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You will need a licence to carry out the following activities:

  • sale by retail of alcohol
  • provision of late night refreshment: sale of hot food or hot drink between 11pm and 5am

The consumption of alcohol is not licensable. So an event at which people bring along their own alcohol doesn’t require a licence. However, if the cost of an event ticket includes a glass of wine, for example, then authorisation will be required. In addition, you may need a licence for provision of regulated entertainment.

Regulated entertainment is defined as one or more of the following but please see the below sections which provide details of various exemptions:

  • performance of a play
  • exhibition of a film
  • indoor sporting events
  • boxing/wrestling
  • live and/or recorded music (but not background/incidental music)
  • performance of dance or entertainment of a similar description

Entertainment is only regulated entertainment where it takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided, at least partly, to entertain that audience. Events that are held in private are not licensable unless those attending (ie, the guests) are charged with a view to making a profit (including raising money for charity).

Exemptions apply to:

  • provision of entertainment at a place of religious worship or for the purposes of a religious meeting or service
  • garden fetes (unless the event is promoted for private gain)
  • education, rehearsals, advertisements and demonstration of products
  • live simultaneous television or radio broadcasts
  • Morris dancing

In addition, there are a number of exemptions for entertainment between 8am and 11pm, such as live unamplified music, or not-for-profit film exhibitions held in community premises. For confirmation on whether the entertainment you are planning is licensable, please contact the Licensing Team.

Types of licence

If the premises does not already have a licence to cover the activities proposed, you may need to submit a temporary event notice (TEN) or apply for a premises licence. If you wish to hold 15 events or fewer in any one year, you may be able to submit a TEN.

If your event falls outside of these limits, it’s likely you will need to apply for a premises licence. We’re happy to guide you through this process.

Contact Information

Licensing Team

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