Form 696 has been stopping some of our scene’s greatest performing in London for a while now, but it looks like the controversial issue may be reconsidered.
696 aks for names and contact details of all artists and promoters and is intended to help clubs, security and police to work together to prevent serious violent crime.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has asked the Met to look at the form again following a meeting with some of London’s best artists, promoters and venues. He’s also come under pressure from culture minister Matt Hancock who described the form’s targeting of live music from minority backgrounds as an “injustice”.
He went on, “This risk assessment shouldn’t compromise the capital’s vibrant grassroots music industry or unfairly target one community or music genre, which is why the Met is reviewing their Form 696 process.”
Hancock, a Tory MP, said, “London’s live music scene needs support. We want to see an end to the use of form 696 which is too often a barrier to live music, and particularly targets acts from ethnic minority backgrounds.”
MP’s of course aren’t the only people wanting the form dealt with. The Landlord Giggs, who’s 2010 tour was cancelled due to “police advice”, was among the people calling for the form to be re-assessed.
P Money also joined in, saying he had been removed from gig line-ups because of information on the form, which he described as a “race thing”, telling the BBC;
“We know they’re just trying to shut down grime, because if it was anything else they wouldn’t have this issue. If, for example, Ed Sheeran had a show and a fight broke out, he’s not going to do a 696 on his next arena tour.
“Why is it different? There’s fights everywhere, there’s situations everywhere at all types of shows, all types of things, whether its punk, rock, hip hop, pop, whatever.”
Here’s hoping there’s a change on the way.