Kapranos condems council arts move

The Franz Ferdinand frontman blasted Glasgow council's new licensing plans

FRANZ Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos claims the arts scene in Scotland’s biggest city is being “destroyed” by tight-fisted bureaucrats.

Kapranos is furious at Glasgow City Council plans to charge up to £7,500 to license events, many of which are currently free.

The musician has urged his 38,000 followers on Twitter to join the campaign to get the “ridiculous” new law scrapped.

Due to come in to force on April 1, venues that currently offer free entertainment such as exhibitions and live music will have to buy a licence priced between £27 and £7,500.

Previously a licence was only required for events charging admission.

Kapranos, 39, Tweeted: “Glasgow city council is destroying the city’s artistic community. Please take a look at the petition. #GlasgowArtLicence.”

He later added: “I hope the council will realise their mistake and support the city’s artists rather than taxing them.”

Kapranos also Retweeted a message from Deputy First Minister and Glasgow Southside MSP Nicola Sturgeon in which she said she “I share concerns” and was “happy to discuss”.

Grammy nominated Franz Ferdinand, famous for hits such as Take Me Out and Do You Want To, themselves emerged from the Glasgow music scene.


Kapranos branded the new legislation “ridiculous”.

He Tweeted followers: “So, Glasgow council is trying to destroy any artistic life the city has? That’s bright.

The petition – on website change.org – has already gathered more than 8,000 signatures.

It states: “We…believe this change will be damaging to the foundations of Glasgow’s art community and wish to have the changes repealed.”

One supporter, Jamie Grier, wrote on the site: ” By effectively ending free activities in Glasgow at a grassroots level you are adding another hurdle to those that require access the most.

“Glasgow has the highest level of multiple deprivation in Scotland with many areas in the bottom 5% with corresponding social and mental health problems.

“Free access to art, music and education has been proven many times over to be a help to increase quality of life and create potential employment and worth for people.”

He added: “The fact that you might face 6 months in jail or a £20000 fine for having an exhibition doesnt help anyones mental health.”

The change in legislation stems from an amendment to the Civic Government Scotland Act 1982 which from April 1 this year will mean that a public entertainment licence is needed even if no payment is required to enter the event.

This change will affect all local authorities in Scotland but councils draw up their own list of affected venues and set the charges.

A spokesman for the council said they were working on “a temporary solution” that would “protect Glasgow’s art scene”.

Kapranos moved with his family to Glasgow in 1984 and attended Bearsden Academy before studying at the University of Strathclyde.

He has been a fixture of the Glasgow music scheme since the early 1990s. He worked as a music promoter and ran club nights at live music venue the13th Note, as well as playing in some of the city’s most popular bands, including The Blisters and The Yummy Fur. He formed Franz Ferdinand 2001.