Music industry celebrates live music act anniversary
PRS for Music applauds live music act – one year on
The Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music are today celebrating the first anniversary of the Live Music Act coming into effect by publishing a report on its impact at a roundtable in the Cornerhouse in Manchester.
This event marks the culmination of a series of roundtables across the country over the past year – in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, London, Bristol and Manchester. These events were a chance for the MU and UK Music to discuss the Act with venue owners, promoters, musicians and others involved in live music at a local level.
Overall, the discussions showed that most welcomed the Live Music Act, which allows performances of live music in England and Wales to take place without local authority permission if they are to audiences of fewer than 200 people. The Live Music Act was introduced by Lib Dem Peer Tim Clement-Jones and promoted in the Commons by Bath MP Don Foster.
The MU and UK Music will now focus on spreading the word further and on urging the Government to commit to extending the exemption to cover venues with fewer than 500 people in attendance.
The Live Music Act was a fantastic achievement and really opened up opportunities for small venues to put on live music. The work that we’ve been doing over the past year, going out and talking to promoters, musicians, venue owners and councillors, has been aimed at maximising the impact of the Act – and I think we’ve made great progress.
It’s an exciting time for both venues and musicians, who can use the opportunity to work together to create a growing audience and profile, and long-term success. As the research undertaken by PRS for Music has shown, live music can be hugely beneficial for pubs -pubs without featured music being three times more likely to close than pubs with featured music.
The Live Music Act is a truly grassroots beast. In an inherently top-down political system such as ours, it’s pretty unusual for legislation to come ‘up from the ground’ in this way. Yet this was a move long-advocated by musicians, supported by UK Music and the Musicians Union, proposed by a musically enthusiastic backbencher in the House of Lords (Tim Clement-Jones) and piloted though the Commons by Don Foster.
As the anniversary approached, we really wanted to get out into the grassroots of the industry itself, out in the regions where most British music is played and heard. I’m really pleased with the work that has been done locally as a result of these roundtables and I’m certain that the live music scene, which was already strong in the UK, will now flourish even more.
I had the pleasure of chairing the two roundtables in London and Bristol. It is early days, but it is quite clear the Act's fundamental objective of decreasing complexity and regulatory burdens is having a very real impact on musical performances across the land. I am pleased that the music industry is continuing to monitor the impact of the Act and working with a number of partners to promote the benefits.
The Live Music Act started the process of reducing regulation around the performance of live music. Evidence over the past year shows it's working. It's easier for smaller venues to put on a diverse range of musical entertainment, the fears that there would be a big increase in complaints about noise and anti social behaviour have proved unfounded, and progress is being made on further de-regulation. In short, it's been a win for performers with increased opportunities to perform and develop their talents, a win for venues with increased commercial opportunities and a win for communities with more to see and hear.
PRS for Music applauds the Live Music Act which removed a barrier to business. We believe the UK has a great history in producing fantastic live music experiences which benefits musicians and venue owners alike – progress on legislation, licensing and the nurturing of vital talent can ensure a sustainable live music industry for all.
For more details please contact:
Isabelle Gutierrez on 07817 949 782 or isabelle.gutierrez@theMU.org
Dot Levine on Dot.firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The Musicians' Union was established in 1893 and represents over 30,000 musicians working in all genres of music. As well as negotiating on behalf of its members with all the major employers in the industry, the MU offers a range of services tailored for the self-employed by providing assistance for professional and student musicians of all ages. More info: theMU.org
UK Music is an umbrella body representing the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry - from songwriters and composers, artists and musicians, to studio producers, music managers, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2020, 22.4 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music, with £699m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.
PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.