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The Death Of Live Music In Pubs

Rick October 18, 2016 Comments Off on The Death Of Live Music In Pubs
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The death of live music in pubs ?
My pal attends an open mic night in a pub in Rotherham. It was a very succesful night with 10 to 15 musicians every week and an audience of 50 to 80 people (mainly middle aged men drinking draft beer.) Recently the venue was taken over by a nationwide company of gastro pubs and the open mic which has lasted five years was cancelled (probably because it is not on-brand.) Tuesdays in this venue is now fairly dead but more importantly this thriving little scene for musicians in this particular community has died.
The open mic scene continues despite this casualty.
Back in 2011 the government dropped the live music license charge for small venues in order to encourage live music at grass roots level because whilst there has been an explosion of live music venues at the corporate Academy level there has been a significant decrease of pub venues offering live music.
Prior to 2003 there was a clause in commonly known as the “two in a bar” exemption which basically allowed any pub venue to have live music provided there was no more than two musicians on stage. It was a bit of a crazy rule which was commonly ignored in community pubs (try stopping a fiddle player from joining in with two guitarist in a folk club….its never going to happen!)
The Live Music Act of October 2012 removed the need for a license for
          Amplified live music between 8am and 11pm before audiences of  no           more than 200 people on premises authorised to sell alcohol

  • amplified live music between 8am and 11pm before audiences of no more than 200 people in workplaces not otherwise licensed under the 2003 Act (or licensed only for the provision of late night refreshment); and
  • unamplified live music between 8am and 11pm in all venues.
  • There will be no audience limit for performances of unamplified live music.

Its never been easier for a pub to put live music on whether this be a covers band , original band night , tribute band , live karaoke band or open mic night.

There are still operators that don’t recognise the value of live music but it can be a great revenue driver and from a UK cultural perspective live music at grassroots level is the foundation on which one of our biggest economic exports (and also a key part of British cultural identity oversea’s )  is built.

So attention pub managers help the next generation of Adeles, Cold Plays , Stormzy’s and Ed Sheerhan’s by organising some live music nights. Don’t allow the death of live music in pubs.



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