Feargal Sharkey attempting to stop live music bureaucracy

Sharkey says Form 696 focuses on black and Asian music fans

Feargal Sharkey, the former Undertones man who is the head of music campaign group UK Music, is challenging a new piece of police bureaucracy that requires some promoters to divulge details of the style of music played at their shows and the ethnicity of fans attending.

The Metropolitan Police’s Form 696

has to be filled out by licensees in 21 London boroughs so, the Met outlines on the form, police can give “appropriate support and advice” for the gig.

The form requires answers to questions about the ethnicity of those expected to attend the show, plus the style of music to be played.

Sharkey has complained about the form to the Equality and Human Rights Commission because he believes police are using it to focus on black and Asian music fans. The form gives “bashment, R’n’B, garage” as examples of music styles to submit.

He is planning to apply for a judicial review into whether a local authority has the right to force promoters to fill in and submit the form, reports the Independent.

The singer wrote a letter to Met commissioner Sir Ian Blair outlining his concerns. He wrote: “In explicitly singling out performances and musical styles favoured by the black community we believe the use of Risk Assessment Form 696 is disproportionate, unacceptable and damaging to live music.”

A Facebook group has been set up to register protest against use of the form.