The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Saturday 13th May 2006 - More on TOTP - Camden - a more liberal view?

Another TOTP licensing article, this time from yesterday's Independent (Fri 12 May 2006):

Perhaps broadcasters should relocate to Camden. A statement released yesterday by Camden's press office suggests a more liberal interpretation of the Licensing Act:

'Camden Licensing Authority has considered the enquiry from MTV for the Hawley Crescent [studio] , and based on the information supplied we do not consider this premises to need a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003. Licensable Activities under the Act are the sale of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment. In the case of MTV the only licensable activity that could apply is regulated entertainment. The Act defines regulated entertainment as entertainment provided to members of the public or a section of the public, or for consideration with a view to profit.

'MTV have stated that no members of the public will be admitted to the entertainment, and the audience will be made up from pre-invited guests who are given a ticket. MTV is making no charge for these tickets, and the tickets will be given away to competition winners. Therefore Camden Licensing Authority does not consider the entertainment at MTVs studios to be regulated entertainment, and no licence is required.

'In the case of the LB Hammersmith and Fulham issue with Tops of the Pops, the event is not private, as tickets are available to anyone who applies for them, therefore the entertainment is public and licensable under the Licensing Act 2003.'

This position could be based on a misunderstanding, however. MTV's ticket allocation process is the same as the BBC's for the Coldplay gig at Abbey Road (13 Feb), and for the Red Hot Chili Peppers recording for TOTP (15 April) - free tickets given away to competition winners. See this Coldplay website where the small print states that the call cost of entering the free ticket competition went to BBC Children in Need:  (scroll down)

Hamish Birchall