Form 696 Rears Head
Unfortunately, we have not accidentally reprinted a news story from 2008- Issues surrounding the controversial Form 696 have reared their somewhat ugly head again. This week, Minister for Culture and digital economy Matt Hancock wrote to London Mayor Sadiq Khan voicing concerns that the risk assessment forms can be used to single out music genres such as grime.
The form is used exclusively in London by the Metropolitan Police and requests that names, stage names, private addresses, and phone numbers of all promoters, DJs and artists be listed for events that “predominantly features DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track”. The original form went as far as to ask for details of ethnic groups likely to attend such events, a stipulation that was dropped back in 2008 following understandable pressure from industry groups- an issue covered in the very first digital edition of The Gen.
In the letter to Khan, which you can read in full here, Hancock states: “I am concerned that the form is not only potentially stifling young artists and reducing the diversity of London’s world renowned musical offering, but is also having a negative impact on London’s night time economy by pushing organisers and promoters of urban music events to take them outside London”.
UK Music Chief Executive Jo Dipple welcomed the intervention, saying: “UK Music thanks the Minister who has a track record of stepping in to support British musicians,” she said. “It is important to make sure form 696 is not being unfairly used against particular musical genres. Discrimination against any musician damages all of us. It reduces the diversity of our output and limits our ability to reach our economic potential”.
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