.

Earlier this year, Mayor Khan appeared at the NME Awards – where he hailed London’s grime scene and presented Skepta with the Best British Male award.

Speaking at the awards, he said: “My girls are 15 and 17 and big grime fans. Skepta’s one of their heroes, Stormzy, Wiley, it’s great. We went to Drake last week and he had Section Boyz on stage – they’re a big grime act from London.”

Back in September the mayor supported TFL’s decision not to renew Uber’s private hire license. He also hinted that he’ll push for a second Brexit referendum.

In July he announced that the night tube service would extend to London Overground in December, allowing clubbers to travel between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction.