Published on February 15th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Will the Big Society support live music?
Music Industries Association challenges new Government initiative
The MIA has again pledged to back the campaign to support live music – but has asked whether the much-hyped Big Society initiative will take this issue to heart.
The House of Lords has now set Monday March 4th for the second reading of the Clement-Jones Live Music Bill, which proposed an exception from the Act for a band playing a venue with 200 people.
The MIA sees live music as being a key community function that brings people together. Small venues, claims the trade body, are a major part of communities and helping them to be able to put on live music is a great demonstration of the Big Society in action.
The Bill presents an opportunity for the Government to get on board to support an exception in the Licensing Act to allow pubs and clubs to host small scale gigs without an expensive licence.
It is not yet known whether the Government would provide the necessary support, however.
“While it is encouraging that the Bill will be debated, the fact that it remains unclear whether the Government will provide the necessary support is of concern,” said the MIA’s CEO Paul McManus.
“It would appear to us that this debate goes to the heart of the much-vaunted Big Society initiative. Clear data has been presented that shows nearly 75 per cent of stakeholders, including councils, licensees and venue owners in favour of a change in the law to allow an exemption for small venues. Many of these venues both want and need to provide live music, both to generate revenue and to provide diversity in entertainment for their customers.”
Source : Mi-Pro.co.uk