City stops trumpet use at circus

Sept. 23, 2008 at 7:58 PM
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BIRMINGHAM, England, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Officials with a circus said clowns performing in a Birmingham, England, show were denied use of their trumpets and a tuba by local authorities.

Martin Burton, proprietor of Zippo's Circus, said city regulators told him only half an hour before the performance that the trumpets introducing three Spanish clowns and three notes played on an exploding tuba by one of the clowns qualified the show as a live music performance and the circus would need to seek a special license, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

"Normally we would have stood our ground, but we had only half an hour," Burton said. "I agreed to cut the music. It was ludicrous."

He said the circus nearly ran into trouble in other areas, as well.

"There was some discussion about whether skipping on a tight-rope was dancing," he said. "Tight-rope walking is not regarded as regulated entertainment requiring a license; dance is."

Jacqui Kennedy, director of regulatory services at Birmingham City Council, defended the decision.

"Under the Licensing Act 2003, elements of the program proposed by Zippo's would fall into the category of regulated entertainment and such events would require either a license under the act or a temporary event notice."

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