Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Clement-Jones’s Live Music Bill has its third reading in the House of Lords today after which it goes to the Commons. It has sailed through previous stages in the Lords with no amendments.
The Bill proposes that schools, hospitals, colleges, and small venues up to a capacity of 200 should not need a licence for a live music performance, and that the “two-in-a-bar” exemption should be reinstated.
The Government’s 2003 Licensing Act means live musical performances must have a licence or the organisers risk criminal prosecution.
Lord Clement-Jones said:
“The Government’s stubborn refusal to accept the recommendations of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee that licensing be relaxed for live music is short-sighted and illiberal.
“Live music used to be at the core of our society. But it’s harder for someone to play the piano in a bar now than it was in 1899.
“We should be supporting small venues not strangling them with red tape. More live music in our pubs would mean more punters and fewer pubs closing.
“My Bill is the only chance to change the law before the general election and breathe new life in to the live music scene. I challenge the Government to explain why they will not support it.”