Red tape introduced in the 2003 Licensing Act is stifling small-scale gigs and performances, a report commissioned by ministers has found.
A West Country brass band has been told that it could only play religious songs when performing for charity in a town centre – or pay for a licence that could cost more than the band would be able to raise.
A male voice choir cancelled its outdoor performances after being told by the local council to sing religious songs or pay for a “temporary event notice”.
A group of elderly men who regularly sang folk songs in a room above a pub were told that the landlady would need a variation to her premises licence if they were to continue.
The report from the Live Music Forum says that some “perfectly reasonable, harmless” events have been negatively affected by a lack of clarity in the Act.