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  • *Please pass this email on to your band members or anyone you know who plays in a band*. Some of you may want to sign the petition below. – it is to be found: here in case you don’t want to wade through the explanation:

    The Government is intending to introduce new licensing laws Governing the performance and rehearsal of music in public buildings, a move that will drastically affect the whole culture of music-making in England and Wales. Essentially, what they are also trying to do is legally redefine the notion of “performance” to include “performance and/or rehearsal.” They want all venues (and this includes any church holding rehearsals or performances not directly related to the religious function of the building) to be subject to a Public Entertainments License. Currently they haven’t published a fee but leaks to date have suggested that this fee will be between £500 and £1000 per annum. Clearly this will do a lot of harm to both amateur and professional music, drama, and dance – informal rehearsal venues will be a lot thinner on the ground as smaller organisations that play host to choirs, amateur theatre, musical groups, and concerts will simply not be able to afford the license. It will be illegal even to burst into song spontaneously in the pub, as the current two-in-a-bar rule will be abolished, and any “entertainment” at all, however informal, will require a license. Failure to comply? Currently suggested penalties include a £20,000 fine or a 6 month prison sentence.

    It’s worth noting that not only the administrator of an unlicensed venue but also any musician performing in such a venue would be criminalised. If you want to read the whole Bill (great fun, I can assure you!), it can be found here.

    This threatens the whole spectrum of musical performance, from a production of Dream of Gerontius at Worcester Cathedral in the Three Choirs Festival, via school performances, music at weddings, and hospital concerts, right through to folk sessions in the local pub (a spontaneous activity encouraged in Scotland and Ireland).

    There is a petition on-line, to be found here (the wording of this is taken from an early day motion, the text of which can be found here.

    If you are a musician, or feel strongly about this, please can I urge you to sign this petition, and also forward this message on to anyone you can think would be affected or would care about the issue.

    PLEASE put the details of this protest event in your calendar and pass it on to as many people as possible, and please attend if you can. Monday 27 January 2003, 1:00 PM Parliament Square, London Mozart’s Birthday Silent Protest To illustrate the appalling impact that the Government’s Licensing Bill will have on live and community music-making. Bring your instrument (AND A GAG (medical-type mouth-coverings work well), but *don’t play it.

    Contact: Caroline Kraabel 020 7237 1564

    Many thanks TONY WREN


    Other classic case of this and previous governments robbing the poor, yet they (corrupt politicians) have conveniently lowered co-orperation tax to the massive multinationals by 20% in real terms over the last 20 years!!


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Forums Life Politics, Media & Current Events Say yes to peace