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Alcohol and entertainment licensable activities

You need to apply for a premises licence if you intend to conduct any licensable activities or provide any regulated entertainment from a specific premises or location.

Licensable activities are:

  • the sale or supply of alcohol
  • the provision of regulated entertainment
  • the provision of late night hot food and drink
  • the supply of alcohol in clubs

Types of regulated entertainment are:

  • Performance of a play
  • Exhibition of films
  • Indoor sporting events
  • Boxing or wrestling entertainment
  • Performance of live music
  • Playing of recorded music
  • Performances of dance

Licence for music entertainment

Whether a licence is needed for music entertainment will depend on the circumstances.

A licence is not required to stage a performance of live music, or the playing of recorded music if:

  • it takes place between 8AM and 11PM
  • it takes place at an alcohol on-licensed premises
  •  the audience is no more than 500 people

You also don’t need a licence:

  • to put on unamplified live music at any place between the same hours
  • to put on amplified live music at a workplace between the same hours and provided the audience is no more than 500 people.

In other circumstances, a licence may be required. One licence application can cover all types of regulated entertainment and the sale or supply of alcohol.

There are exemptions from the need for a licence for music entertainment, in defined circumstances as set out in the Guidance, including for:

  • places of public worship, village halls, church halls and other similar buildings
  • schools
  • hospitals
  • local authority premises
  • incidental music - music that is incidental to other activities that aren’t classed as regulated entertainment

You can find at the bottom of this page a document which contains more information on when a licence is required for regulated entertainment, and also a full copy of the revised guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.

If you are still unsure if you require a licence then please contact with as much information about your event or premises as possible.