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Live Music Act comes into force

28 September 2012

Pub singerOn Monday 1st October the Live Music Act 2012 comes into effect. The Act amends the Licensing Act 2003, introducing a new exemption from entertainment licensing for performances of live music in venues with capacity of up to 200 people. If unamplified there is no audience limit.

This is a great victory for Equity members who've been campaigning over many years to protect and promote live entertainment. The campaign took many forms - petitions, lobbies of MPs and a demonstration by over 100 variety performers in parliament square back in 2009. Equity thanks all those members who helped bring about this important change.

Yet more remains to be done.

At Equity’s 2012 Annual Representative Conference members working in the live entertainment sector brought two motions on licensing issues. The first called for better regulation of outdoor and other events, including and beyond the live music sector, so that concerns about noise and disruption can be handled appropriately and proportionately. The second motion dealt with the continuing need for guidance for venues and local authorities on the implementation of the Live Music Act.

“Regulated entertainment” within the Licensing Act is also not limited to live music. Theatre, street performances, film showings, dance and Punch and Judy shows are also covered.

On the back of the positive action taken to deregulate live music performances, Equity continues to call on the Government to do all that it can to relieve other sectors of the entertainment industry from licensing burdens.

 For a DCMS summary of the effect of the Live Music Act see:

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