UK anti-terror laws may soon make small live gigs history

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London, November 12 : Feargal Sharkey, the former the vocalist of pop punk band The Undertones, feels that anti-terror laws are being used to crack down on live concerts.

He says that small venues and new performers have been affected by the 2003 Licensing Act.

Local councils and police go "over the top" in enforcing the Act, he adds.

The Act requires venue owners to fill in a three-page application form and pay the prescribed fee to obtain a licence for a gig.

Those filling in the forms must disclose names, birth dates, addresses, and phone numbers of every performer.

While the police insists that it is "in the interest of public order and the prevention of terrorism," small venue owners contend that the time and costs are too much, and that new performers find it harder to get work.

"The demands are outrageous. They are squeezing the life out of small venues and performers," the Sun quoted Feargal, 50, now boss of the organisation British Music Rights, as saying.

The newspaper report suggests that Feargal has urged MPs to act to halt a decline in live music venues, and demanded fresh scrutiny of the new laws to make it easier for small pubs to get music licences.

"We need a vibrant, lively music scene. From my personal experience it's one of the only opportunities that young singers and musicians have of first appearing in public," He told the Commons culture committee.

ANI

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