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March 2012 l 51

livenews UNITED KINGDOM Live Music Bill to become law Small venues of up to 200 capacity will no longer need a local authority licence to host live music

By Erica Basnicki, David Robinson, Paul Watson

ON 8 MARCH, the Live Music Bill – covered extensively by Pro Sound News Europe since its introduction in July 2009 – received Royal Assent, becoming the Live Music Act. Officially, the Act states that an exemption to the controversial 2003 Licensing Act should take place when ‘the live music entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience of no more than 200 persons’. As the Bill becomes law, small

venues wanting to host live music will no longer need a local authority entertainment licence between the hours of 8am and 11pm – cutting bureaucracy and expense, and making it easier for pubs and clubs to host music acts. It also clarifies Licensing Act anomalies whereby a pianist could be fined for playing in the street, or a school fined for hosting an unlicensed concert by its pupils. However, the Act is not likely to become law until October 2012 – after a potentially lucrative series of events including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Jo Dipple, recently appointed CEO of UK Music, the UK

EUROPE Midas: 1,000 PRO2s since October By Dave Robinson

Mixing console developer Midas says it has “doubled the world population” of its digital consoles in just over three months. Brand development manager Richard ‘Fez’ Ferriday told Pro Sound News Europe that since the PRO2 began shipping at the end of October, over 1,000 units have been sold, matching the total number of digital Midas desks sold since the launch of the XL8 in 2006. A reported “healthy first

wave” of sales of the compact PRO2 (and corresponding PRO2C) in Benelux is helping

propel sales figures forward. Deliveries include Boerema Geluidstechniek (taking the first PRO2 system in the area), the Free Baptist Church Bethel in Drachten, Netherlands (first install of a PRO2 in a place of worship), Amsterdam-based rental company Peak Audio (three PRO2s), the De Flint theatre in Amersfoort (PRO2C), and music venue Poppodium Gigant (PRO2 andPRO2C). Finally, just as PSNEurope was going to press, Midas announced that the extraordinary success of the PRO2 (and PRO2C) has meant that prices for other products in the series (PRO3,

The Midas digital desk population, including the PRO2, has doubled in a few months

PRO6, and PRO9) have been cut, as the company has been able to bulk-buy expensive components such as P&G motorised faders and daylight visible screens.

“We’re able to pass the saving on to the customers,” says Fez, “and that means a minimum 20% price reduction.”

ROCKNET Small venues will no longer need a licence to hold gigs before 11pm

commercial music industry’s umbrella body, recognises that a seven-month hold-up was inevitable: “Because of Parliamentary procedure, there was always going to be a delay between Royal Assent and deregulatory measures coming into effect. It’s no surprise,” she said. “However, this should not

detract from what a huge achievement this is or the positive impact that

deregulation will have on grassroots live music and the UK economy. A Live Music Act is still cause to celebrate,” Dipple added. John Smith, Musician’s Union

general secretary, said: “It’s great news that the Live Music Bill has now passed all of its parliamentary stages, and we would like to thank all of the MPs and Lords who have been involved in this process.

“The MU has been lobbying

for changes to the Licensing Act for many years now, and this exemption is fantastic news for musicians and will be a real boost for live music. We look forward to the implementation of the Act later this year and we will be working with the government to ensure that the Act has maximum impact.”

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