It appears that UK venues and promoters are facing similar ordinance and legislative challenge as we are in Chicago.
According to XLR8R, Guardian and Independent articles, the UK club scene is facing opposition from Form 696.
While the focus in Chicago is mainly on insurance regulations, the UK music communities insist, and the Metro denies, that the focus of Form 696 seems is on race and music genre profiling.
But the Metro authorities say they’re only trying to determine if a venue is safe and that their not targeting a specific social class or the music genre.
From the Independent: “In a letter to Sir Ian Blair, the Met commissioner, [Boss of UK Music and Undertones Vocalist] Feargal Sharkey said: “In explicitly singling out performances and musical styles favoured by the black community we believe the use of Risk Assessment Form 696 is disproportionate, unacceptable and damaging to live music.”
Says the Metro authorities, “It’s not about being risk averse, it’s about managing the risk,” he said. “If you a publican and you are just having some performers to entertain your regular customers, you won’t be expected to do a risk assessment. It’s for when the performance is being put on to draw people in. We will never assess somebody just on the genre of music they are performing. There is a whole raft of factors that are taken into account.”
As in Chicago, UK promoters and music communities (The Musicians’ Union) are fighting back against Form 696 which caused the Metro to release a shorten and adjusted document late in 2008.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on this and the Chicago situation as they both unfold.