Plans to de-regulate the licensing of live music in pubs and bars are a step closer after a key concession was agreed on curfew times, writes Adam Pescod. It’s thought that the concession, which means music events that don’t require a specific licence must end by 11pm and not midnight, makes Government support for the Live Music Bill more likely. The Bill, from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones, calls for gigs attracting up to 200 people to be free from licence restrictions, and also supports the return of the ‘two-in-a-bar’ rule. Clement-Jones raised the possibility of the 11pm threshold for acoustic events becoming subject to review under the Government’s proposed consultation on further entertainment licensing deregulation, expected before the Autumn. He also accepted the Government’s desire for a “wider consultation” on the issue. Live music campaigner Hamish Birchall said the concession “cleared the way for unqualified Government support” for the Bill and “significantly increased” the chances of it becoming law. The amended Bill was praised by Labour’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, who also expressed "much regret" at his Government’s handling of entertainment licensing and live music. The next two stages of the Bill’s passage in the Lords, the Report and Third Reading, are expected to be completed within a few weeks, after which the Bill goes to the House of Commons in the Autumn.