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Nearly half of grime fans reckon form 696 is discriminatory

By | Published on Wednesday 11 October 2017

Metropolitan Police

In a survey of 2000 grime fans, just under half felt that the often controversial form 696 was discriminatory, mainly on the basis that the extra bit of licensing paperwork only applied to certain kinds of live events. The question was asked in a survey of “active grime listeners” undertaken by Disrupt Creative and the University Of Westminster as part of a report published by Ticketmaster reviewing the growth and status of the grime genre.

As previously reported, form 696 – used by the Metropolitan Police in London – asks for the names, stage names, addresses and phone numbers of all promoters and artists at events where pre-recorded backing tracks are used. An earlier version of the document also asked about the specific genre of music being performed and likely ethnic make-up of the audience, though those questions were dropped in 2009 after the music community campaigned against what was seen as racial profiling.

Nevertheless, concerns have persisted about the form, and other similar documents now used by sixteen other British police forces. The Metropolitan Police continue to deny there is anything discriminatory about the form, though – following a call for a review by the UK government and subsequent meetings led by London mayor Sadiq Khan – the policing body is now reviewing the matter.

Only 9% of the grime fans surveyed as part of the Ticketmaster report were actually aware of the controversy around form 696, but when the licensing document was explained to them, just under half – 48% – said they felt the process was discriminatory.

The grime fan survey also discussed other political matters, and in particular sought to identify the impact of the #Grime4Corbyn campaign that occurred earlier this year, which encouraged young people to register to vote in this year’s General Election, as well as supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, who did much better in that election than most expected.

Ticketmaster says that its survey shows that the #Grime4Corbyn initiative – and the backing it got from artists like JME, Stormzy and AJ Tracey – did have an impact. 58% of those surveyed said they voted for Labour in the last election, with 24% saying the #Grime4Corbyn campaign influenced their vote.

The Ticketmaster report also reviews the impact of grime music in both streaming and the live sector, and has plenty of other stats and suchlike for fans of stats and suchlike. You can download it here.