- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

LONDON (AP) You're drinking with friends in a pub in London's lively West End when a catchy tune comes on the jukebox and you begin swaying to the music. Stop right there; you might be breaking the law.
A British pub chain was fined $7,850 after undercover inspectors caught a few patrons dancing at two of its popular bars. The crime: flouting licensing laws that ban "rhythmic moving."
Another pub where customers were found "swaying" was served two written warnings.
Under British law, dancing is allowed only in pubs that have public entertainment licenses. But getting the license from local governments can be an expensive and overly bureaucratic process and, consequently, only around 5 percent of pubs, restaurants and nightclubs allow live entertainment and dancing.
"We have spent ages trying to stop people dancing. We have signs up everywhere. Managers instruct customers. We turn the music down, rearrange the furniture and so on," said Derek Andrews, spokesman for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, owners of the Pitcher & Piano chain, which pleaded guilty to the offenses at a London magistrates court last week.
Undercover inspectors from Westminster Council spotted a clear breach when they paid a visit to a Pitcher & Piano bar in the West End and found four persons dancing to recorded music.
A return visit to the same pub caught five more persons in the act while a check on another Pitcher & Piano bar discovered 11 drinkers indulging in rhythmic moving.
Westminster Council said the two pubs had ignored advice that they were encouraging dancing and should apply for an entertainment license.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide