Licence changes could be good for juke box hire

Venues interested in juke box hire could soon find it is easier for them to offer recorded music, without the need for special permission under entertainment licensing laws.

A consultation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport concluded earlier this month, with broad support for the proposal to treat both live and recorded music performances as exempt from special permission for on-premises alcohol-serving establishments with audiences of up to 500 people.

The pre-existing threshold for live music audiences was 200 people, but the consultation raises this, while introducing a corresponding 500-person threshold for exemption of on-trade premises playing recorded music between 8am and 11pm.

Respondents to the consultation included UK Music, who pointed out that providing entertainment through methods like juke box hire is typically less problematic than, for example, screening sporting events.

The DCMS summary of responses says: “They argued that there were likely to be more incidents of anti-social behaviour in pubs in connection to the showing of a football match than from what was playing on the juke box.”

DCMS are now progressing the changes through Parliament as a Legislative Reform Order – which should make it easier in the near future for venues to offer live and recorded music to substantial audiences, without facing a licensing burden for doing so.

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