The U.K.'s new live-music licensing laws are too restrictive for small-scale events to thrive.

That is the conclusion of a new report from the Live Music Forum (LMF), the independent initiative launched by the U.K. government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2004.

Part of the LMF's brief is to monitor the impact of the then-new Licensing Act 2003 on promoting live music.

And despite some positive effects, such as the increasing number of music festivals, the LMF argues that the legislation has done very little to benefit grass roots music and small entertainment venues.

"The U.K.'s live music scene is a massive success, just look at the growth in summer music festivals and the speed at which events sell out," said Feargal Sharkey, the LMF's chairman, in a statement.

"But we believe that putting on an acoustic folk trio, for example, should not need a license. That small acoustic gig does not impact on crime, disorder or public safety so should not fall under the remit of the licensing laws."

To ensure that the law does not stifle burgeoning talent during the very early stages of a career, the LMF's new report makes 28 recommendations.

They include urging the licensing local authorities to be more flexible about which forms of entertainment require a live-music license; exempting small venues (less than 100 capacity) and acoustic-music performances from requiring a license; and encouraging more universities to become part of the live-music circuit.

"And we think more can be done to encourage grass roots musicians such as creating more rehearsal rooms," added Sharkey, formerly lead singer of punk-era band The Undertones.

The LMF also argues in the report that existing music venues should not be penalized for noise-related issues if new residential homes are built nearby. The issues should be the responsibility of property developer.