Abbey Road "illegal" gig
"Genuine mistake" over Coldplay BBC show28 Feb 06 - 6 Music has learned that Abbey Road studios will not be prosecuted over a Coldplay gig it hosted for the BBC.
The recording studio was threatened with prosecution under new licensing laws because it hosted an "illegal" gig organised by the broadcasting corporation.
Lawyers from Westminster Council claimed the concert, which will be aired on Radio 2 in April, was the first live music event to break the law since it came into force in November.
Westminster sought legal advice when a former adviser on the Licensing Act, discovered that Abbey Road doesn't have a licence for live entertainment despite assurances to the BBC that it had fulfilled all its legal requirements.
However, Westminster council have told 6 Music it will not enforce the law, describing it as "a genuine oversight".
"Abbey Road studios were not licensed for the Coldplay concert but, after talking to the premises, this appears to have been a genuine oversight."Cllr Audrey Lewis, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Licensing, said: "The new licensing laws have ensured there is confusion about the status of many premises and what they now have a licence for.
Westminster Cllr Audrey Lewis
"Abbey Road studios were not licensed for the Coldplay concert but, after talking to the premises, this appears to have been a genuine oversight."
She said local authorities and premises are still learning to live with the effects of the new Licensing laws, adding the council will be working closely with the Abbey Road to ensure they are fully licensed in the future.
A statement from the BBC said: "The recording of Coldplay at Abbey Road on 13 February 2006 for BBC Radio 2 Live & Exclusive was a private event.
"The BBC was notified by Abbey Road Studios, prior to the event taking place, that all legal requirements had been met."
Abbey Road told 6 Music they hosted the Coldplay concert "in good faith" that they had the appropriate licence.
Their official statement continued: "There was certainly no intention of holding an illegal event and if our licence is not what is required for this type of event, then it is a genuine mistake.
"We have a close relationship with Westminster Council on this and other matters which we value. In recent days we have received different advice from different departments within Westminster Council as to which licence is appropriate for our business.
"Once we have a definitive answer from Westminster Council, if there is a need to vary the licence, then of course we shall do so."
Julie Cullen and Kellie Redmond