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Licensable activities

The deregulation of certain entertainment has made some changes to the Licensing Act 2003, however any activity between 11pm and 8am, most forms of entertainment with more than 500 people in an audience, and any sex entertainment remains licensable.

The information below is for guidance only and it remains your responsibility to ensure you are licenced, if you are at all unsure you should contact the licensing section.

Schedule 1 to the Licensing Act 2003 sets out what activities are regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment and when they are licensable. It also sets out which activities are not classed as regulated entertainment.

Films

No licence is required for a 'not-for-profit' film exhibition held in community premises between 8am and 11pm on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500 and the organiser (a) gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises; and (b) ensures that each such screening abides by age classification ratings.

Plays

No licence is required for performances between 8am and 11pm on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.

Dance

No licence is required for performances between 8am and 11pm on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.

Indoor sporting events

No licence is required for an event between 8am and 11pm on any day, provided that those present do not exceed 1,000.

Boxing or wrestling entertainment

No licence is required for a contest, exhibition or display of Greco-Roman wrestling, or freestyle wrestling between 8am and 11pm on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 1,000.

Live music

No licence is required for a performance of:

  • unamplified live music between 8am and 11pm on any day, on any premises
  • amplified live music between 8am and 11pm on any day on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500
  • amplified live music between 8am and 11pm on any day, in a workplace  that is not licensed to sell alcohol on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500
  • amplified live music between 8am and 11pm on any day, in a church hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises, that is not licensed by a premises licence to sell alcohol, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises
  • amplified live music between 8am and 11pm on any day, at the non-residential premises of (i) a local authority, or (ii) a school, or (iii) a hospital, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from: (i) the local authority concerned, or (ii) the school or (iii) the health care provider for the hospital.

Recorded music

No licence permission is required for any playing of recorded music between 8am and 11pm on any day:

  • on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500
  • in a church hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises, that is not licensed by a premises licence to sell alcohol, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises
  • at the non-residential premises of (i) a local authority, or (ii) a school, or (iii) a hospital, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from: (i) the local authority concerned, or (ii) the school proprietor or (iii) the health care provider for the hospital.

Cross activity exemptions

No licence is required between 8am and 11pm on any day, with no limit on audience size for any entertainment taking place on:

  • the premises of the local authority where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the local authority;
  • the hospital premises of the health care provider where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the health care provider;
  • the premises of the school where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the school proprietor.

Travelling circus entertainment (excluding films and a boxing or wrestling entertainment) taking place at a travelling circus, does not require a licence between 8am and 11pm on any day, with no limit on audience size provided that:

  • it takes place within a moveable structure that accommodates the audience; and
  • that the travelling circus has not been located on the same site for more than 28 consecutive days.

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