The 696 Form compels licensees who wish to hold live music events in 21 London Boroughs to report to the police the names, addresses, aliases and telephone numbers of performers, and most worryingly, the likely ethnicity of their audience. Failure to comply could result in fines or imprisonment. We believe this places unnecessary and frankly Orwellian powers in the hands of the Metropolitan Police, an institution which does not have the best record of racial fairness. The 696 form can only serve to deter the staging of live musical events - a positive form of activity in London and all cities - stifle free expression and quite possible penalise certain genres of music and ethnic audiences. It is an intrusion too far.
This you already knew if you read the NME or The Independent.
Could the metropolitan police not just get someone to check forthcoming events on Last.fm? The information there is likely to be marginally more reliable and trustworthy than getting folk to fill in forms.
The form is here if you want a read.
Hmph, on the other hand, I'm job-hunting right now. Can I be the guy at Scotland Yard who has to type up all these forms? Would be neat for compiling band biographies and staying up to speed on where cool gigs are.
I really want to get into the Shoreditch crimp scene, but can find any promo for gigs anywhere.
Anyhoo, how did this come to pass? Like when I was ranting about the polis getting tasers, at what point did the populace vote for this sort of thing? Is it because we pressed the red button in 2005? and if we'd pressed the blue button we wouldn't have this form? Or would the form have come into effect sooner?
Maybe its a local council thing, and I should march along to Kings Cross.