New proposal to support live music in pubs and clubs put forward

Plans for entertainment licences for small venues set to be scrapped

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose is to unveil a proposal which will state that pubs and clubs that wish to offer live music needn’t have to apply for an entertainment licence.

This deregulation is aimed at supporting ‘grassroots music’, reports The Guardian. The proposal comes in the wake of small venues no longer being able to offer live music because of the 2003 Licensing Act; research undertaken in 2007 found that there was a five per cent drop in live music in pubs and similar venues as a result of the legislation.

Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of UK Music said:

We’re optimistic that this will be positive news for the industry, and especially for emerging talent. I’d wager that all of [the] Mercury Prize nominees started their careers playing in pubs or clubs.

Schools will also benefit from the proposal if it is passed, as they too need an entertainment licence if they are selling tickets for a public performance. Pubs and small venues would save ‘on average’ £1,600 a year if the entertainment licence was scrapped and would no longer need to register with the council in order to put on small gigs.