It is very heartening to see one trade union taking a well-argued and strong public stance on the issue of an exemption for small-scale live performances, one which affects jazz musicians and other performers, schools, village halls…… and coffee bars.
To see which Trade Union is taking this stance, HERE’s THE LINK
The picture above was taken in a coffee bar in Old Compton Street, and comes from this site.
Where entertainment licensing is concerned, the Musicians Union has become part of the problem. It seems determined to answer 'how high' whenever the government says 'jump'. Equity, by contrast, has mounted a real campaign, encouraging members to write to their MPs over the government's rejection last month of small gig exemptions recommended by the Culture Committee. Stranger still, earlier this year the MU made a £15k donation to the Labour party on top of its usual donations. Why? What is the Labour party doing for musicians? The Licensing Act has harmed small gigs, and imposes a range of ludicrous restrictions on live music performed almost anywhere. It would seem that the MU Executive puts political ideology ahead of the interests of the majority of its members.
Andy Williamson wrote in on Twitter
I don't understand the MU at all. There's something very odd going on.
Great article by Terence Blacker: