Philip Day: Here’s some good news…

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PhilipDayPhilip Day, vice president, National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA), looks at the good and bad news in relation to event legislation

 

I have become a fan of Leeds United FC – but before you start I am not talking about their skills on the pitch! Rather, it’s 10 out of 10 for taking on the Yorkshire Constabulary over their policing bill and coming first in the High Court. Space does not allow for a detailed analysis of this case but suffice to say that the Judge substantially limited what the police were entitled to charge for. The club still has to pay for the boys and girls in blue that are actually deployed on land the club controls but not for “ordinary” policing (albeit it at a higher level on football days) away from the ground.

Event organisers paying huge policing bills would be very well advised to re-visit arrangements – Leeds FC saved about £1 million a year as a result of this challenge, and this good news will be welcomed I am sure.

2012 certainly brought more good news thanks to Fergal Sharkey. He was the champion behind the Live Music Act so we now don’t need a licence for live, unamplified music, anywhere between 8am and 11pm – hoorah, for common sense! And, there may be more to come – the Government is looking at more de-regulation so, for example, the Punch and Judy man and the Can-Can girls won’t need a licence to perform either. Industry will be waiting with much interest to hear of the impending outcomes but alas that’s about it for the good news.

With regards to the bad… Morris Dancing is still a legal and unlicensable activity. Sorry, bad joke.

No, seriously, I am particularly concerned about the “Big Brother” trend towards having CCTV absolutely everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, CCTV is a very useful tool and in the context of events, particularly helpful for crowd monitoring and control but the possibility of a 16-camera system in every beer tent or mobile CCTV at my local carnival is not one that enthrals me.

Perhaps, Leeds United Football Club could utilise the extra CCTV as goal line technology – oh, that’s right, they don’t score many goals!