In Brighton and Hove many music venues have shut in the last decade, including the Freebutt, Pressure Point, Blind Tiger Club and Sticky Mike's Frog Bar. Many of these grassroots venues were vital in giving bands such as Blood Red Shoes, the Kooks or British Sea Power early opportunities to tour and for sustaining the Brighton and Hove music scene. Beatrice Bass, candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Hove and Portslade, used to be a professional musician who started out at local venues before moving onto international tours. She wants to save our music venues and help keep Brighton and Hove a destination for live music.
The Agent of Change principle in planning law puts an obligation on developers building near live music venues to soundproof new developments, protecting music venues from being shut down from noise complaints - as happened with the Freebutt and Blind Tiger Club. This also applies to other public venues, like pubs or clubs. Thanks to previous campaigns the Agent of Change principle has been added to the National Planning Policy Framework. However many local councils, including Brighton and Hove, haven't fully adopted this and are leaving grassroots venues in danger.
Beatrice Bass is passionate about fighting to save live music and grassroots venues. She has successfully campaigned for the Liberal Democrats to make adopting the Agent of Change principle national party policy alongside other protective measures such as amending nuisance law, providing access to more Arts Council funding, listing venues as Assets of Community Value and ensuring music venues are eligible for business rate relief.
Hove & Portslade candidate Beatrice Bass outside the closed Freebut, where British Sea Power, the Libertines, the Killers, Coldplay and Will.I.Am played.