New concert licensing laws

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by WoodenFlugel, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Hi all

    I'm currently in the middle of organising a charity concert (with my band Wigston), for the British Heart Foundation, in memory of my late Dad and Father-in-Law who both died last year. All was going well until the venue rang to ask us for an extra fee to cover performing rights. At first I thought this was to do with the PRS, and told them that the band deals with that, but upon looking into this further it's all to do with the new legislation that came in last year.

    The fee in question is about £20, which is not going to break the bank, but this is a CHARITY concert given by an AMETEUR band who are taking no fee. To my mind this extra cost is taking money away from a cause I now feel strongly about, and for what?? [rant]What does this cost cover - extra police on point duty outside the venue to cope with the massive increase in OAP driven Austin Allegro's and Morris Marina's leaving 10 o'clock? Or is it to cover the cost of the pepper spray and water cannons used to pacify the angry mob that formed after we didn't play the Floral Dance? [/rant]

    To point of this thread (apart from giving me a change to rant) is to ask all you tMP'ers your opinions, and if any of you have organised a concert since 1st Jan and have come across this. This can't be right can it? I've waded through the info on the MU webste and although there are exceptions none apply to this case. I'm also looking at the Govenment info on Licensing Laws, but I'm not hopeful. It just looks like I'll have to stump up the money myself, which is not a problem but what about the principle?

    Sorry to go on and I appriciate that this may well have been dscussed at length on this forum before, but what do you think?

    Ian :wink:
  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    i signed a petition against these laws last year... it basically means you can't even have a small band playing in the pub without a performing license. Basically, the government are trying to make more money out of musicians, and at the same time destroying the music industry in this country! How many possibly great bands are going to be put off because they can't get a gig down at their local?

    Stupid government...
  3. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    About time too!!! :wink:

    Composers are forever given the bum deal! It's about time we earn't some money from our music! :lol:

    Well done the PRS!! :wink: :wink:
  4. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    If I read this right this is a licensing fee for public performance and nothing to do with PRS.
  5. Kernewek Den

    Kernewek Den Member

    You're quite right - composers will not get a penny of it.

    The EAST ANGLIAN BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION have a good summary of the consequences of this Act.

    It'll be interesting to see how it is enforced :roll:
  6. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    In that case they should scrap the law! :wink: :wink:
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Yes you are right. The hall manager was confused and thought it was a PRS fee, but as far as I understand, it will end up in the pockets of the local authority.
  8. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    That's wrong!!! They shouldn't be allowed to do that!
  9. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    :wink: Top people on that EABBA committee! :wink:

    We are finding the easiest loophole is to organise concerts in churches. This has several advantages:

    Usually free to hire (especially if you agree to dontate to church roof fund etc)

    Usually the church has members who will come and support events thus making the concert better attended

    Acoustics are usually good
  10. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    [rant]Exactly my point. How can "they" jusify a fee like this for an event which is expressly to raise funds for a nationally recognised good cause? [/rant][again]
  11. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry Chunky you got in before I had chance to post the reply. I wasn't ranting at church acostics! :lol:

    If I do this sort of thing again I will probably book a church somewhere.
  12. Kernewek Den

    Kernewek Den Member

    Most of the regulations 'makes sense'. They are designed to ensure that people may enjoy themselves in a safe environment knowing that should an emergency occur they will be able to vacate the venue, swiftly and safely.

    Entertainments licences are granted on an annual basis so most venues will already hold the appropriate licence.

    It's surprising that your venue does not already hold the licence, or are they trying to recoup the licence fee from those hiring the hall.
  13. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol: No problem!
  14. the government will send out SAS teams and have loads of busts on illegal concerts, throwing cannisters of tear gas through the doors and windows, cutting the electricity and arresting every1. then everybody get s electronically tagged, never to perform above the law again
  15. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I agree that for the most part most of the new regs. make sense for larger events. But for smaller concerts like this one they are draconian. They could have been ebent worse if the MU hadn't got consessions to the original proposal....

    But then they'll have to increase the licence fee due to the policing cost!! :roll:
  16. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As I understand it, although the Government has brought in the legislation requiring the licences, it is entirely up to the Local Authority to deal with the administering of the system, including setting what they feel is an appropriate charge. If the hall is to be used regularly for events requiring a licence then I would think it is a question of the hall recouping some of the cost from each group making a hiring. It may be worth enquiring from the local authority how much they charge for a licence, to see what proportion they are trying to make you pay, and launching an appeal if it seems excessive.
  17. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the advice Peter - I'll give the local authority a ring. I was reading the legislation this morning and the hall can apply for a yearly licence but the venue in question doesn't hold that many concerts, and in any case they seemed as surprised about this as I was. Someone also thought that this could be bypassed by applying for a drinks licence (we have one for the concert night). But reading though all this it appears not.

    Does anyone know for sure if I need this or not?
  18. tubbythe tuba

    tubbythe tuba New Member

    Recently I have spoken to the performing rights society due to a letter which our band received about the areas. I am not trying to speak out of turn, however it seems that the one of the venues were trying to place the cost of the performing rights license for the areas onto the bands competing. The chap which I spoke to at the PRS said that it was unusual for them to license a brass band unless they wer doing marches on the street. Usualyy it is the venue which have the license and not the band.

    Hope this helps
  19. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for that. I think theres a lot of confusion about these new laws and the wording of the legislation doesn't help. Actually the Areas are a good example - under the new legislation (as I understand it) they should be licenced as a public event, so who picks up the extra cost?

    In my case the wording according to the MU website is that village halls are exempt (ok as the concert is in a village hall) but halls of a capacity of more than 200 require a licence - so does that apply? (as the hall hold 250-300) I really don't know the answer!! :roll:
  20. tubbythe tuba

    tubbythe tuba New Member

    If the hall is needed to have a license then the PRS guys say that its usually the venue which picks up the tab. If you want more info give them a call on 0800 068 48 28 or have a look at their website which is They were really helpful when I spoke to them.

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