London’s controversial Form 696, a piece of legislation which had disproportionately discriminated against grime artists and concerts with largely minority audiences, has officially been scrapped by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Form 696 was established in 2005 and called for the personal information, including phone numbers and private addresses, of any promoters and artists involved with concerts with pre-recorded backing tracks.
The small print on the form meant that it was basically a way to police grime concerts and many artists have seen concerts and tours cancelled by the police for unspecified reasons.
UK grime artist Giggs, who had a 2010 tour cancelled by the form, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme in March that the form was a “race thing” and that grime concerts have no more fights or problems than any other concerts, but get extra scrutiny from authorities,
“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.”
Sadiq Khan released a statement claiming that while safety is key for London nightlife, discriminatory policies don’t work for anyone,
“Developing a night-time economy that works for everyone is a key priority of mine but it’s also vital that live music events in London take place safely. I called for a review of Form 696 earlier this year because of concerns raised by promoters and artists in the capital that this process was unfairly affecting specific communities and music genres. By bringing together the Met and representatives from across the city’s legendary grassroots music industry, we have shown why having a Night Czar is so important for London.”
Khan also pointed out how this move will help London’s economy,
“This decision will help London’s night-time economy thrive, ensure the capital is a welcoming place for artists and DJs of all music genres and that Londoners are able to enjoy live music safely.”
This is a massive step for grime music and the music scene in London in general. Form 696 basically forced grime music into the underground, but it’s clear that the genre is experiencing a phase of normalization.
Big ups to Sadiq Khan.