Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse Big Brother steps in with his great big boots creating even more red tape. Enter Form 696. Reported upon recently in The Independent:
The form demands that licensees give police a mass of detail, including the names, aliases, private addresses and phone numbers of all musicians and other performers appearing at their venue, and the ethnic background of the likely audience. Failure to comply could mean the loss of a licence or even a fine and imprisonment.
The police say they need the information demanded on Form 696, which runs to eight pages, so they can pinpoint which acts and venues attract troublemakers, and make sure venues are safe.
It applies in 21 London boroughs, but professionals in the music business fear that if it becomes accepted, it will be copied in other cities. Have a look at the form here yourself: http://www.met.police.uk/events/forms/form_696.doc. Not surprisingly it has resulted in complaints about Equality as one of the questions on the form requires the licensee to specify the type of music that will be performed, giving as possible examples “Basement, R’n’B, Garage”. Another question asks, “Is there a particular ethnic group attending?”
What’s happening to this country?