English Folk Law: A Brief Introduction to Pub Licensing

  • Tim Knowles University of Sheffield


The impact of government policy on live music in Britain is only recently being explored in academic work (e.g. Cloonan 2011). This article provides a brief introduction to the Licensing Act 2003, and the Live Music Act 2012, discussing their impact on the ability of venues to host live music and dance, with particular reference to the folk arts. It concludes that whilst the Live Music Act has opened up performance opportunities, fully licensed venues are still likely to remain preferable for performers.


Cloonan, Martin. (2011) ‘Researching Live Music: Some Thoughts on Policy Implications’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 17/4, 405-420.

Cumming, Tim. (2003) ‘Stop That Fiddling’, The Guardian, 28/01/2003. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2003/jan/28/artsfeatures.popandrock [accessed 20/05/17]

DCMS. (2014) Post-Implementation Review of the Live Music Act 2012.

DCMS. (2016) Entertainment Licensing 2016: Statistical Release: November 2016.

House of Lords. (2017) The Licensing Act 2003: Post-legislative Scrutiny. Report of Session 2016-17 (HL146)

MacKinnon, Niall. (1993) The British Folk Scene: Musical Performance and Social Identity, Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Music Venue Trust. (2015) Understanding Small Music Venues: A Report by the Music Venue Trust.

PRS. (n.d.) The Value of Music in Pubs.

UK Music. (2013) The Rocktober Report: The Live Music Act: One Year On.

Ward, Philip. (2011) Live Music in Small Venues. Report for the House of Commons, Home Affairs Section.

Winter, Trish and Simon Keegan-Phipps. (2013). Performing Englishness: Identity and Politics in a Contemporary Folk Resurgence, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

How to Cite
KnowlesT. (2017). English Folk Law: A Brief Introduction to Pub Licensing. The International Journal of Traditional Arts, 1(1). Retrieved from https://tradartsjournal.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/ijta/article/view/13
Policy and Briefings Section