Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

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Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby PaulX » 15 Aug 2013, 14:42

As you probably know, yet another event - Waveform - has been ruined because of ridiculous conditions imposed by local authorities on their licence. Bangface Weekender was cancelled earlier this year because of vicious limits being set on overall volume and key bass frequencies and there is a long string of other events in the UK that have faced similar measures, including Glade Festival from 2007 onwards.

I think it's time something was done about it to try and restore some balance. I think it's the Licensing Act 2003, particularly Section 182, that is the big problem here. Apparently the Home Office issues updated guidance on Section 182 from time to time and this is the current version: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/do ... 511400.pdf I've found a very interesting quote here: "licensing authorities should be aware of the need to avoid inappropriate or disproportionate measures that could deter events that are valuable to the community, such as live music." (p15, 2.35) Of course, that's pretty woolly and vague but it's interesting that even the Home Office's own guidelines suggest that "inappropriate or disproportionate" measures should not be taken that could deter "events that are valuable to the community". Obviously those statements are wide open to interpretation, but there was a good case for events like Glade being "valuable to the community" in terms of the local charities supported etc.

We did try to campaign on sound levels a few years ago, including starting an e-petition, but didn't really get anywhere as it was just Ravetalk on its own. What I think is really needed is an independent campaigning organisation set up. I'd say we're in it for the long haul and it'll need polite but firm letters being written to MPs, pointing out how these kinds of measures are harming the economy, as people take their custom to festivals abroad, how much tax revenue is being lost by preferring the feelings of one or two moaning old gits over tens of thousands of festivalgoers etc.

I've put up an article about Waveform's closure and will put up one later calling for a campaign. But let's also have this thread running - can people suggest some campaign names and come up with a few ideas? I do think it needs to be a 'respectable', write-to-your-MP type of thing, I don't think any other type of approach is going to work in terms of getting the law changed. There is, of course, the option of saying "fuck them and their law" and just going to free parties, but this is about doing what we can to make the legal ones bearable.
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby Dave Skywalker » 15 Aug 2013, 16:07

Is there any way we can find out how much money was donated by Glade to local charities, or how much money - even an estimate - was spent in the local community by people going to Newquay or Camber Sands (at Bang Face or any other event that's held there?).

If you can hit an MP with facts they can simply regurgitate then I imagine they'll be more likely to take up a stand.

As a sidenote, maybe festival promoters need to take more notice of the local talent to where they are planning their event. If they can get the local music scene involved more, then maybe the local council and residents will be more forthcoming to the event.
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby PaulX » 15 Aug 2013, 16:34

Some good points, Dave.

Can people come up quickly with suggestions for a name for a campaign on this licensing issue, so that pages can be set up on FB, Twitter etc?

We could also do with stats on how much British people spend on overseas festivals - one way of making the government think again is letting them think they're missing out on a revenue opportunity in the UK by being such restrictive dicks.
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby sim667 » 15 Aug 2013, 16:53

If we can find stats that shows the growth of foreign festival visits it would be a good thing to show, I dont know whether there's any stats available on that sort of thing...... The loss of earnings to areas is pretty hard to work out, but it needs to include stuff like transport and money spent at cash and carries by traders etc.

Namewise I think we should be looking for a play on what we want changed (licensing), "Licensed to gather" or something like that?
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby PaulX » 15 Aug 2013, 17:03

In the meantime, I'll try to get some UK stats on the contribution of festivals to the economy. I'm sure the spending by millions of festivalgoers outweighs that of a few moaning NIMBY types...
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby Rob Earblender » 15 Aug 2013, 17:14

Apparently Boomtown are in trouble again for exceeding noise limits. If everyone wrote to Winchester council and complained about levels being too QUIET, it would show the other side of the coin and would be considered when they look at the licence. Obviously this would apply universally to events around the country.
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby PaulX » 15 Aug 2013, 17:24

Rob Earblender wrote:Apparently Boomtown are in trouble again for exceeding noise limits. If everyone wrote to Winchester council and complained about levels being too QUIET, it would show the other side of the coin and would be considered when they look at the licence. Obviously this would apply universally to events around the country.


Haha, like it, why not? After all, I'm sure that the tens of thousands who attended Boomtown have contributed more to Winchester's local economy than all the moaners put together.
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby djscooter » 15 Aug 2013, 18:24

This is sad news indeed for waveform. I wonder if the pearl festival organisers had similar issues at Houghton, or is Houghton a pretty unique site in terms of noise restrictions etc? I wonder if waveform could team up with pearl, in a similar way to sunrise with bigchill a few years ago? I feel very sorry for the waveform crew and all the festival goers.....
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Re: Stupid licence restrictions - let's do something!

Postby PaulX » 15 Aug 2013, 18:54

Tom Baldmosher has suggested "IMBY" (In My Back Yard) as a campaign name. It's certainly nice and short!

Any other ideas?
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