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Licensing entertainment

You may need a public entertainment licence for sporting events, plays, films or dances. Your local authority can advise you on this. You will need to provide statutory notice periods to your local authorities – the approval period depends on the size of your event. 

A general guide is: 

  • Small sized events (village hall quiz, auction, book sale) – 28 days
  • Medium sized events (carnivals, etc) – 28 days
  • Large sized events (over 5,000 in attendance, involving road closures, entertainment licences) – six to nine months

Licensing alcohol

An alcohol licence will be needed for any event providing or selling alcohol – you will need to check that your venue has a permanent licence. If not, occasional permission can be obtained through the licensing justices at the local magistrate's court. If the event is on charity premises, the Charity Commission guidelines in booklet CC27 'Providing Alcohol on Charity Premises' need to be complied with.