I thought Form 696 was bad enough… I’ve just heard about this:
There’s just one week left to sign the petition.
It has been brought to our attention that the government wish to consider it a legal requirement in the new tax year to introduce laws insisting anyone applying or re-applying for an entertainment license must have a noise control device fitted to the venue. This will be the final nail for all entertainment in the UK as the level at which these devices cut you off is dreadfully low and damaging.
Update: 1.16.09 / 9pm
Seems it’s all good. This last night from Warren James, the guy who started the petition:
Due to the many contacts I have received regarding the e-petition on the 10 Downing Street website I have made the following statement for the many supporters and the critics.
It is great to see so many people supporting the comments made on the e-petition on the Downing Street website which started early in 2008, all 33,000 of you seem to agree with the issue raised.
Although the issue that I was angry with and petitioned against never actually came to fruition, there was most definitely at the time very good reason to start the petition as countless associates in the music business were hearing the same statements which was that the government were going to make it a legal requirement to have a noise limitation device in all live music venues.
This never did happen, thus allowing live music to continue reasonably uninterrupted.
We do need to remember that we still have venues in the UK with these devices installed and set to a drastic and unfair level which cuts you off the second the drummer taps his kit. It is also important to remember that these devices ultimately damage your electric equipment such as amplifiers and instruments which are not designed to be switched on and off constantly because a little “musician’s speed camera” tells you that you are too loud… in its opinion.
I am pleased to see that our government didn’t continue with the proposals that we were getting word of as we do not need any more restrictions on the live music industry, it is heavily restricted as it is.
It may appear that I jumped without thinking when I made the Downing Street petition – however, by doing this quickly and promptly it allowed people to voice their opinion good and early. Very often it is too late by the time our voice gets heard the damage has been done. Musicians in the UK have to work and I am pleased I got in there quickly, even if ultimately nothing was achieved because nothing actually happened in the end… let us not forget that this is a good thing.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to sign the petition and make your voice heard… let us be happy that this didn’t happen. Sometimes sitting back and waiting can mean the damage is done and your voice won’t be heard once it is too late.
Update: 2.19.09 / 12pm
The government’s response:
We are pleased to tell you that there is no truth in claims that the Government is planning to introduce a requirement for entertainment venues to fit noise control devices.
Each Local Authority Licensing Authority considers every live music application on its merits, and decisions are made entirely by them. However, the Licensing Act 2003 does not allow mandatory conditions for live music to be imposed across the board. It would not be possible to impose such a condition without a change in the law and such a change is not, and never has been, on the Government’s agenda.
There is also no legal requirement under health and safety legislation for entertainment venues to have noise control devices fitted, nor is there any proposal.
The Government is acutely aware of the contribution that music makes to our culture and we remain committed to a vibrant and flourishing creative sector, of which live music plays an essential part.