facebook twitter
Image 1 Image 1

The Live Music Forum

The LIve Music Act

The picture you see above on the left was taken in 2010, just after The Live Music Bill was re-launched, when I led a party to deliver a Petition to Number 10 Downing Street.

The petition called on the prime minister (David Cameron) to implement the entertainment licence exemptions for live music recommended by the all party Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2009 following its public inquiry into the Licensing Act.

In our group was Lord Clement-Jones, Lord Colwyn, Hamish Birchall, John Otway, Tom Kiehl and John Whittingdale. Also present, although we could not get them into Downing Street, were Charlotte Wheeler and John King, who did a lot of work to provide evidence to support the case for the Live Music Bill.

Two years later in 2012 the Live Music Act became law, removing the 2 in a bar rule and much of the restrictive licensing introduced by the Licensing Act of 2003.

The success of the Live Music Bill was due in part to a statement this Live Music Forum secured from the Association of Chief Police Officers that they did not associate live music with public disorder. That was the premise on which the Local Government Association had campaigned to introduce the Draconian measures against live music in the Licensing Act 2003.

The statement from the ACPS was in reply to a carefully prepared letter written by myself and Hamish Birchall, following my idea to confront the Police on the Live Music and public order issue.

This was one of many actions we took over a period of ten years, yet, oddly, nowhere will you see that mentioned except on this website.

This is because the big players in the music industry, who were comparatively innefective during our live music campaign of twenty years, claimed the credit and publicity associated with the Live Music Act. As outsiders, independent of the music establishment, we could not be seen, ahead of them, to be influencing the music environment.

This is ironic really because it was only as independent 'outsiders' that we had the freedom to speak out against the Government and to challenge the Police, as with the issue of public disorder. It couldn't really have happened any other way.

Sadly, nearly five years later, the industry leaders have no strategy to stimulate live music other than throw money at gimmick campaigns and advertising.

We still have a few ideas though !

Visual impairment makes this website hard to maintain regularly so these day we update more frequently on Facebook. You can find us there at,


Meanwhile, I'll do my best to incude anything important here.


Phil Little

August 2016

Emal: editor@livemusicforum.co.uk