British MPs have called for music venues of 200 capacity or less to be exempted from live music licensing. In a report on the 2003 Licensing Act, the Culture Media and Sport Committee suggests the licensing process can be costly and time consuming enough to discourage smaller venues from applying: “This situation is of concern to all those who want to encourage live music as smaller and secondary venues are very important to the long-term health of the music industry, playing an important part in the development of new artists and minority genres of music and adding to general diversity of cultural entertainment available to the public”. The report went on to say that “music should not automatically be treated as a disruptive activity which will inevitably lead to nuisance and disorder.” On the subject of disorder the committee commented on concerns raised by UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey on a procedure known as Form 696, which requires the names, aliases, phone numbers and addresses of performer 14 days in advance as part of any licence application, recommending that Form 696 be scrapped a sit imposes “unreasonable conditions on events”.

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