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MU GETS KITTED OUT FOR LIVE


Musicians’ group prepares special pack for members as Live Music Act comes into force


“Pubs without featured music are three times more likely to close than pubs with featured music” JOHN SMITH, MU


28.09.12 Music Week 41


LIVE  BY THE MUSICIANS UNION


not be confident about how to make live music a success. That’s where the kit comes in. It outlines the


T


he Musicians Union (MU) is today launching a ‘Live Music Kit’ with advice for venues to coincide with the implementation


of the Live Music Act on 1 October 2012. Following the research released by UK Music


last week, this kit is aimed at informing the 78% of premises who were unaware of the passing of the Live Music Act about what it will mean for them. The ‘Live Music Act 2012 Baseline Study’ estimates that up to 36,000 premises will be staging more live music as a result of the provisions of the Act. The MU, along with UK Music and others,


campaigned for many years to secure reform of the regulation of live entertainment. For the MU, the lobbying began even before the Act came into force in 2003 as we thought it was wrong that the licensing regime for entertainment was consolidated into the Licensing Act. Once the Act came into place in 2003 our members immediately started telling us that the number of gigs being held in small venues was going down. We are delighted that a small venues exemption


to the Act is now finally coming into play, which will reduce the bureaucracy and expense for small venues wishing to put on live music. This means that pubs will be able to put on live music without a licence within the hours of 8am and 11pm for audiences of fewer than 200 people for amplified music and an unlimited number of people for unamplified music. We do, however, recognise that some pubs that have not been used to putting on live music may


terms of the Act, and explains how a live music programme can enhance a business by creating a higher profile, a more vibrant atmosphere and, ultimately, an increase in clientele and revenue. It also advises on the legislative, practical and creative elements involved in hosting live music, and features a range of resources, including performance contracts, health and safety issues, promotional advice and useful contacts. The Live Music Kit is available for download


from the MU website (www.themu.org) or in printed format. To request a copy, please contact: Isabelle Gutierrez, MU Research and Press Official on 020 7840 5507. John Smith, MU General Secretary, said: “The implementation of the Live Music Act signifies an exciting time for both venues and musicians, who can use the opportunity to work together to create a growing audience and profile, and long-term


ABOVE


Stringing the changes: 36,000 UK premises are forecast to host more live music following the new Act’s


implementation


success. As the research undertaken by PRS for Music has shown, live music can be hugely beneficial for pubs – pubs without featured music being three times more likely to close than pubs with featured music.” “At a time when many working musicians are


struggling, and events such as the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations seem to have brought about only unpaid gigs, this exemption is great news for them because I am confident that it will bring about a real resurgence in live music in pubs and other small venues. “Small venues are, after all, the places where


most musicians start their careers and so promoting opportunities for live performance in small venues protects the career progression of musicians in the UK. We also believe that live music performance is an essential aspect of culture in the UK and that it should be promoted in its own right. This is why the Live Music Act is so important, and we hope that the Live Music Kit will help venues to make the most of the new exemption.”


SUPPORT ACTS WELCOMING LIVE LEGISLATION


The Live Music Act, which comes into force on 1 October 2012, won support across the music community when it was passed earlier this year:


Guy Garvey, Elbow


“The nerves, excitement and satisfaction that I felt when playing at Glastonbury Festival on the main stage last summer were


just as intense when we played the Corner Pin pub in Stubbins 20 years ago. The encouragement the landlord and the friends that gathered back then gave us


kept us writing and playing long enough to make a life from our passion. “This result is a very important step


towards easing the path for musicians of tomorrow. British music is one of our proudest exports, and everyone involved with raising this issue and voting in its favour should be enormously proud. Now let’s get drunk and have a sing!”


Joan Armatrading


“The Live Music Act is very welcomed. Any act that protects the creativity and performance of music is helping to keep the music industry alive.”


Phil Manzanera, Roxy Music “A lot of us musicians started out in the smallest of venues, where we learned our trade, and it is fantastic to get this exemption to the


Act which will continue to encourage the emergence of new young talent.”


Sting


“It’s great news that the campaign has been successful and small venues will be able to hold live music events without a licence. Such venues are the essential


shop floor of the UK’s multi-million pound music industry.”


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